Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 FLW Cup
Image for Lake Hamilton Day 3 Coverage
Dakota Ebare Photo by Jody White. Angler: Dakota Ebare.
August 11, 2019 • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit


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More about Lake Hamilton

Day 2 leader story

Day 2 coverage blog


1:55 p.m. – That's a wrap

Updated (2:00 p.m.) – Scott Martin bagged a 2 1/2-pounder right after the last post was sent. If his fish get going, weigh-in could get a lot more interesting.

Well folks, today has been much slower than we expected. Thrift's early flurry was the highlight of the day so far and could prove to be the difference maker at weigh-in. That being said, there’s still a ton of 5-pounders in Lake Hamilton that could completely flip the standings in anyone's favor.

Trace Adkins is set to perform at Bank OZK arena here shortly. Right after his performance, we will be weighing in the top 10 pros and handing out a $300,000 check to the winner. Be sure to jump on at 5 p.m. CT to watch it all go down live!


1:45 p.m. – A few fish

Jeremy Lawyer and Josh Douglas both caught fish just moments ago. Lawyer was able to complete his limit with his last fish. Now it’s time to focus on upgrading for the Missouri pro. “You need five before you can cull. Once you start culling, you’re dangerous.”


1:25 p.m. – Fishing is tough

We’re down to the final half hour of FLW Live on-the-water coverage and not a whole lot is going on for the top 10 on Lake Hamilton. Dakota Ebare is around some big bedded fish, but they aren’t super interested in what he has to offer. Scott Martin is right around Ebare, probably targeting some of the same fish. Down the lake the guys are having a hard time catching any sort of quality fish from the brush.


12:45 p.m. – Thrift upgrades

Bryan Thrift managed to pull in a 1 3/4-pounder on a topwater bait to cull up a half pound. That’s the first good fish Thrift has had since his starting spot where he was getting schoolers.









DAY 1 – 3





15 – 3 (5)

12 – 7 (5)

8 – 8 (5)

36 – 2 (15)




13 – 13 (5)

12 – 5 (5)

7 – 8 (5)

33 – 10 (15)

2 – 8



12 – 1 (5)

12 – 5 (5)

5 – 4 (4)

29 – 10 (14)

6 – 8



13 – 5 (5)

9 – 4 (5)

6 – 0 (5)

28 – 9 (15)

7 – 9



9 – 8 (5)

14 – 15 (5)

3 – 8 (1)

27 – 15 (11)

8 – 3



9 – 2 (5)

11 – 15 (5)

5 – 0 (4)

26 – 1 (14)

10 – 1



11 – 9 (5)

11 – 1 (5)

3 – 4 (3)

25 – 14 (13)

10 – 4



9 – 0 (5)

12 – 0 (5)

3 – 8 (3)

24 – 8 (13)

11 – 10



9 – 5 (5)

12 – 9 (5)

1 – 0 (1)

22 – 14 (11)

13 – 4



13 – 11 (5)

8 – 11 (5)


22 – 6 (10)

13 – 12



Bryan Thrift

Bryan Thrift

12:30 p.m. – Leader check

Kyle Walters caught a few little ones off a brush pile to cull out some micros. Right after he got done culling he dumped a nice fish. That one may have put him in the lead.

The leader Bryan Thrift has been quiet for a while now. He’s out cranking brush piles at the moment. The last two afternoons have gone well for Thrift, but he’s got to be feeling the pressure building up with only 8 pounds in the boat.


Kyle Walters

Kyle Walters

Kyle Walters

11:50 a.m. – Little ones are firing

A few pros are getting the little guys to chew out on the brush. Walters and Douglas both added fish to the box, and Felix caught a couple that were too small to keep. It was right after noon when the big ones seemed to get fired up all over the lake yesterday, so we’re hoping for the same here today.


Austin Felix

Austin Felix

11:35 a.m. – Felix has 5

Minnesota pro Austin Felix has been fishing in an area with poor cell service most of the morning. When he came back into good service, a bunch of updates came through saying that he has a small limit in the boat. Right now, he’s moving down the lake, most likely looking for some brush to upgrade on.

Kyle Walters just rolled up to the spot where he caught the double yesterday. We’ll figure out if the brush pile has anymore bigguns on it soon.


Scott Martin

Scott Martin

Scott Martin

11:15 a.m. – Martin on the board; Ebare with a near miss

Scott Martin has really slowed down his approach and is skipping finesse baits under docks, really soaking them slowly. It worked for his first keeper. It'll weigh about 1 1/4 pounds. 

Dakota Ebare, meanwhile, continues to prove that he's around the right quality fish to make a run at this. He had a good one nose up to his fluke but not eat it.

"It was so close to eating my fluke, and it was so big," he said. "Oh, dude, my heart just stopped."


11:05 a.m. – Walters

Kyle Walters finally put fish No. 3 in the boat after a long lull. His limit is up to a little more than 5 pounds. He will need a couple more kickers like he had yesterday if he wants to bump Thrift.

Also, the bite didn't quite turn on for everyone like we thought it would after the last update. 


Dakota Ebare

Dakota Ebare

Dakota Ebare

10:35 a.m. – Here we go

It’s looking like the bite on Lake Hamilton is heating up. Just a minute ago, Jeremy Lawyer put a chunky looking 2-pounder in the boat. The bite came from an offshore brush pile on a drop-shot. Then way up the river Dakota Ebare boxed a 3 1/2-pounder. If today is anything like yesterday we should see more big fish caught shortly.


Joseph Webster

Joseph Webster

Joseph Webster

10:10 a.m. – Webster, Lawyer

Joseph Webster put a quick trio of fish in the boat. His marshal reported that his fish came on a schooling spot. Jeremy Lawyer had a 3-pounder all the way up to the boat only for the fish to spit the hook. His fish bit on a drop-shot. This could be a good sign for the guys targeting the offshore brush.


Dakota Ebare

9:50 a.m. – Current

They’re starting to pull water at the Blakely Mountain Dam. The current, along with the bright skies, should really help out the river guys. Dakota Ebare fist pumped right when he heard the siren go off (signaling that the dam is about to release water). 

Bryan Thrift ditched his schooling area and is now working a back pocket with topwater. It seems like he is trying all sorts of patterns before he settles in on the afternoon brush bite.


Ryan Salzman

Ryan Salzman

9:35 a.m. – LiveSight

Ryan Salzman is hunkered down on top of a brush pile trying to get some fish to bite. On his Lowrance LiveSight he can see a ton of fish chase his bait, but not eat. “They’re all following it! Eat it! There’s like a pod of five down there. I get goosebumps watching them follow my bait.” 

Dakota Ebare is still on his bed fish. He is not going to let this fish win.


Dakota Ebare

9:15 a.m. – Starting to get sunny

We haven't had any reports of keeper fish being caught for some time. The sun should break out and get these fish set up better for catching. This would be the first time the sun actually has a chance to shine for an extended period of time on Lake Hamilton during the Cup.

Dakota Ebare has been homed in on a specific spot for a while now. He might have one on bed that he’s trying to get to bite. Right now, he's on his knees trying to be ultra sneaky so the fish doesn't spook.


Scott Martin

8:40 a.m. – It's slow for the river guys

Not a whole lot has been going for the guys fishing up in the river this morning. Scott Martin and Dakota Ebare are running a lot of the same water, but neither has anything in the box. Apparently there are a ton of big fish swimming around up there so it shouldn’t be too long before a few get caught.

Thrift's topwater schoolers have slowed down, but he was able to catch one on a crankbait. Kyle Walters has thrown a worm, drop-shot, crankbait and even a topwater at a schooler this morning.


Kyle Walters

Kyle Walters

Kyle Walters

8:20 a.m. – Schoolers

Most of Thrift’s limit has come off of schooling fish in the same area that Bryan Schmitt was able to pluck off some busting fish earlier in the tournament. Thrift actually made a small cull not long ago. Bryan’s marshal reported that Thrift weighed his fish and the limit came to about 7 1/2 pounds.

Kyle Walters put another fish in the boat out on the brush. He is definitely going all-in on the offshore game.


8:00 a.m. – Thrift limits

Bryan Thrift just had a quick flurry and put a limit in the boat. He was actually able to catch No. 6 and make a cull too. All of his fish are fairly small, but he has caught more total fish than the rest of the top 10 combined.


7:30 a.m. – Thrift gets a keeper … make it three

UPDATED: Bryan Thrift has boated three keepers on a walking topwater. He's got about 3 1/2 pounds so far. Thrift has also caught at least one short fish. It looks like he's at least got fish biting this morning. Josh Douglas has a 1 1/4 in the boat, too. 

Other than that, Jeremy Lawyer had a short fish eat a drop-shot in front of a dock. Dakota Ebare hasn't caught a bass, but he's caught a pickerel. It swamped his buzzbait.


7:15 a.m. – Topwater gets tapped this morning

Jeremy Lawyer is going to work with a Whopper Plopper around docks and seawalls. Yesterday, he predicted that if he's going to win, he'll need to get two or three good bites on topwater in the first half of the day to do along with his brush fish. No keepers so far. 

Dakota Ebare is at work up in the tailrace. He's had two bites so far but hasn't hooked up. Mostly, he's waiting for the current to start flowing in from Lake Ouachita up above. “If I get anything before they open the gates it’ll just be a bonus," he says.


7:02 a.m. – Walters is on the board

Well that didn't take long. Kyle Walters' magic run continues. He just landed a 2 3/4-pound fish within a few minutes of arriving at his first spot. Walters is the first pro on the board and is now the unofficial leader. 


Bryan Thrift

7 a.m. – One more day for the Cup

Bryan Thrift is the man to beat with one day left to fish at the FLW Cup on Lake Hamilton. Thrift weighed in 12 pounds, 7 ounces yesterday and has a 1 1/2-pound lead over Kyle Walters. What's interesting about this final day is that despite his success so far, Thrift doesn't really seem to be too dialed. Walters has a pattern fishing brush. Dakota Ebare, in third, has a pattern targeting shallow bass up in the Blakely Mountain Dam tailwaters. Fifth-place pro Scott Martin is up there too. Jeremy Lawyer, who's in fourth, is working a combo of deep and shallow. 

Point being: We're going to get to see a little of everything today from the pros, and by the end of the day we'll know which pattern is best, and which pro is the champ.

Patches of fog were drifting around some areas outside Hot Springs this morning, but most of the lake is clear. That far upstream area has been socked with fog on most mornings due to the cold water that flows in from Lake Ouachita above. Other than that, this promises to be a scorcher of a day, but the forecast has changed a little bit. Originally, it looked like Sunday would be a bright, sunny day, but now the forecast is for partly cloudy skies. That's a big deal. The best bite, whether shallow or deep, has been when the skies were clear and bright. If the clouds part, it could get really good today. If not, there might be a lot of scraping and clawing to get the job done. 



Temperature at takeoff: 77 degrees

Forecast high: 94 degrees

Sky: Partly cloudy

Precipitation: Only a slight chance this afternoon

Wind: SE at 3 mph



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.