Jones leads Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes - Major League Fishing

Jones leads Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes

March 30, 2007 • MLF • Archives

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Team National Guard pro Derek Jones of Chicago, Ill., caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 4 ounces Friday to capture the lead in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Tour event presented by BP on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 37-4. He now holds a 6-pound, 1-ounce lead in the tournament featuring 200 pros and 200 co-anglers representing 36 states, Australia and Japan.

“It’s fun out there right now,” said Jones, who claimed his first FLW Tour top-10 finish as a professional today. “I’m really excited. The area I have been fishing seems to be replenishing itself everyday. The fish I am targeting are bedding fish, but I can’t sight-fish for them. The water is a little muddy and too deep. This really boosts my confidence, I am on some really quality fish. I just have to go catch them and not make any mistakes.”

Jones is fishing about 25 miles from the launch site on Fort Loudoun Lake, targeting bedding fish with swimbaits and a drop-shot rig.

Fishing for Team Kellogg’s, Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31-3.

Rounding out the top five pros who will continue competition Saturday and Sunday are Yamaha pro Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark. (10 bass, 30-4); Castrol pro Darrell Robertson of Jay, Okla. (10 bass, 29-1); and Thanh Le of Las Vegas, Nev. (10 bass, 27-3).

Also clearing the top-10 cut weight of 25 pounds, 15 ounces were pros Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas, fishing for team BP; Harmon Davis of Marlow, Okla.; M&M’s pro John Sappington of Willard, Mo.; Land O’Lakes pro Keith Williams of Conway, Ark.; and Yamaha pro Jay Yelas of Tyler, Texas.

Day one leader Chad Grigsby of Maple Gove, Minn., zeroed Friday but still earned a $10,000 check for 50th place thanks to his impressive opening-day limit of smallmouth weighing 19-6 – the second heaviest limit of the tournament thus far.

Dwayne Horton of Knoxville, Tenn., earned the day’s $750 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 3-ounce bass. The fish also earned him the tournament’s overall big bass award of $1,000.

Overall there were 637 bass weighing 1,301 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 180 pros Friday. The catch included 54 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 2-5, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award. The top 40 pros after three $1 million qualifiers and three $1.5 million opens will advance to the Forrest Wood Cup.

John Barrett of Fayetteville, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division with an opening-round total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds, followed by Kenta Kimura of Livingston, Texas, in second place with seven bass weighing 16-8.

“I got the right bites today,” said Barrett, who now has two top-10 finishes fishing as a co-angler on the FLW Tour. “I’m just trying to do something different than my pro. I think the key is to just change things up a little. I have been dead-sticking a Senko worm trying to target spawning fish. I’m not sight-fishing, but I am making long casts out behind the boat in the area where the fish are. I think a Senko is a co-anglers best friend.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ryan Valentine of Jonesboro, Ga. (eight bass, 16-8); J.B. Young of Deer Park, Texas (seven bass, 15-13) and Land O’Lakes co-angler Aaron McManaway of Altamont, Ill. (four bass, 13-8).

Also clearing the top-10 cut weight of 11 pounds, 10 ounces in the Co-angler Division were Kevin Olivet of Greenback, Tenn.; Eddie Griggs of Richmond, Va.; Thomas Helton of Charleston, Tenn.; Terry Chapman of Stanley, N.C., and David Hudson of Jasper, Ala.

Kenta Kimura earned $500 for the day’s Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Norman Seat of Branson West, Mo.

Overall there were 248 bass weighing 448 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 130 co-anglers Friday. The catch included six five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week.

Anglers will take off at 7 Saturday and Sunday morning from the Tellico Recreational Area Ramp followed by 4 p.m. weigh-ins at the Knoxville Convention Center at 701 Henley Street in Knoxville.

Prior to the weigh-ins, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Knoxville Convention Center from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Family Fun Zone is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other manufacturers while children are treated to fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. The first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Saturday will also receive a free FLW Outdoors hat from WNML “The Sports Animal” AM 990 and FM 99.1. On Sunday, WIVK-FM 107.7 will give the first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone a free rod and reel combo.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field competes Thursday and Friday for 10 slots in Saturday’s competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared Saturday, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday’s weigh-in with the winner determined by the day’s heaviest catch. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from Saturday and Sunday.

Coverage of the tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States on April 29 and May 6 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to 429 million households in such countries as Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.

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 presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, 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 Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses exceeding $43 million through 241 events in 2007.

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 Walmart.com.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.

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