Sunday, April 21, 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

3 Hot Bass-Fishing Trends

If you love bass fishing then you have to pay attention to these 3 Hot Trends in bass fishing. Silent jerkbaits, chatterbaits and ultra-thin braided line will help you catch more bass like a pro.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Andrew Upshaw Wins 2019 FLW Tour Cherokee Lake with 67-10lbs!

Targeting cracks in boulders key to win.
(Photo: FLW)
Going wire-to-wire to win an FLW Tour event, especially on a fishery like Cherokee Lake, isn’t something that happens by accident. It’s not all luck. It’s not all happenstance. What Andrew Upshaw did was a combination of skill, tenacity and mental toughness, plain and simple.
The Tulsa, Okla., pro won his first-ever Tour event this week, and he did it on Cherokee Lake, amidst a true slugfest, with haymakers coming from every angle. During the tournament, which was presented by Lowrance, 90.7 percent of the field turned in a five-bass limit over four days. All 30 anglers weighed in five fish on Saturday and all 10 of the finalists brought five fish to the scale on Championship Sunday.
Simply put, everyone caught fish this week. No one caught them better than Andrew Upshaw.
The 32-year-old eight-year Tour veteran didn’t find a magic stretch filled with big fish and he didn’t have a secret bait no one else was throwing. What he did have was a solid game plan, a belief in himself and a strong support system that included his wife, Valerie, and son, Cain, who made the trip from Oklahoma to be there throughout the final two days of the tournament and by his side when he raised the $100,000 check and winner trophy above his head Sunday afternoon.
“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but when my family got here, I knew what I needed to do and that was just to calm down,” he admits. “This morning I got to skip rocks with my kid…”
At that point, Upshaw welled up with emotion and paused for a brief period to reflect on what he had accomplished and what it meant to have his family there every step of the way. Those emotions stayed with Upshaw long after the weigh-in had ended, as fans asked for autographs and photos, and friends, family and competitors congratulated the two-time FLW Cup qualifier on his first-ever Tour win.
Upshaw acknowledged all of those people during his victory celebration on the FLW weigh-in stage, recognizing his friends (namely Tour anglers Jason Reyes and Scott Martin), competitors and family (including his father, a close friend and his in-laws, who all made the journey to eastern Tennessee). It was a classy gesture from a humble man who was just grateful and overcome with emotion after finally completing a goal that’s been with him for a long, long time.
Asked when the emotions would start to wear off and the reality to set in, he responded as anyone in his position would.

Andy Morgan Claims Hometown Win on Lake Chickamauga at Bass Pro Tour Econo Lodge Stage Four presented by Winn Grips

Pitching trees scores Morgan big win!
Major League Fishing Press Release
Andy Morgan claims big win on strength of flipping and spinnerbait.
(Photo: MLF)
From the moment he announced his intention to compete on the Major League Fishing® (MLF) Bass Pro Tour, Tennessee pro Andy Morgan was tabbed by his fellow competitors as an angler to watch. Based on both his exceptional 23-year career and his catch-every-fish-that-swims fishing style, Morgan came into the season as a near-universal pick by his contemporaries to take home one of the eight regular-season Bass Pro Tour trophies. 
It turns out that Morgan's first Bass Pro Tour trophy didn't have far to travel: 7.1 miles from Lake Chickamauga to the trophy room in his home in Dayton.  
Fishing a lake that he grew up on - and finishing the day in a pocket that he and his dad have won "a number of April tournaments in over the years" - Morgan weighed in 34 Lake Chickamauga largemouth for 80-0 pounds to run away with the Championship Round of the Econo Lodge Stage Four presented by Winn Grips. 
"I wanted to win one more tournament on Chickamauga," Morgan admitted. "I can't explain how hard it is to win an event at this level, and I can't explain just how bad I wanted to win right here in front of my family and friends - I wanted it bad. It means the world to me to be able to come out here on this lake where I won my first tournament when I was 15, fish against this bunch of guys, and get that trophy. I'm awful proud of it." 
Jared Lintner finished second with 60-7, Todd Faircloth was third with 59-5, Jacob Powroznik was fourth with 54-4 and Mike Iaconelli completed the Top 5 with 54-2.    
Morgan Committed to One Spot Early 
Morgan fished Championship Sunday as one would expect a seasoned veteran to work his home fishery, committing his entire championship round to a long backwater north of Dayton that locals refer to as "The Branch". Morgan woke up on Championship Sunday, looked at the weather forecast calling for heavy morning rain and afternoon winds, and knew immediately that he had an outstanding chance for a big day in two sloughs inside "The Branch".  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Stetson Blaylock Wins 2019 Bassmaster Elite Winyah Bay with 50-15lbs!

Canterbury 2nd & Cory Johnston 3rd

Big win for Blaylock a family affair!
(Photo: BASS)
Stetson Blaylock came to the Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay with one goal in mind: don’t finish last. He accomplished that goal — and then some.
The third-year Elite Series pro from Arkansas tallied a four-day total of 50 pounds, 15 ounces and earned a victory that was unexpected, to say the least. He capped the win with a Championship Sunday limit of five bass that weighed 9-3.
“I came here with the intentions of ‘Don’t ruin your season; don’t come here and finish dead last,’” said Blaylock, who earned $100,000 for the victory. “When I found my area, I knew it had fish, so I thought I’d get out of here with a Top 35 and roll on to the next one. I didn’t know it had winning potential at all.
“I look back at every bass I lost this week and think ‘Gosh, I should’ve caught that one.’ Today, I had one good one that jumped off that would have been another 2 pounds. When that kind of stuff happens, you’re not supposed to win, but when it’s your time, you can’t do anything wrong.”
Time management was essential throughout the week. While many of his competitors ran 100-plus miles to fish various areas of the Cooper River, Blaylock earned his first blue trophy by staying in a pond off the Waccamaw River, about 18 minutes from takeoff at Georgetown’s Carroll Ashmore Campbell Marine Complex.
Lined with overhanging trees, the area held deeper water and sprouted a few tributary canals. Here, Blaylock placed 11th on Day 1 with 11-6, rose to sixth the next day with 12-7 and surged into the Day 3 lead by sacking up a limit of 17-15, the tournament’s heaviest bag.
Today, Blaylock faced a tougher bite, but his 9-3 was enough to hold off a dramatic charge by second-place angler Scott Canterbury, who finished just 9 ounces behind Blaylock.
“I’ve never been here before, so I went to where I knew there were some fish,” Blaylock said. “That gave me the entire day to fish.”

2019 Bassmaster Elite Winyah Bay Day 3: Stetson Blaylock Takes Lead with 41-12lbs!

Cory Johnston 2nd by ounces. 
By David A. Brown

Blaylock leads by strength of Waccamaw River.
(Photo: BASS)
Committing his day to a deeper pocket off the Waccamaw River, Arkansas angler Stetson Blaylock caught the largest five-bass limit of the week, weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces, and took over the lead at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay with a three-day total of 41-12.
Blaylock said his selected area provided bass with a comfortable habitat beyond the spawn. He admitted he started the day concerned that he was running out of fish, but his persistence was rewarded with a day of steady productivity.
“I really thought that it was drying up, and I was almost to the point of thinking, ‘Okay, I’m going to end up catching five 12-inchers and wherever it happens, it happens,’” Blaylock said. “I caught that first big one — a 4-pounder at 9:50 — and that let me know that things were happening there that I wasn’t aware of.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that (the pocket) is so deep out in the middle, those fish have an opportunity to keep moving up and keep moving up. I don’t think you can fish it out.”
Blaylock caught his fish by flipping a Texas-rigged YUM Christie Craw and skipping a wacky-rigged YUM Dinger. He added a nail weight to the latter for a strategic presentation.
“I think that’s the difference between me and a lot of the guys; everyone’s probably throwing weightless wacky rigs, but it seems that putting that nail weight in it gets it down faster and maybe triggers a strike or two that a slow fall won’t,” he said.

Jacob Powroznik Aiming for Back-To-Back Wins After Knockout Round Victory!

Records falling on Chick!
Major League Fishing Press Release

Almost as soon as he drove away from Raleigh, North Carolina - a Bass Pro Tour trophy riding shotgun in his Toyota Tundra - Major League Fishing® (MLF) pro Jacob Powroznik was already talking about how much he likes to fish Lake Chickamauga. The Virginia pro, who won Stage Three in Raleigh just two weeks ago, has competed on this impoundment of the Tennessee River multiple times and identifies it as one of his favorite fisheries.
Powroznik readies for second win in a row.
(Photo: MLF)
In Saturday's Knockout Round of the Econo Lodge Stage Four presented by Evinrude, Powroznik showed why. After hovering around the middle of the Top 10 for the majority of the first two periods, Powroznik connected with 10 fish for 20-15 in the final period to finish first in the round with 67-14 on the day.
"I love throwing a wacky worm, I love bed fishing, I love fishing while they're spawning, and that's what's going on here right now," said Powroznik. "It would be hard for me to win a five-fish event doing what I'm doing right now, but in our format, you get to go out and catch as many bass as you possibly can. That suits my style of fishing right now. I've seen some big ones - they're just 'cranky' right now - but those 2- to 3-pounders are biting really good right now, and I'm just fine with that."
Powroznik will be joined in Sunday's Championship Round of 10 by: Todd Faircloth (63-12), Mike Iaconelli (59-8), Brandon Palaniuk (56-15), Andy Morgan (56-3), Luke Clausen (53-10), Keith Poche (52-3), Jared Lintner (52-1), Edwin Evers (50-15) and Michael Neal (49-11).  
Today's weights will be wiped clean as the finalists start the Championship Round with a zero score. 
Final-Period Knockout Drama  
The final 2 ½ hours of competition saw several dramatic stories play out, none more so than Iaconelli's. The Berkley pro entered the third period in 24th place - well out of contention for a Top 10 spot - but then connected with nine fish for 23-5 in the final 30 minutes on a squarebill to catapult him to third place.
"It's not a magic spot, I don't have a magic bait, it wasn't something I did or changed, it wasn't dumb luck, it was just timing," Iaconelli said. "It was just a place where they started to pull up on and started to feed, and I happened to fish it at just the right time. I've been doing this for 22, 23 years professionally, and that was the most magical 20 minutes of my tournament career."

Saturday, April 13, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Cherokee Lake Day 3: Andrew Upshaw Close to Win with 52-04lbs!

Spawning smallmouth key to top anglers.
by Justin Onslow

Upshaw almost there!
(Photo: FLW)
Andrew Upshaw is one day away from going wire-to-wire to secure his first-ever FLW Tour victory, and as long as the pressure and the nine pros behind him don’t knock him off course, the Tulsa, Okla., pro has a game plan to make it happen.
The Tour’s fifth event of the season, presented by Lowrance, has been a slugfest to this point. Cherokee Lake in eastern Tennessee is showing out, and while total weights aren’t what would usually constitute a “slugfest,” the sheer volume of keeper bass the field has landed this week is nothing short of extraordinary.
Behind Upshaw, a stacked top 10 looms large. Only 1 pound, 10 ounces separates the three-day leader from Tour vet Tom Monsoor, and Upshaw is only 4 pounds, 15 ounces in front of Tim Cales, who sits in 10th place entering Sunday.
With so many anglers catching tons of fish – and so little margin for error – Upshaw has already started feeling the pressure. Fortunately, he has a safety net to help calm him down.
“To lead wire to wire is just crazy … It’s indescribable,” Upshaw admits. “Where I’m at right now, I’m trying to keep it all together, but in [the weigh-in] line I felt like I needed to throw up every five seconds.
“As far as nerves go, I’ve dealt with high-stress situations before – not just in tournament fishing but football and basketball and everything like that. Tomorrow I get to go have fun. I’ve got my family here to calm me down so everything should be fine.”
Upshaw’s family made the trip from Oklahoma on Friday after he started piecing together another nice bag and after already having secured the day-one lead. As it turns out, their presence could make the difference between a strong top-10 finish and his first Tour win.
Despite the boost his family’s arrival gave him, Upshaw started to feel the pressure Saturday when his bite started slow and he began the day with a trio of fish that weren’t long enough to throw in the box.
“I pulled up where I wanted to start, and I caught a non-keeper immediately, and that’s only my second non-keeper of the week,” he explains. “A few minutes later I caught another non-keeper, and then I caught another non-keeper. It really started spinning me out a little bit.”
Upshaw admits his game plan was inherently “high-risk, high-reward,” due in part to fishing an area that was susceptible to wakes from passing boats shortly after takeoff. Fishing for bedding bass, he needed some calmer water to keep those fish on their beds and ready to protect them.

2019 Bassmaster Elite Winyah Bay Day 2: Bill Lowen Takes Lead with 27-03lbs!

Cory Johnston 9th, Chris Johnston 21st and Jeff Gustafson 59th.
By David A. Brown
Shallow water and river specialist Lowen figured out big bass.
(Photo: BASS)
Self-proclaimed river rat Bill Lowen found himself right at home in the Cooper River Friday and leveraged his current-born insights to catch a limit of bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces and take the lead on Day 2 of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay.
After catching 13-4 during Thursday’s opening round, Lowen has a two-day weight of 27-3.
Lowen, who grew up fishing the Ohio River, made a nearly 100-mile run south and avoided the broad rice fields that have seen significant traffic this week. Instead, he targeted a 3/4-mile stretch where he focused on creek channels with marsh drains and current that helped optimize his bite.
“Yesterday, they were on the deep channel swings; today they were on the shallow swings,” Lowen said. “It’s either going to be one or the other. You just have to figure it out fast enough which one they’re on. And tidal fish are notorious for — if that’s what they’re doing — every single one of them is doing it.