Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich. finished fifth in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn, Tex. last week.
Nelson caught 20 bass that weighed 57-5 and won $19,000, bringing his career FLW winnings in 55 FLW related events to $403,665. This is second season at the high level Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit.
The reigning Polaris Rookie of the Year found an offshore ledge just south of Cassels-Boykin where he caught fish every cast for hours. As fun as it was, the spot ended up being both a blessing and a curse.
“Once you catch 12 pounds, you need a big bite,” says Nelson, who actually had a different spot he’d start at each morning to catch a quick limit on a shad-colored Keitech Swing Impact FAT on a 1/4-ounce head. “Guys here say you can catch 2-pounders all day and then catch a 7 or an 11 off the same school. So, I’m like, I’ll just keep on having fun and hoping that happens.”
Unfortunately, all Nelson got for his efforts was sore hands from all the 2-pounders he caught. Though, it wasn’t from lack of trying for kickers, as he cycled through numerous presentations in hopes of coaxing a bigger bite.
“You’d throw that Carolina rig out and they’d bite right away,” explains Nelson, who put a Zoom Brush Hog or Zoom Double Ringer on his rig. Every time I caught one, the graph would just light up. There’d be 15 following that fish up. I’d throw a spoon down. They’d all leave. I’d try a big swimbait, but they wouldn’t eat that. I’d toss a jig, and they’d barely touch it. But if I threw that rig, it’d be ‘there’s another one; there’s another one.’”
When he got tired of catching cookie cutters, he did have a big-bite pattern that he went to each day, which was punching “topped out, floating hyacinth mixed with other floating grass” in the back of pockets with a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver (hematoma). That produced his biggest bites on day one, and he lost a giant on day three doing that.
Ranger Cup, a tournament contingency program for competitive anglers, will be even stronger in 2020 thanks in part to a new program just announced for BFL anglers.
Beginning with the first event on Sam Rayburn on January 4, anglers running Ranger boats will have more opportunity than ever to take home bonus money from the legendary boat builder.
For all 2020 regular season events, any angler that wins a BFL tournament and meets Ranger Cup criteria will be awarded a $5,000 bonus, representing a significant increase over past years. The enhanced program doesn't stop there. Ranger is adding a highest finisher guarantee for 2020 events as well. In the case a Ranger angler doesn't win the event, a $1,000 bonus will be paid to the highest finishing angler meeting Ranger Cup criteria.
"To date, more than $19 million has been paid out in bonus money to Ranger owners who have participated in Ranger Cup," said Ranger Sr. Marketing Promotions Manager Scott Arms. "That's more than the awards of all other competitive programs combined, and we are thrilled to make an even stronger commitment to our family of anglers in 2020."
"We've also got even more exciting news on the horizon," Arms added "Ranger anglers definitely don't want to miss signing up for this year's program."
Specific details and sign up information are available at Rangercup.com, which is now accepting 2020 entries. With so much opportunity at numerous competitive levels, Ranger boat owners are encouraged to sign up now to make the most of every event.
In addition to all regular season BFL events, Ranger Cup payout will continue to be available for the BFL All American. 2020 will offer strong bonuses for both pro-and co-anglers at the prestigious event with a $20,000 top prize available for those fishing on the pro division, as well as further incentives for 2nd-5th place, and a $5,000 top prize available on the co-angler division with additional payout available for 2nd-5th place co-anglers as well. Full details and 2020 registration links are available on Rangercup.com.
Phoenix Boats announced the creation the new FLW PHOENIX BONUS for the 2020 FLW Tournament season.
The FLW PHOENIX BONUS program is designed to reward Phoenix Boat owners for their performance in Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL), FLW Pro Circuit and FLW Series events. This extends the recently announced partnership where Phoenix Boats became the exclusive boat sponsor of FLW to bring more opportunities to the anglers. The payouts in this exciting new program are substantial making it one of the best contingency programs in tournament bass fishing.
The FLW PHOENIX BONUS costs $19.95 to register and anglers will receive a Phoenix decal and membership card. The FLW PHOENIX BONUS is an independent program and separate from Phoenix First Flight, and while some guidelines will crossover between the two programs, they are not one and the same. In addition to higher payouts for Phoenix Bass Fishing League and FLW Series tournaments, the FLW PHOENIX BONUS program will also be paying the highest qualified finishing Phoenix Boat owner if the winner of the tournament is not a qualified Phoenix Boat owner.
Sign-up, rules, guidelines, and payouts can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.