Farlow Leads Day 1 on FLW Lake Erie Bass Tourney

Jared Rhode did well catching giant Lake Erie smallmouth bass near Buffalo, NY.

FLW Costa Series/Northern Division: Lake Erie – Buffalo, NY

  • WHEN: Early Bite was Best
  • WHAT: Rigs – TOP 5 PATTERNS…Drop Shots and Tubes were effective
  • WHERE: Sand/gravel and rock/gravel bottom areas held fish
  • Fishery: 4lbs-4oz separates top 44 places!
  • Big Bass of Day: 6lbs-6oz
JT Kennedy – FLW Photo

by Colin Moore/Courtesy of FLW

EDITOR NOTE: Day 2 and Day 3 of this contest were cancelled. The leaders shown here on Day 1 are the contest winners and placements for day 1 are the final placements. Congrats to all the competitors. Lake Erie can offer windy days that are dangerous to bass boats and FLW chose to be safe to protect the anglers and their gear from any possible tragedy. Hats off to Ron Lappin and FLW Tournament Management.  Dave Barus, Editor

July 26, 2018- Buffalo, NY: Lake Erie’s exceptional fishing was on full display in the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division tournament presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. Forty-four limits weighing at least 20 pounds each were caught. Even co-anglers got in on the smallmouth bonanza, as nine of them brought back limits that totaled 20 pounds or better.

Though Neil Farlow of St. Catherines, Ontario, leads the 169 pros fishing the event with 24-4, there’s not much daylight between him and the rest of the top 50. Farlow is one ounce ahead of Ben Wright of Peru, N.Y., and a difference of 4 pounds, 4 ounces separates the Canadian from Bill Chapman of Salt Rock, W.Va., who’s in 44th place with 20 pounds.

Farlow didn’t provide many details about his day, except to say that he fished spots in Canada and the U.S. and culled a couple of times.

“I used drop-shot rigs and tubes, and tubes seemed to work better when the wind got up in the afternoon,” says Farlow, whose 6-6 smallmouth was the big fish of the day. “I’m running a Ranger 522D deep-V, so the wind wasn’t that big a problem for me. Tomorrow [Friday] I’m going to do what the wind lets me do. Either I’m going to run my spots or stay longer on some and really fish them out.”

Farlow says mixed bottoms of rock and gravel, or gravel and sand, produced best for him. Perhaps even more critical is the timing of the bite. Many of the anglers with the 20-pound-plus sacks were in the first few flights and reported that the smallmouths started eating as soon as the anglers reached their first destinations. As the day progressed, however, the bite got slower.

Though the wind was manageable Thursday morning, it built during the day, and by late afternoon 6-foot waves could be seen crashing over the seawall that shelters the harbor from the wind’s main force.

Stronger winds ranging to about 15 mph and gusting to more than 26 mph caused Friday fishing competition to cancel.

Tournament director Ron Lappin said, “Current plans call for the tournament to continue Saturday morning with all of the 169 boatloads of pros and co-anglers fishing. That presumes the weather forecast will be better and the heavy waters topping 5 feet on Friday morning will subside. As it now stands, Saturday’s round will determine the final standings.”

With the change in schedule, Saturday, July 28th will be the final fishing day with weigh-in’s starting at about 1:00 p.m. at Buffalo Harbor State Park and Safe Harbor Marina, not Cabela’s. Check this link for other possible updates: https://www.flwfishing.com/tournaments/costa.

Day 1: Top 10 pros

  1. Neil Farlow – St. Catherines, Ontario – 24-4 (5)
  2. Ben Wright – Peru, N.Y. – 24-3 (5)
  3. Charles Sim – Nepean, Ontario – 23-3 (5)
  4. JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fla. – 23-2 (5)
  5. J Todd Tucker – Moultrie, Ga.  – 22-15 (5)
  6. Austin Felix – Eden Prairie, Minn. – 22-12 (5)
  7. Moo Bae – West Friendship, Md. – 22-8 (5)
  8. Travis Manson – Conshohocken, Pa. – 22-6 (5)
  9. Philip Jarabeck – Spout Spring, Va. – 22-5 (5)
  10. Jason Kervin – Auburn, Maine – 22-3 (5)
  11. TJ Lacey – Selwyn, Ontario – 22-3 (5)

Full Results

Top 5 FLW Angler Patterns from Lake Erie – Day 1

Buffalo Harbor State Park, Safe Harbor Marina – Buffalo, N.Y.

Neil Farlow – FLW Photo

Neil Farlow ­– St. Catherines, ON. – 24-4

Even under the best of circumstances Neil Farlow isn’t much of a talker, but he let his fishing do the talking for him on day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division derby presented by Polaris and hosted by Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission on Lake Erie out of Buffalo, N.Y.

Farlow, of St. Catherines, Ontario, was tight-lipped about his spots and his lure choices in the opening round, but probably he’s not doing a lot differently from the rest of the field. Drop-shot rigs and tube jigs, in that order, seemed to be the approach du jour among pros and co-anglers alike. Farlow also indicated that bottom composition changes were key and attracted more smallmouths.

Friday’s semi-final round is expected to produce more exceptional stringers, and perhaps changes in the top 10, where only a pound and an ounce separate 10th place from first place. Meanwhile, here’s a look at some of the anglers trying to tip Farlow out of the top spot.

Ben Wright – FLW Photo

Ben Wright ­– Peru, N.Y. – 24-3

The New York angler brought in one of the biggest smallmouths of the day, a 5-pound, 7-ounce fish. He caught it and others dragging a drop-shot rig around the Waverly Shoal area. Wright culled five times and says the fish he was on didn’t show any particular preference to the bait color he was using.

“I was fishing a shoal with a lot of rock and where the bottom changed from gravel to chunk rock,” he says. “There was also a breakline in 31 to 39 feet down. The fish bit pretty good early in the day, but it really slowed down around midday.”

Wright was fishing with a Lew’s reel with Seaguar Finesse Fluorocarbon.

Charles Simms -FLW Photo

Charles Sim – Nepean, Ontario – 23-3

Sim hedged his deep-water bets by trying to get a shallow jerkbait bite going along the Canadian shoreline. It didn’t work, so he did what just about everybody else was doing: He fished a 30-foot-plus breakline that featured a rock-to-sand transition.

“I wound up with a drop-shot rig in my hand. I culled about five fish during the day,” he sats.

JT Kennedy – FLW Photo

JT Kenney – Palm Bay, Fla. – 23-2

A lot of people have mistaken Kenney as a shallow-water specialist more accustomed to flipping and pitching jigs and rigs into shallow cover. Kenney fished like a local on day one and was culling fish by midmorning. His best spot was a rocky bottom in 30 to 33 feet of water.

“I could see all kinds of bait at the bottom, and when the drop-shot got around the bass they ate it,” says Kenney. “The slower I fished it, the better they liked it. I thought they would bite better later in the day when the sun came out and the wind got up, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference.”

Kenney credited his 7-foot, 3-inch Halo spinning rod fished with 10-pound-test Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon line with helping him feel faint bites better.

J. Todd Tucker – FLW Photo

J. Todd Tucker – Moultrie, Ga. – 22-15

“I caught about two dozen keepers today – all of them on a drop-shot rig,” says the Georgia pro.

Tucker went against type as one of the few U.S. anglers to travel into Canadian waters to catch his limit. He ran about eight miles from the takeoff point at Safe Harbor Marina to fish a rock bottom in about 35 feet of water. Isolated rocks were critical to his approach.

Tags: colin-moore  headline-story  2018-07-26-lake-erie-buffalo

FLW Kicks Off 2018 Pro-Competition on Lake Okeechobee – Clewiston, Florida

  • Fallen Angler, Nik Kayler, to be Honored by FLW Family
  • Competition Launch set for Jan. 23-28, 2018 at the Big-O, in Clewiston, Florida
  • Scott Martin says, “Lake Okechobee is “Fishing Different” in the Past Few Years.”
Scott Martin is among top FLW competitors at Lake Okeechobee.

January 17, 2018; FLW Communications; CLEWISTON, Fla. – When Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) co-angler Nik Kayler lost his life in an unexpected tragedy in an event in early January, it saddened the entire bass-fishing industry.  Now, FLW is tasked with moving forward through the grief and getting back to competition on the water next week in their return to Lake Okeechobee.

“We’ve had thorough and thoughtful internal discussions as a company and the decision was made that we need to get back on the water,” said FLW President of Operations Kathy Fennel. “We are still grieving as an organization, but fishing tournaments are what we do. It is what Nik loved, too. Getting back on the water, at Lake Okeechobee, is a way to help with the grieving process. Nik and his family will be on the minds of every single angler and staff member throughout the tournament.

“We will honor and remember Nik and his family throughout the weekend, as well as encourage our staff, anglers and fans to donate to the GoFundMe campaign that has been organized for Nik’s family. We will honor Nik by continuing to pursue the sport that we all love.”

The FLW Tour, the most competitive Tour in professional bass-fishing, will launch its 23rd season next week, Jan. 25-28, with the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude. Hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council, the tournament will feature 374 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.

The FLW Tour has visited Lake Okeechobee 20 times previously, with 2018 marking the 21st visit in FLW’s 23-year history. The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro Division.

“Lake Okeechobee is fishing quite a bit differently than the last six or seven times that the FLW Tour has been here,” said local FLW Tour pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, a 17-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier with more than $2.7 million in career earnings in FLW competition. “The water levels are much higher this year, and we lost a good amount of our vegetation in some of the more traditional places due to the hurricane last fall. The wind and water clarity are going to play a big role in this tournament and a lot of guys that have been coming here for years are going to have to approach this tournament quite a bit different than they normally would.

“The good news is that the fish didn’t leave, and they still have to eat,” Martin continued. “Some of the traditional areas will still be good, but there will definitely be a few new wildcard areas. Somebody is going to figure out a way to catch them in the stained water.”

Martin said that due to stained water and lost vegetation, he expects moving baits to play a larger role than normal this time around.

“I think moving baits like Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits will be pretty good,” he said. “Flipping will also play a big factor this year. We’re fishing a little earlier than we normally do, and January is still prime flipping season. With some stable weather being forecast, I could also see another wave of bass moving up to spawn and sight-fishing playing a role as well. It’s going to be an interesting tournament.

“The weights may be down just a little bit, but it’s still Lake Okeechobee and the potential is always there for a mega-bag, especially if you can find a wildcard area to yourself,” Martin went on to say. “I think the winner will likely have a four-day total around 74 to 76 pounds, but if a guy can find the mega-juice flipping or out in open water, the potential is always there to challenge 100 pounds.”

Anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. EST each day from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort, located at 920 E. Del Monte, Ave., in Clewiston. Thursday and Friday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 25-26, will be held at the resort beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, Jan. 27-28, will also be held at the resort, but will begin at 4 p.m.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Evinrude will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) March 28 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 27-28, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the marina on Saturday, Jan. 27 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

As part of the FLW Tour’s community outreach initiative, FLW Tour anglers will visit patients, guests and staff at the Hendry Regional Medical Center, located at 524 W. Sagamore Ave., in Clewiston on Wednesday, Jan. 24 from 8:30-10 a.m. to interact with guests, snap photos and sign autographs for patients, give away some goodie bags and share fishing stories.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 374 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

About FLW: FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, and South Africa. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

 

FLW ANNOUNCES 2018 COSTA FLW SERIES SCHEDULE

  • Lake Erie – Buffalo, NY – Trophy Smallmouth Bass Fishery, is NEW ADDITION to FLW Northern Series
  • Lake Guntersville will host 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship November

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 22, 2017) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing

2018 Costa FLW Series Schedule is Official 

organization, announced today the 2018 Costa FLW Series schedule, which will consist of three events in each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the no-entry-fee Costa FLW Series Championship to be held on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.

The top 40 pros and co-anglers in the final point standings in each division after three qualifying tournaments will advance to the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship, provided they fished all three qualifiers in a division.

The highest finishing pro from each of the five Costa FLW Series divisions based on final results at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, along with the highest finishing pro from the championship’s international division. A total of six Costa FLW Series pros will advance to the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing.

Complete rules and entry dates will be announced soon.

2018 Costa FLW Series Season Schedule:

Central Division            Fishery                       City                                         Local Host

  • April 19-21         Table Rock Lake           Branson, Mo.                 ExploreBranson.com
  • June 7-9            Lake Barkley                 Cadiz, Ky.                      Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism      
  • Oct. 11-13         Lake of the Ozarks        Osage Beach, Mo.         Tri-County Lodging Association      

Northern Division

  • June 21-23       Lake Champlain             Plattsburgh, N.Y.           City of Plattsburgh
  • July 26-28         Lake Erie                       Buffalo, N.Y.                  Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
  • Sept. 6-8           1000 Islands                  Clayton, N.Y.                 Clayton Chamber of Commerce    

Southeastern Division

  • Jan. 4-6            Lake Okeechobee          Okeechobee, Fla.         Okeechobee County Tourism
  • March 1-3         Lake Seminole               Bainbridge, Ga.             Bainbridge CVB
  • April 5-7            Santee Cooper              Summerton, S.C.           Clarendon County CC

Southwestern Division

  • Feb. 15-17        Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jasper, Texas               Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn CC
  • March 22-24     Grand Lake                    Grove, Okla.                   City of Grove       
  • Oct. 4-6            Fort Gibson Lake            Wagoner, Okla.              Wagoner Area CC        

Western Division

  • Feb. 8-10           Lake Havasu                 Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Lake Havasu City CVB               
  • May 10-12         Clear Lake                     Lakeport, Calif.              Konocti Vista Casino Resort/Marina
  • Sept. 27-29       California Delta              Bethel Island, Calif.        Russo’s Marina   

Costa FLW Series Championship

  • Nov. 1-3            Lake Guntersville           Guntersville, Ala.           Marshall County CVB

The full schedule and details for each fishery can be found at FLWFishing.com.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING TOURNAMENT AT CHAUTAUQUA LAKE

  • ADRIAN COLLEGE WINS YETI-FLW NORTHERN CONFERENCE
  • Jarret Martin & Zachary Graham Haul in 20 Bass, Weigh 5 biggest: 16lbs-3oz
  • Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Adrian College anglers, Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  FLW Photo

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (July 24, 2017) – The Adrian College duo of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the two-angler team weighed in their five-bass limit at 16 pounds, 3 ounces.   The victory earned the Adrian College Bass Club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete in the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“We were fishing on the north end of the lake,” said Graham, a sophomore, double majoring in environmental studies and geology. “We found a stretch of bank with no docks with a long, rocky flat.  About 40 yards off of the bank, the rock would meet the grass, and we just worked the grass-line all day long.”

“It was really one of the only green grassy areas that we were able to find,” said Martin, a senior majoring in business administration.  “The lake has been sprayed recently, and there was quite a bit of brown, dead grass, but the fish were in the green stuff.”

“Jarrett was throwing a Rebel Pop-R surface plug, off of the front all day and I was throwing a Fluke off of the back,” Graham said. “We doubled up at least seven times.”

The duo estimated they caught around 20 keeper bass throughout the day – with around 13 smallmouth and seven largemouth.  Their five-bass limit at the weigh-in consisted of two smallmouth and three largemouth.

“I think the key for us was the cloud cover,” Martin said. “If it would have been sunny, the fish would have been hiding in the shade, but the way the clouds were, the bass were in the mood to eat all day.  They were extremely active.”

“I think the Pop-R was the key,” Graham added. “We have a lot of confidence in that bait and it produced the two biggest fish of the day for us.”

The Rebel Pop-R has been the judging standard for topwater poppers/chuggers. Visit http://www.rebellures.com/rebel-pop-r-8054 to review all color options. Rebel Lures Photo

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:

  •   1st: Adrian College – Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, five bass, 16-3, $2,400
  •   2nd: Lake Superior State University – Jake Dorony, South Lyon, Mich., and Hunter Scharphorn, Grand Haven, Mich., five bass, 15-6, $1,000
  •   3rd : Adrian College – Nicholas Czajka, Brighton, Mich., and Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., five bass, 15-3, $700
  •   4th : Youngstown State University – Jonathan Creed, Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots, McDonald, Ohio, five bass, 14-13, $500
  •   5th : James Madison University – Blake Miles, Chesterfield, Va., and Jack Goodwyn, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 14-12, $500
  •   6th: Michigan State University – Tyler Andrews, Charlotte, Mich., and Danny Sprague, Hastings, Mich., five bass, 14-8
  •   7th: Pennsylvania State University – Derek Horner, Port Matilda, Pa., and Maurice Hudson, Broomall, Pa., five bass, 14-4
  •   8th: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – Joe Tini, Archibald, Pa., and Corey Bechtel, Allentown, Pa., five bass, 14-1
  •   9th: Pennsylvania State University – Chris Trianosky, Phoenixville, Pa., and Lou Mocniak, Washington, Pa., five bass, 13-14
  •   10th: West Virginia University – Michael Shughart, Shippensburg, Pa., and Branden Newcome, Ellamore, W.Va., five bass, 13-4

Complete results can be found atFLWFishing.com<https://www.flwfishing.com/results/2017-07-22-chautauqua-lake> .

This YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake was the second regular-season qualifying tournament for Northern Conference anglers in 2017.  The next YETI FLW College Fishing event will be the Northern Conference regular-season finale, scheduled for Sep. 9 on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter.  All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/flwfishing

Visit FLW Fishing at http://www.collegefishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.

For more information visit FLWFishing on-line at: http://www.flwfishing.com/ and also follow FLW here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FLWFishing

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