Thursday, February 27, 2020

Jacob Powroznik Wins 2020 MLF Lake Okeechobee Championship!

The Big Lake payout as canals fizzles
By Tyler Brinks
Major League Fishing Press Release

Jacob Powroznik took a late lead during the Championship Round, amassing
nearly 30 pounds in the final period alone. Photo by Phoenix Moore
Lake Okeechobee did indeed save the best for last at the Bass Pro Tour Favorite Fishing Stage Two Presented by Bass Cat. We saw our biggest weight totals, most bass caught by single anglers, and it was a fight to the finish.

Although the final standings show a win of over 11 pounds for Jacob Powroznik, it was a tight race for most of the day, until the Virginian took control in Period 3.
Take this as evidence of how close it really was. After Period 2 closed, the top three anglers were separated by just six ounces. Randall Tharp was edging out Jacob Wheeler and Michael Neal, who all had 28 pounds and change to begin Period 3.
Powroznik was lurking behind and his eight bass for nearly 30 pounds in Period 3 was the difference-maker in claiming his second career Bass Pro Tour win. He ended the day with 15 bass for 49 pounds, 11 ounces, which were both easily the best totals of the week.
Powroznik Closes out Another Win
Jacob Powroznik did enough during Periods 1 and 2 to give himself a chance and was able to close out the win late thanks to a simplified approach that he relied on all week long.
As time expired, Powroznik was emotional and thankful to close out the win.
“You never know and when it is your time, it’s your time. I just kept my head down and kept grinding in the same 300-yard stretch,” he said.
That area is known as “the pass,” and Powroznik shared that it is at the mouth of Buckhead Ridge. That area had all of the ingredients he was looking for.
“It had the right depth, bottom composition, and eelgrass. I was looking for a hard bottom because that’s where they spawn. I was targeting the holes in the grass,” he said. “The fish were in the open areas and if it was too close to bulrushes, the eelgrass would be too choked up.”

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Laramy Strickland Wins 2020 FLW Tour Harris Chain of Lakes with 61-04lbs!

Canadians Luzak 13th
By Justin Onslow

Strickland put puzzle together in the afternoon for win in Griffen.
(Photo: FLW)
Laramy Strickland knew one day he’d get his first Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit win, and he knew he wanted to win on his home fishery, surrounded by friends and family. He just probably didn’t know those two things would happen at the same time, in just his second event as a pro.
The Bushnell, Fla., rookie, who calls the Harris Chain of Lakes home, weighed in a megabag – 31 pounds, 6 ounces – on Saturday of the Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, presented by Bad Boy Mowers, and followed that up with a stringer of 15-4 on Championship Sunday to secure the victory by 4 pounds, 6 ounces over fellow rookie Jimmy Washam.
It was a storybook finish for what could be a magical season for Strickland.
“If I was going to win one, ever, just to win one, in my whole career, I would have wanted that to be right here,” he says. “It was that awesome. Hometown crowd, hometown cooking, it’s just an awesome feeling. It still doesn’t even feel real.”
With a massive crowd surrounding the weigh-in stage – comprised of many of Strickland’s friends and family – the 22-year-old former Florida high school state champion raised two quality Harris Chain largemouths, then a $100,000 check, and then a trophy he’s been dreaming about for a long time.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

2020 FLW Tour Harris Chain of Lakes Day 2: Laramy Strickland Smashes 31-06lb Limit for Lead!

Canadians Luzak 18th; Sim 71st
By Justin Onslow

30 pound plus limit give Strickland a commanding lead.
(Photo: FLW)
Laramy Strickland fished clean on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, which is presented by Bad Boy Mowers. He fished so clean that he weighed in 31 pounds, 6 ounces – the biggest bag of the tournament so far – despite a cold front that shut down the bite for a lot of his competitors.
For the Pro Circuit rookie and Harris Chain regular (he hails from nearby Bushnell, Fla.), the biggest difference between day one and day two was making the most of his opportunities.

“I had 14 pounds [day one], but I had three swimmers,” he explains. “I lost like two or three giants. Today, I caught my giants and I was out of there by 10 o’clock.”
“There” meaning his best spot of the day, which Strickland unequivocally plans to hammer again on Sunday, the final day of the weather-shortened tournament. It’s a spot he doesn’t want to get too specific about, mostly because he knows how good it can produce for a second day and he doesn’t want the 30-angler final-day field to know too much about it.
“I’ve had it to myself, and I hope to keep it to myself,” he says. “I’m just going to go fishing and do what I do to know how to catch them, and I’m going to either hero or zero tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.”
If Strickland’s spot is as good as it appeared to be on Saturday, the more likely result is going to be “hero.”
The Florida pro stuck with one primary bait on day two – an undisclosed flipping bait. He did cast around a Zoom Ultra Vibe Speed Worm a bit, as one often does bass fishing in the Sunshine State, but for the most part, it was one bait and one technique in one area of the chain that did all the damage – and all before lunchtime.
Strickland’s most encouraging sign is that he laid off his fish so early in the day, accompanied by the fact that the cold, blustery weather helped his pattern. It’ll be warmer on the final day, but not necessarily warm by Florida standards, and the wind should still be blowing.
“I laid off my fish,” he says. “There is so much I haven’t fished in there, so we’re just going to go fishing tomorrow and see if I can catch a ‘dirty 30’ again.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Harris Chain of Lakes Day 2 Postponed due to Weather

“Due to the weather advisory conditions we made the decision to postpone day two and fish the full field on Saturday,” says FLW Senior Director of Tournament Operations Daniel Fennel.

2020 FLW Tour Harris Chain of Lakes Day 1: Rusty Salewske Nails 26-10lbs for Lead!

Canadians Luzak 10th; Sim 24th
By Justin Onslow

Salewske slams big sack as few top 20 pounds.
(Photo: FLW)
Rusty Salewske is, by his own admission, not a “Florida guy.” The Alpine, Calif., pro, who last fished the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit in 2011 before returning for this season, doesn’t have local knowledge. He’s not someone who will get intimidated by Florida fish in the face of a cold front, either.
Knowing what he knows and doing what he likes to do, Salewske weighed in 26 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event on the Harris Chain, which is presented by Bad Boy Mowers.
“I don’t know enough about Florida to know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” he says. “It’s known for fair-weather fish; they like it sunny and nice. But if they’re there, I think I can make them bite.”
That’s not to say Salewske hasn’t spent his fair share of time in the Sunshine State, bit his previous experiences haven’t been as pleasant as sacking up a 26-plus-pound bag. Far from it.
“In general, I struggle in Florida,” he admits. “I usually win practice, then the weather changes – like it is supposed to tomorrow – and then I catch like 10 pounds. I caught them once at Okeechobee in my three visits there and got a good check. In that one, practice was terrible. I was catching 12-inchers the whole time, and then during the tournament they came to me.”
Salewske’s practice this week was no exception. On day one of practice, the 54-year-old pro caught about 15 fish, including a 6-pounder, a couple 4-pounders and a “bunch of little ones.” From then on, he was shaking off everything that bit.
In previous events in Florida, that would maybe spell disaster for Salewske come tournament time. Not so this time around.
“After I caught them today, it just happened,” he says. “It’ll never happen like that again. Twenty-six pounds is hard to do. But, after that, I went practicing, and I had a secondary pattern that was working today, so, I’m excited. If my area is no good in the morning – I’ve got another four spots that I think might be good – but if all that is no good in the morning, I found another pattern for tomorrow, and I’m excited about that.”
Salewske’s special spot was just what some anglers might think is a run-of-the-mill offshore spot, but it’s been stacked with fish, potentially staging to move up to spawn – or maybe just a lucky school. Salewske’s not willing to bet on either.
“I caught seven fish there by about 8:30,” he adds. “I culled a 3-pounder with a 4-pounder, and I told my Marshal I’m done. It was stupid to keep catching them, so I’m hoping – I don’t know this place well enough – I don’t know if there are more there or if a school just swam up or if they’re staging. I don’t know, but I’ll find out tomorrow.”

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Jacob Wheeler Wins $100 000 for 2020 MLF Lake Eufaula Season Opener

Adapting to changing water level key for top anglers.  
By Luigi De Rose 

Jacob Wheeler, once again proved he’s a winner. Totalling 24 scorable bass for an impressive 68 pounds, Wheeler outdistanced himself by 28 pounds over his nearest competitor Bryan Thrift. Jacob took home $100 000 for first place and command of the MLF points. Thrift, new to the 2020 MLF format, didn't hold back and landing 13 bass for 40-11 pounds. He pocketed $42 000 at his MLF debut. 

Place     Angler   Total Weight/Fish           Largest Fish
1st         Jacob Wheeler  68 - 00  24          4 - 10
2nd       Bryan Thrift       40 - 11  13          5 - 11
3rd        Ott DeFoe          34 - 09  10          6 - 15
4th        Alton Jones Jr.   26 - 12  9            4 - 08
5th        Dustin Connell  24 - 00  6            5 - 11
6th        Brent Chapman 20 - 10  8            3 - 12
7th        Takahiro Omori 16 - 04  5            4 - 08
8th        Brett Hite           9 - 13    3            3 - 11
9th        Jordan Lee          5 - 10    2            3 - 08
10th      Adrian Avena     4 - 03    2            2 - 03

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Paul Mueller Wins 2020 BASS Elite St. Johns River!

Final day 6 pounder seals deal
By David A. Brown

Final day adjustments after key area fizzle proved correct.
This is Mueller's second Elite win.
(Photo: BASS)
Paul Mueller’s crucial decision delivered a key fish on Championship Monday that propelled the Connecticut angler to a three-day total of 47 pounds, 6 ounces and what he described as a most unlikely victory at the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at Florida’s St. Johns River.
After grinding most of the day in Trout Creek, about 25 miles downriver from Palatka, Mueller called an audible and relocated to nearby 6-Mile Creek where he had found a key stretch of pads with 25 feet of water.  
Punching this thick vegetation with a craw bait rigged on a 4/0 Strike King Hack Attack hook with a 1-ounce weight yielded a 6-11 bass — the day’s largest — that dramatically changed his outcome. 
“That was the horse that brought me here, no doubt about it,” said Mueller, who earned $101,000 for his second career Elite Series victory. “A big bite is the best thing you can have on the final day. I knew I was leading, but I got off to such a bad start, throughout the entire day, I didn’t think I had enough.
“All day long, I never felt like I had a shot. It wasn’t easy today, but when it’s God’s will, everything works out.”
Mueller kept himself in contention throughout the event by remaining consistent. He placed second on Day 1 with 20-8 and took over the lead a day later by adding 16-2.
During Monday’s final round, Mueller fell short of a limit by one fish, but four bass that weighed 10-12 were enough to deliver the win by a 3-2 margin.

Monday, February 10, 2020

2020 BASS Elite St. Johns River Day 2: Mueller Leads with 36-10lbs into Final Day.

Top 20 fish tomorrow
By David A. Brown

Having a large area to himself might be key to Paul's push
for the win.
(Photo: BASS)
Two days of persistence and adaptation have landed Paul Mueller in the lead at the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River heading into Championship Monday. 
Mueller, the veteran Elite Series pro from Naugatuck, Conn., caught a five-bass limit that weighed 16 pounds, 2 ounces during Sunday’s second round. Added to his first-round catch of 20-8, it gave him a two-day total of 36-10.
He leads second-place angler Kelley Jaye of Dadeville, Ala., (35-10) by 1 pound.
Mueller, who earned his first Elite victory last year at Georgia’s Lake Lanier went in the opposite direction of most his competitors. While most anglers fished south of the Palatka City Dock and Boat Ramp, Mueller committed his day to the same creek he fished Saturday, well north of the takeoff site. 
The day began slowly, but Mueller said he believed in his area enough to keep casting the Strike King Hack Attack swim jig trailed with a Zoom Speed Craw that produced his Day 1 bag. He steadily picked up keepers before finding a day-making 6-4 largemouth.
“What a key bite; that fish anchored my weight,” he said. “I made an adjustment at the end of the day and that was it. I caught the majority of my fish earlier on the swim jig, but I just couldn’t get a big bite, so I started punching a 3-inch junebug-color craw with a 1-ounce tungsten weight.
“I felt like the fish moved under the mats. There wasn’t as much water in the place I was fishing as there was on Day 1, but I felt like if I could find a mat with enough water on it, there would be a big fish there.” 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

2020 BASS Elite St. Johns River Day 1: Kelley Jaye Grabs 21-07lbs for Lead.

Canadian clan way down on leader board

Jaye bag saved with a 9-02 whale.
(Photo: BASS)
Kelley Jaye knows the potential perils of fishing history, but doing so proved to be a wise decision Saturday as he took the Day 1 lead in the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.
The Dadeville, Ala., pro, who is beginning his eighth-year on the Bassmaster Elite Series, brought in a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 7 ounces.
Last year, Jaye fished the St. Johns’ offshore structure and earned an 11th-place finish. Today, he figured the cold front that brought big winds and postponed the tournament’s scheduled start by two days likely stalled much of the spawning movement that seemed be happening prior to the weather.
That hunch sent him offshore again. 
“I’m catching them in the same place as last year, doing the same thing,” said Jaye, who has eight career Top 10 finishes with B.A.S.S. “I think the days off helped because I have a lot of boats around me. Hopefully, all those boats will stay on the bank tomorrow and leave me alone.”
Jaye went directly to his spot from takeoff Saturday, as he knew the post-frontal day would bring the usual “bluebird” conditions — high pressure and lots of sunlight. The first few hours of his day proved most productive, with the fish cooperating better before the sun got high overhead.
“It happened kind of fast, I had all my fish before 10 a.m.,” Jaye said. “The bite slowed down, but they live here where I’m fishing. It’s a grind, just like last year. I’m only getting eight or nine bites a day, but they were good fish. 
“Tomorrow, I’m just going to grind it out again and hope I get the right five bites.”
Jaye said he targeted 4 to 6 feet of water and caught his fish on a jerkbait. He kept the details guarded, but noted that he alternated between two colors specifically matched to various water colors he encountered.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Shimano Canada Presents the ALL-Stars with Aaron Martens, Jeff Gustafson and Derek Strub!

Date: March 25th, 2020
Location: Landmark Cinemas, Whitby, Ontario
Time: 6:30pm to 9:30pm
Tickets are $12
Proceeds to support the Ontario BASS Nation, Canadian Bass Anglers Federation and Keep Canada Fishing.