CLEWISTON, Fla. – Walmart FLW Tour pro Chad Prough of Chipley, Fla.,caught a five-bass limit weighing 32 pounds, 4 ounces Friday to maintain the lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on Lake Okeechobee. His two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 67 pounds, 7 ounces gives him a commanding lead heading into the third day of the tournament. There were 160 pros and 160 co-anglers from across the United States, Canada and Spain that started the tournament. The top 20 will fish day three and the top 10 will compete for the title on day four.
“I am so floored right now, this is just phenomenal,” said Prough, who brought in two stringers over 30 pounds each day. “To be catching this kind of fish against this caliber of competition is unheard of, I feel like I’m dreaming. I just wanted to cash a check this week, I would have been happy with 15 pounds per day!
“I went to the same areas of the lake today as I did yesterday – the north end – and it was the same thing; females coming in to spawn. The area seems to be replenishing daily and I just hope it lasts another two days. The fish weren’t quite as active today but I did have my limit by 10 a.m.
“I did a little more sight fishing today and threw a few creature baits, but this is the area and style that I am going to live or die by.”
Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Okla., is in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 61-14.
Seven anglers set Walmart FLW Tour records for the heaviest day-two tournament catch to make it into the top 20 and they are: Fred Roumbanis, 34-5; Chad Prough, 32-4; EverStart pro Randall Tharp, 31-10; Brian Travis, 30-4; Andy Morgan, 30; Jake Morris, 29-13 and Brandon McMillan, 28-14.
Rounding out the top 20 pros that will fish Saturday on Lake Okeechobee are:
3rd: Brandon McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 55-14
4th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 54-13
5th: EverStart pro Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., 10 bass, 53-2
6th: Gillette/Duracell pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 10 bass, 53-1
7th: Trevor Fitzgerald, Belleview, Fla., 10 bass, 50-15
8th: Terry Scroggins, San Mateo, Fla., 10 bass, 50-1
9th: Jeremy York, Longanville, Ga., 10 bass, 49-12
10th: Pete Thliveros, Saint Augustine, Fla., 10 bass, 49
11th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 48
12th: Brian Travis, Conover, N.C., 10 bass, 47-4
13th: Jake Morris, McKee, Ky., 10 bass, 46-8
14th: Band-Aid/Neosporin Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 10 bass, 46-7
15th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 10 bass, 45-12
16th: Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 10 bass, 45-12
17th: Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 10 bass, 45-6
18th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 45-5
19th: National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 44-6
20th: Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas, 10 bass, 44-3
Fred Roumbanis caught the Snickers Peanut Butter Squared Big Bass weighing 9-7 on the pro side to win $500.
Overall there were 799 bass weighing 2,800 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 160 pros Friday, a new Walmart FLW Tour record for heaviest day-two total tournament catch. The previous record was set at the Detroit River in 2007 when 2,756 pounds of bass crossed the stage. The catch included 159 five-bass limits.
The 2011 Lake Okeechobee event now holds the Walmart FLW Tour record for the heaviest combined tournament catch for day one and day two, 5,529-7. The previous record was set in 2008 at the Detroit River with 5,370-1.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Aymon Wilcox of Lauderdale Lake, Fla., leads the Co-angler Division with an two-day total of 10 bass weighing 46 pounds, 5 ounces, followed by Ron Buck of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., in second place with 10 bass weighing 37-3.
Rounding out the top-20 co-anglers are:
3rd: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 36-8
4th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 35-13
5th: Chip Brooks, Bradenton, Fla., 10 bass, 35-5
6th: Ryan Richardson, Golfstown, N.H., 10 bass, 34-13
7th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ariz., 10 bass, 34-2
8th: Marlon Crowder, Tampa, Fla., 10 bass, 32-15
9th: Skip Bennett, Mount Vernon, Ill., 10 bass, 32-2
10th: Theo Corcoran, Waterford, Mich., 10 bass, 31-5
11th: Richard McCrory, Point-Clare, QC, 10 bass, 30-15
12th: Luke Campbell, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 10 bass, 30-8
13th: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 10 bass, 30-5
14th: Kazuki Kitajima, Aventura, Fla., 10 bass, 30-5
15th: Casey Martin, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 30-2
16th: Daniel Ferguson, Durham, N.C., 10 bass, 29-14
17th: Richard Held, Lake Worth, Fla., 10 bass, 29-7
18th: Rob Hicks, Lula, Ga., 10 bass, 29-4
19th: William Rogers, Hiram, Ga., 10 bass, 28-14
20th: Anthony Hunt, Tamarac, Fla., 10 bass, 28-4
Ben Due caught the Snickers® Peanut Butter Squared Big Bass weighing 7-6 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 739 bass weighing 1,673 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 160 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 138 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup in 2012.The top five co-anglers from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will advance.
Anglers will take off from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort located at 920 East Del Monte Ave. in Clewiston at 7 each morning. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 1005 West Sugarland Hwy. in Clewiston beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at Walmart in Clewiston on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. Plus, fans can enjoy a free performance by up-and-coming country star Colt Ford on Sunday at 3 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in at Walmart. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Lake Okeechobee tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air March 20 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, browse FLWOutdoors.com or visit FantasyFishing.com.