Saturday, March 9, 2019

2019 FLW Tour Lake Seminole Day 2: Bradford Beavers Bolts to Lead with 43-14lbs.

Canadians Sim 46th & Richardson 103rd.  
by Kyle Wood

Rookie Beavers holding his own on pre-spawn bite.
(Photo: FLW)
While the weather may have been nicer on day two of the FLW Tour event on Lake Seminole presented by Costa, the fishing fell off to a degree. Overall, the weights were lower across the board, and getting off to a good start yesterday proved to be vital today.
Tour rookie Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C., hauled in 18 pounds, 12 ounces to go with his 25-2 from day one to take the lead with a total weight worth 43-14. Beavers will head into the weekend with a 3-pound lead over Sheldon Collings, who is also keeping the fire stoked.
Beavers got off to a quick start yesterday, catching all of his weight before noon. Today, things looked as though they were going to go the same way.
“I went to the same spot and same casting angle I caught them yesterday and couldn’t get them to bite,” Beavers says of his morning. “I switched up my casting angle and I caught four in about 30 minutes. The feeding window wasn’t as long this morning for some reason as it was yesterday, and I don’t really know why.”
After the flurry, things came to a screeching halt. He’d spend some more time hoping to get another bite from his primary area before running to another offshore spot. With no luck there, Beavers went shallow.
“I only got seven bites all day and caught five of them,” Beavers adds. “I went ‘till two minutes before I came back in before I caught my fifth fish.”
A vibrating jig has been the major player for Beavers so far, but he has a few other presentations that he’s keeping under wraps until later.
The South Carolina pro has plenty of experience on Seminole, though he’s finally dialed in on an offshore bite this week – something that has always eluded him on the fishery. With potentially $125,000 on the line, it’s hard to pull yourself away from a spot or pattern that has treated you good, but Beavers is fully aware that warming weather isn’t doing much to help his bite and anticipates having to make adjustments along the way.
“I just don’t have any other deep spots to run,” he says. “It takes too long to find them out deep, too. I don’t know if the fish on my spot are educated or if the weather is changing them. I’m going to go back there in the morning and see what I can get and then probably just run new water from there.”

2. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 40-14 (10)

Moving from fourth on day one, Sheldon Collings pieced together a solid limit worth 17 pounds to slide into the passenger seat atop the leaderboard.

Things were noticeably slower for Collings today as he only caught five bass all day, but that still doesn’t deter his confidence. He has one spot that has produced all of his weight, and he is committed to milking it for every bass.

“From what I’ve seen on that spot, yesterday the fish were all grouped up,” Collings says. “Today, they were more spread out. It’s like with the cooler weather the first day they were bunched up and not moving around much, but it was warmer overnight and I think that has them moving a little more.

“I sat on the same spot today and had to fancast all around the boat, and I’d catch one here, one there. I kept my trolling motor on 10 (the lowest setting) and worked around, and when I got bit, I’d hit SpotLock."

With tougher conditions, Collings figured he’d have to adjust his tactics to get bit, though, to his surprise, he got away with using the same vibrating jig he did the day before.

The area he is fishing is a grass flat with high spots on it. While the one spot has produced all of his fish, he keeps the area honest by moving around throughout the day. The best part is that while other offshore anglers feel as though they are losing fish, Collings thinks there are still plenty to go around.

“I caught five fish all day, but I left them biting,” he says. “After I caught my fifth I left the area. I know there are a lot of fish still around because as I was floating across the flat I would see one swim out of the grass from time to time on my graph. I probably saw 30 or 40 different fish. I’m going to go in there tomorrow and don’t plan on moving until I catch five, and I don’t care if it takes until 2 o’clock.”

3. Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ark. – 38-15 (10)
Targeting prespawn bass, Rob Kilby worked up 15 pounds, 12 ounces to slide up two spots from yesterday. Like Beavers, Kilby knows the fish are wanting to push up to the bank to spawn, but hopes they resist the urge as long as they can.
“When I found these fish in practice they were up shallow and eating anything,” Kilby says. “I think that front pushed them out, and that’s where I caught them yesterday. Today, I moved in a little shallower and saw a few rooting around along with a few beds, but no fish were on them. I bet by Sunday they will be on the beds.”
Kilby has been relying on a spinnerbait, vibrating jig and swim jig to catch his fish so far, but he believes a change of pace may be required, noting that “more subtle techniques” will likely play for him tomorrow.
A 200-yard stretch has been the key area for Kilby so far, and no doubt he’s not planning on leaving it alone. With less Tour anglers on the water tomorrow, that frees up the ability to move around more without fear of someone sliding in on the juice.
4. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 37-5 (10)
Though he’s from Delaware, Kurt Mitchell is right at home on Seminole, and he’s showing it this week. He caught the biggest limit of the day at 23-2, moving him right up to fourth place.
“I love Seminole,” Mitchell says. “It’s one of my favorite lakes.”
The fourth-year pro notched a top-10 finish on Seminole last year during the Costa FLW Series event held here, and apparently he’s keeping the mojo going.
Capitalizing on an early bite was crucial for Mitchell, and he thinks he knows how to make it work again.
“I think there is a shad spawn going on,” he adds. “I caught four fish for 19 pounds quick and never got another bite. I didn’t go to that spot yesterday morning because I thought I could catch them whenever, but it’s a timing thing.
“After that, I went punching. I lost a 6 and caught two 3 1/2s, and I was done after that.”
Mitchell still isn’t completely sure what all he has at his disposal, but says he’s learning as he goes. Tomorrow won’t be any different.
5. Brian Latimer – Belton, S.C. – 36-12 (10)
Fresh off a top-30 cut on Toho, Brian Latimer posted 19-1 on day one and 17-11 today to move into the fifth position. He’s riding the momentum train.
Latimer also has plenty of experience on Seminole and says it absolutely played a role this week.
“The biggest thing is that I have something to compare my practice to this week,” Latimer says. “A lot of tournaments here are during the spawn and postspawn, so I’ve kind of learned what areas are good and where to be and where to spend my time.”
Yesterday, he caught a limit quick cranking a current seam, but that wasn’t the case today.
“I took yesterday for what it was and was emotionally prepared for that bite to go away,” notes Latimer. “I cranked there this morning and caught two and then ran down the lake.”
Where he’s really getting dialed is on a grass flat where he’s flipping “underwater mats” of vegetation. The wind has been dirtying the water up in his area, but today he was able to see the individual clumps because there was less wind and the water cleared up a little.
Between the grass flat and current seam, that’s all Latimer has to rely on.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if I have to do something totally different tomorrow,” he says. “I’m going to spend a half day doing what caught me 19 and 17 pounds. I don’t have much else I can catch fish from. I may need to change baits or expand in the areas a little more.”
Thrift’s streak ends
After an incredible run, Bryan Thrift’s consecutive limit streak in FLW Tour events has come to a conclusion after 71 limits. He could only muster one bass today worth 2 pounds, 1 ounce and landed 130th place. It’s sad to see it close, but you can’t bet against him breaking his own record again in the future and will get back on track at Grand Lake in a few weeks.
Castledine puts on the rally cap
Day one wasn’t kind to Todd Castledine, who caught just one bass worth 2-4 to sit in 150th entering day two. Today, he put that behind him and hauled in a rare bag over 20 pounds to jump all the way to 50th, thanks in part to an 8-13 giant. Not only did the rebound put $10,000 in his pocket, but he also took home $500 for Big Bass.
“When you catch 2 pounds, you can go do something like I did and throw a swimbait all day,” Castledine says. “I never threw a swimbait in practice, but I thought it seemed like a good idea to try today.”
 Early bite is no joke
By now, it’s pretty apparent that the first 45 minutes of the day on Seminole can make or break any angler. Pros like Collings, Beavers, Mitchell, Joshua Weaver, Braxton Setzer and Joseph Webster, to name a few, have made hay early in the day, only to grind it out for a kicker bite the rest of the day. This should certainly make for some great FLW Live viewing as well as serve as a good gauge as to how the day will shape up for many. Keep an eye on who starts off hot as we head into the weekend.
 Top 10 pros
1. Bradford Beavers- Summerville, S.C. – 43-14 (10)
2. Sheldon Collings – Grove, Okla. – 40-14 (10)
3. Rob Kilby – Hot Springs, Ark. – 38-15 (10)
4. Kurt Mitchell – Milford, Del. – 37-5 (10)
5. Brian Latimer – Belton, S.C. – 36-12 (10)
6. Greg Bohannan – Bentonville, Ark. – 36-3 (10)
7. Hunter Freeman – Monroe, La. – 35-5 (10)
8. Joshua Weaver – Macon, Ga. – 34-7 (10)
9. Joseph Webster – Winfield, Ala. – 34-6 (10)
10. Braxton Setzer – Montgomery, Ala. – 33-10 (10)

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