(Aug 11, 2016 - BREWERTON, N.Y.)
The Costa FLW Series is headed to Oneida Lake Aug. 18 to 20 for a tournament presented by Ranger Boats when as many as 400 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the third and final stop of 2016 in the Northern Division.
“It’s been really hot up here, so the bass are going to be right in the middle of their summer patterns,” said Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, who finished third in the 2015 Northern Division Angler of the Year race. “The average size of smallmouth bass has been growing over the past couple of years. Someone may be able to win it with just smallmouth, but I think a couple of heavy largemouth will make improve your chances.
“Both species will be found in deeper grass,” Johnston continued. “There’s a lot of milfoil on Oneida and if you can find the right clump, flipping for largemouth will produce. If they’re closer to the surface throwing a frog could be a factor as well.
“Smallmouth will likely be schooling,” said Johnston. “Topwater baits, jerkbaits and umbrella rigs should catch those. I also see drop-shot rigs and Carolina-rigged soft-plastics around grasslines and rocky transition areas doing well.”
Johnston went on to say that a three-day cumulative catch totaling 54 pounds should be enough to win the event.
“The fishing is going to be great,” said Johnston. “I expect to see some 18-pound mixed bags coming in each day.”
Anglers will take off from Oneida Shores County Park located at 9400 Bartell Road in Brewerton at 6:30 a.m. EDT each day. Weigh-in on Thursday and Friday will be held at the park beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart located at 3018 E. Ave. in Central Square, New York, beginning at 3:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Pros will fish for a top award of $40,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger Z175 with a 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The Costa FLW Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western. Each division consists of three tournaments with competitors vying for valuable points that could earn them the opportunity to fish in the Costa FLW Series Championship. The 2016 Costa FLW Series Championship is being held Nov. 3-5 on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri.
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 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico 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.