Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Lake Hamilton Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 FLW Cup
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Scott Martin Photo by Richard Hooter. Angler: Scott Martin.
August 10, 2019 • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit


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Day 1 leader story

Day 1 coverage blog


2:00 p.m. – Closing down

Well folks, it’s time to close down the blog for the day. The FLW Cup field definitely saw both sides of Lake Hamilton today. It was nearly impossible to catch solid fish all morning, but the afternoon produced a lot of  bigguns and unreal catches. The pros should continue to catch good fish all the way until they need to get off the water. Keep checking out the FLW Live Leaderboard for fish catches until 3 p.m. CT. Then come back to to see who makes the top 10 and is going fishing on Championship Sunday at the FLW Cup.


Scott Martin

Scott Martin

1:30 p.m. – Scott gets a big

Scott Martin got in on the action by bagging a 3 3/4-pounder. That fish has Scott in 3rd place, unofficially. Alike Ebare, he only has four fish in the livewell.


1:25 p.m. – More fish

Dakota Ebare just bumped himself into the top 5 after snatching a 4-pounder from the river. His limit is worth over 10 pounds and he still has one spot open in the livewell. Once he gets No. 5 he could be right on the heels of tournament leader Kyle Walters.

Bryan Thrift finally got his limit in the boat. It’s not super impressive, but we think he’s just waiting for FLW Live to end before he starts stroking them.


12:55 p.m. – The bite is lit

It seems like all of the fish in Lake Hamilton are getting fired up right now. Shortly after his extraordinary double-fish catch, Kyle Walters filled out his limit with a 2-pounder. Miles Burghoff boxed a 3 1/2-pounder to cull himself up to about 12 pounds on the day. Preston Craig, Jared McMillan, Zack Birge and Buddy Gross have all boxed keeper fish in the last few minutes too. Keep up with the FLW Live Leaderboard for the latest fish-catch updates because things are happening fast right now.







DAY 1 – 2





13 – 13 (5)

11 – 4 (5)

25 – 1 (10)




13 – 11 (5)

7 – 0 (5)

20 – 11 (10)

4 – 6



11 – 3 (5)

8 – 8 (5)

19 – 11 (10)

5 – 6



15 – 3 (5)

4 – 4 (3)

19 – 7 (8)

5 – 10



13 – 5 (5)

6 – 0 (4)

19 – 5 (9)

5 – 12



7 – 1 (5)

12 – 4 (5)

19 – 5 (10)

5 – 12



12 – 1 (5)

6 – 0 (5)

18 – 1 (10)

7 – 0



10 – 9 (5)

7 – 8 (5)

18 – 1 (10)

7 – 0



11 – 14 (5)

6 – 2 (5)

18 – 0 (10)

7 – 1



15 – 0 (5)

2 – 12 (2)

17 – 12 (7)

7 – 5


Wade Strelic

12:15 p.m. – Walters gets a double

Kyle Walters likely just had the fish catch of the tournament. The Florida pro pulled up to a brush pile, bombed out a plug and was able to catch two kicker fish on a single cast. The duo of fish combined for 7 pounds. After boxing the two, Kyle said, "Needless to say, I'm a little revved up."

Elsewhere, Thrift is running and gunning around Hamilton looking for some keepers. Most recently, he pulled up to his best spot. This is the same area where he culled up late in the day yesterday. Look for Thrift to get things figured out shortly.

Wade Strelic just caught a 3 3/4-pounder off of a brush pile. That fish was able to cull out a 1-pounder and move Wade into the top 10.


Jeremy Lawyer

Jeremy Lawyer

11:45 a.m. – It’s picking up

We’re seeing a slight uptick in fish-catch reports. Jeremy Lawyer got fifth keeper in the boat, which put his bag at roughly 6 pounds. Matt Becker found a few keepers up the river that were willing to bite. John Cox was able to get some keepers in the boat too. The only issue is that a bunch of the fish being caught right now are pretty small. A big bite or two should go a real long way at today’s weigh-in.


Terry Bolton

11:30 a.m. – Bolton

Terry Bolton ended up in 44th place on day one, but currently has the biggest bag of the day so far on day two. His 11-pound limit bumped him all the way up to 8th place, unofficially. Bolton’s marshal reported that the Kentucky pro is working his fish with a topwater bait. There’s still a lot of time for the other pros to get their weight and bump Terry from the top 10, but regardless, Terry has rebounded hard on day two.


Larry Nixon

Larry Nixon

Larry Nixon

11:00 a.m. – Nixon, LeBrun, Thrift

Larry Nixon just made a small cull. He is catching his fish on brush piles near points. The only way he can get them to bite right now is by ripping his bait by the fish and getting a reaction bite.

Shortly after whipping out the jerkbait, Nick LeBrun put his first keeper in the boat, which only went for a pound. A few more of them could at least help Nick get some momentum rolling.

Day one leader Bryan Thrift has been really quiet for the last hour or so. You know when Thrift is having a difficult time catching anything, the fishing is truly tough.


Austin Felix

10:40 a.m. – Making decisions

Since the fishing has been so tough, some anglers are starting to turn to their backup plans. Austin Felix started the day on the bank, but it definitely didn't go well for him. He says he is going to run down the lake to hit some brush that produced well for him yesterday.

After striking out on the brush early in the day, Jordan Osborne moved up on the bank with a spinning rod. Since moving in, the Texas pro found a couple keepers to get his day going. He is only a pound out of the unofficial lead and in prime shape to take over once he limits.

Nick LeBrun, who caught nearly all of his fish on one bait yesterday, is starting to experiment with a different presentation. His go-to bait for bigger bites has been a Whopper Plopper, but nothing is going after it this morning. He says that he might go try to get a few smaller bites with a jerkbait, then throw the Plopper for the rest of the day in hopes of getting quality fish.


Bryan Thrift

Bryan Thrift

10:15 a.m. – Still grinding, Nixon limits

The fish catches have been few and far between in the last half hour. A couple small keepers have been boated, but nothing too noteworthy. J. Todd Tucker actually made a cull, but his limit is still pretty small. Larry Nixon completed his limit, which will go for about 7 1/2 pounds. Larry didn't have most of his weight until late in the day yesterday, so he is in pretty good shape considering the slow morning.

LeBrun got his first fish on a Whopper Plopper up near a dock. It was a baby, but it’s got to be nice to break the ice for the day. Thrift is still grinding his brush pile pattern looking for a few more keepers.


Austin Felix

Kyle Walters

9:40 a.m. – Shallow vs. Deep

Considering guys are struggling up on the bank, it would be a safe assumption that most of the easy fish have been plucked. Also, today’s spectator-boat traffic seems to be hindering the potential of a great bank pattern. A lot of the pockets are only big enough for a few boats to slide in and out without disturbing the fish. Still, we’re seeing plenty of anglers bombing buzzbaits and Whopper Ploppers around up tight looking to find a few.

On the contrary, the guys who are hitting brush piles seem to be catching fish more consistently this morning. So far, the go-to bait has been a worm rigged on a shaky head or drop-shot, but some moving baits have caught fish offshore too. There’s no doubt that the brush pile bite has the potential to get much better during this tournament too. If the sun ever comes out, the bass should pull up tight in the brush and be easier to target.


9:00 a.m. – Nothing yet for LeBrun; Brasher and Reed having good morning

An hour and a half into the day, Nick LeBrun still hasn't landed a fish. He's chucking a Whopper Plopper around docks, which worked yesterday to get some really impressive bites. You can see him in action at the video below. Chris Brasher and Matt Reed lead the charge so far today. They're both up to 7 pounds and change. There's still so much time left to go that it's impossible to tell how the day will shake out, but so far the morning bite has been surprising.


Braxton Setzer

8:05 a.m. – Setzer has a limit 

Braxton Setzer is the first pro to land a limit this morning. It probably doesn't even weigh 7 pounds, but that's a good way to start. It looked like today was going to be a crushfest during the first half-hour or so, but wow has it slowed down. The pros have to work their tails off for every bite. We'll see if the bite gets any better once the sun gets high. That's been a key for getting the brush pile bass to hunker down in the cover where they're easier to catch.


Nick LeBrun

Nick LeBrun

Nick LeBrun

7:40 a.m. – Slow start for the leaders

Bryan Thrift and Nick LeBrun are still fishless this morning. LeBrun is chucking his topwater around docks with a squad of about five spectators following. Thrift is starting shallow as well. Kyle Walters, who started the day in third, has a small keeper, as do fourth- and fifth-place pros Jordan Osborne and Alex Felix. It seems like it should be a baller morning for the shallow topwater bite, but it's just not happening for them yet. 


Jordan Osborne

Jordan Osborne

Jordan Osborne

7:15 a.m. – Osborne has a situation

Jordan Osborne has a schooling spot where he caught a small limit to start the day yesterday. He ran there first thing this morning and found a local boat parked right on the spot. He politely asked if they'd let him fish there, but the other anglers declined, so Osborne is having to work the fringes of the school. He should be OK though. The schoolers are mostly small. Yesterday, Osborne did most of his work out on brush piles. He says the whole point of targeting the schoolers is just to get a small limit to boost his confidence. 


Bryan Thrift

7:05 a.m. – The bite is hot because the weather is not

It was a beautiful takeoff at the Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery ramp this morning. Overcast skies and a light breeze greeted the anglers and their families, and the conditions set up a red-hot morning. About 15 anglers checked in with fish within the first 20 minutes of the day, and a lot of those fish were 2-pounders. It's way too early to say that the overall catch is going to be better today. But based on the morning bite, it looks like this could be a very fun day of fishing.

Another factor to consider is whether or not this weather will keep the recreational boat traffic at bay. This lake is loaded with pleasure boaters, but with rain in the forecast just before lunchtime, there's a chance some folks stay home today. That'll make life a little easier for the pros.

There's a lot at stake today. It's cut day, and only the top 10 get to fish tomorrow for a shot at the championship. With so many pros knotted up in the standings, anyone can make a move and get to Sunday. Follow along here and at the live leaderboard (link at the top) to see who gets it done.



Temperature at takeoff: 77 degrees

Forecast high: 89 degrees

Sky: Overcast

Precipitation: 30 percent chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms starting midday

Wind: ENE at 4 mph but switching around to the south 



Hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Takeoff: 6:30 a.m. CT at Andrew Hulsey Fish Hatchery, 350 Fish Hatchery Road, Hot Springs National Park, Ark.

Weigh-in: 5 p.m. CT at Bank OZK Arena, 134 Convention BLVD, Hot Springs, Ark.

FLW Expo: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Hot Springs Convention Center, 134 Convention BLVD, Hot Springs, Ark.

FLW Live: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.