MANNING, S.C. (April 20, 2006) – Pro Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 4 ounces to lead round one of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on the Santee Cooper lakes. The top 20 pros and co-anglers from the two-day opening one advance to fish Friday’s semifinal round. Pros are competing for a top award exceeding $60,000 in cash and prizes while co-anglers are competing for as much $35,000 in cash and prizes.
Although weather conditions were better Thursday – cloudy skies with a light wind – fewer bass were caught. The quality of bass seen on day one also declined. The cloudy conditions weren’t exactly ideal for sight-fishing – one of the primary tactics this week on Santee Cooper.
“I didn’t have much at 11:30 this morning,” Klys said, “so I made a gamble and ran 20 minutes to a spot I didn’t fish in practice. And in about an hour and a half, I caught all my fish, including a 7-11.
“I’m sight-fishing and using a Berkley Sinking Minnow in green pumpkin on a 1/4-ounce weight. I tried other colors, but they want that green pumpkin. I’m making five-minute casts, working the bait real slowly up to the bed and letting it sit in the bed for a long time. The fish are bedding around something – docks or grass.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Ken Ellis of Bowman, S.C. (10 bass, 36 pounds, 3 ounces); Allen Armour of Cumming, Ga. (nine bass, 36 pounds, 1 ounce); Lisa Opel of Hernando, Fla. (10 bass, 36 pounds); Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala. (10 bass, 35 pounds, 6 ounces).
Robert Kimbrough of Vero Beach, Fla., caught a 7-pound, 14-ounce bass to earn the day’s $650 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division.
Joseph Ellis Sr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of five bass weighing 23 pounds, 8 ounces. His day-one weight of nearly 20 pounds carried him through the first round.
“I caught two bookends yesterday,” Ellis said. “I had an 8-3 and a 7-13. It was just a great day. The weather changed a lot today, and my pro just couldn’t get on the bite. I’m throwing a Baby Brush Hog.”
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Reginald Pickett of Greensboro, N.C. (six bass, 23 pounds); Tony Cook of Summerville, S.C. (five bass, 17 pounds, 8 ounces); Nathan Fuller of Hillsboro, Ga. (five bass, 16 pounds, 7 ounces); and Angelo Koundourakis of Bainbridge, Ga. (six bass, 16 pounds, 2 ounces).
Pickett earned $230 for the Snicker’s Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound. 1-ounce largemouth.
Anglers caught a total of 617 bass Thursday weighing 1,612 pounds, 12 ounces.
Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 481 West Boyce St. in Manning beginning at 4 p.m. Takeoffs are at 7 a.m. each morning at John C. Land III Sportfishing Facility. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of three rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 20 pros and co-anglers – based on two-day accumulated weights – advance to day three. Anglers start at zero Thursday and compete for 10 spots in each division in the final round. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Stratos Owners Tournament Trail. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $36.7 million through 241 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.