BRANSON, Mo. – Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds Saturday to capture the lead in a top-10 field that includes some of the greatest anglers in the world. Canterbury now holds a 3-ounce edge over his closest competitor, Folgers pro Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., heading into the final day of competition in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake. If he holds on for the win, Canterbury will pocket $125,000.
“I did a lot of running and fishing new water today,” said Canterbury, who was the 2008 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year. “I have never been to Table Rock before practice and I absolutely love it.”
Canterbury ran 50 miles one-way to the White River today. “I am flipping a jig when I get around some wood but most of my fish are coming off a crankbait,” he said. “I am using the same crankbait but I am using two different colors according to the conditions.
“I am looking for a certain type of rock and bank. If I can’t find it then I won’t even waste my time fishing that area.”
Tomorrow, Canterbury plans on going back to water that he has already fished. He said that he is just looking for five bites and hoping to come out on top.
Canterbury led day three of the FLW Tour season-opener on Lake Guntersville last month but ended up finishing eighth and knows what it feels like to be in this position. “I love going into the final day being in first,” he said. “When it’s your turn it will fall into place and if it’s not this time then it will happen next time.”
Suggs caught five fish weighing 15 pounds, 3 ounces to advance to the final day of competition as the No. 2 seed.
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C. (five bass, 14-6); Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky. (five bass, 12-9); BP pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn. (five bass, 11-8); National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. (four bass, 9-8); BP pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas (five bass, 9-2); Pop Tarts pro Greg Bohannan of Rogers, Ark. (three bass, 5-11); Febreeze pro Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif. (two bass, 4-1); and Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill. (one bass, 2-4).
Overall there were 40 bass weighing 100 pounds, 14 ounces caught in the Pro Division Saturday. The catch included six five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol and BP, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa., where they could win as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
Patrick Majors of Rogers, Ark., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 3 ounces followed by Fred Martin of North Little Rock, Ark., in second place with five bass weighing 13-13 worth $10,000.
Majors opened the tournament in 23rd place Thursday with two bass weighing 8-12 while fishing with Lendell Martin Jr. of Nacogdoches, Texas. On Friday he jumped into seventh place on the strength of a two bass catch weighing 8-11 while fishing with Kyle Mabrey of McCalla, Ala. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky.
“All I do is fish for fun,” Majors said. “This really is a dream come true. I don’t know what else to say.”
Majors said that every fish except for one this week came off a purple with chartreuse suspended Rogue jerkbait. “What I would do is throw the Rogue out of the back of the boat and give it about 30 to 40 yards and starting jerking it, Majors said. “While the pro is working the bank in the front I am strolling the jerkbait. I do this a lot at home on Beaver Lake.”
Majors said that his wife already has plans for the $20,000 that he won today. “My next step is to go to Beaver Lake and see if I can do it again,” he said.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Brandon Hunter of Benton, Ky. (four bass, 16-15, $7,500); James Watson of Waynesville, Mo.(three bass, 6-11, $5,000); Zac Cassill of Fairfax, Iowa (one bass, 5-7, $4,000); Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark. (one bass, 2-3, $3,500); Alex Posey of Roswell, Ga. (zero bass, $3,000); Teddy Bradley of Mishawaka, Ind. (zero bass, $2,500); Dearal Rodgers of Camden, S.C. (zero bass, $2,000) and David Lauer of South Bend, Ind. (zero bass, $1,500).
Overall there were 19 bass weighing 51 pounds, 10 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included two five-bass limits.
Co-anglers were fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. Sunday from the Table Rock State Park Marina located at 380 State Park Marina Rd. in Branson. Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Branson Convention Center located at 200 W. Main St in Branson, beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-in Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Branson Convention Center beginning at noon. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to meet their Fantasy Fishing team anglers face-to-face and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of US 97 FM while supplies last. One lucky member of the audience will even win a new Ranger boat courtesy of the Springfield News-Leader that will be given away during the final 4 p.m. weigh-in Sunday, March 15. Admission is free, and you must be present to win.
Legendary artist Moe Bandy will perform prior to the weigh-in Sunday starting at approximately 3:15 p.m. at the Branson Convention Center.
In a partnership with Goodwill, FLW Outdoors invites you to drop off your clean, gently-used clothing and household materials at the Branson Convention Center, March 15 starting at noon. In return, those who donate will receive a free BP die-cast boat, while supplies last. Donations will be sold at local Goodwill stores to help people with disabilities and other disadvantages receive job training and other important services.
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 in the two-day opening round for one of 10 slots in Saturday’s competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday’s weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Coverage of the tournament, hosted by the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be broadcast on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated “FLW Outdoors,” will air April 19 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
The FLW Tour will award more than $8 million in cash to the world’s top bass anglers in 2009. Regular season competition includes three qualifiers and three opens. Each event takes anglers a step closer to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2 on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pa. The prestigious championship and outdoor show hosted by VisitPittsburgh will feature 77 pros, 77 co-anglers and bass fishing’s largest cash award – a potential $1 million first-place prize for the winning pro.