Where is everybody? - Major League Fishing

Where is everybody?

Norman practice day two
April 20, 2008 • Jeff Schroeder • Archives

Lake NormanPoking around Blythe Landing the last couple days, the ranks are a little thin early in the FLW practice period at Lake Norman. I saw, maybe, 20 rigs in the parking lot this morning – the same as yesterday – which isn’t very many considering there will be some 400 pros and co-anglers competing this week. Surely, some of that can be attributed to anglers being scattered among numerous launch sites around the lake during practice, but there is another reason for it that will interest fantasy players: A lot of pros simply might not be here yet.

There are two other bass tournaments going on this weekend that seem to have siphoned off a few FLW anglers from the practice period at Norman. One is the Stren Series Southeast Division tournament that just wrapped up down the road on South Carolina’s Santee Cooper lakes. A few big FLW names fished there and did well, meaning they competed there through Saturday. That means they’ll just be arriving here last night or today. Ott Defoe, Greg Pugh, Koby Kreiger and Andy Montgomery all finished in the top 10 at the Santee sight-fishing tournament, and each of them looks to be a huge factor under similar conditions here at Norman. I did see FLW points leader Kreiger at the ramp this morning, so we know he’s out spotting fish on beds as we speak.

The other tournament will be the one of true concern for fantasy players, though. It’s an event sanctioned by the Professional Anglers Association out on Lake Fork in Texas and lasts through today. This one’s impactful because, unlike the guys at Santee – which is just a couple hours’ drive away – the pros there will have a long haul to get here. That will definitely cut into their practice time. Even if they somehow get to Norman tonight or tomorrow, they’ll only have a couple days, at most – and very little rest – to scout for fish. At a sight-fishing event like this FLW is shaping up to be, that could spell disaster for those anglers. My colleague and fellow pundit Rob Newell, who’s down at Santee at the moment, pointed this out to me, and he’ll discuss it more in his picks as we get closer to the tournament.

In the meantime, here are the FLW pros who fished the PAA event at Lake Fork this weekend:

Terry Baksay

Randy Blaukat

Luke Clausen

Danny Correia

Jim Dillard

Craig Dowling

David Dudley

Art Ferguson

Pete Gluszek

Jerry Green

Mike Hawkes

Matt Herren

Sean Hoernke

Dave Lefebre

Curt Lytle

Tom Mann Jr.

Tommy Martin

Andy Morgan

Chad Morganthaler

Larry Nixon

Jason Reyes

Mark Rose

John Sappington

Ray Scheide

Terry Segraves

Wes Thomas

David Walker

I’m not saying expressly that these guys won’t do well at Norman and that you shouldn’t pick them; I’m just telling you to keep in mind that their practice periods will likely be shorter than the rest of the field. Practice is very important, but it’s not everything. Fishing’s a funny sport; anything can happen. Personally, I have three of these pros in my own picks – Clausen, Nixon and Dudley – but I’m going to keep two of them in there anyway: Clausen and Nixon. Clausen because there are so many docks here and Nixon because he’s Nixon. I’ll probably replace Dudley, though, because I think he’s one of those pros who really relies on his prefishing efforts to succeed at a tournament.

But that’s just me. You might have another perspective.

In other news, the sun’s out today. Good news for the pros with good eyes – the ones that are here, that is.