ANDERSON, S.C. – It was more of the same Friday at the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Lake Hartwell presented by Folgers as a full field of pros from all across the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan continued their four-day battle for a top cash award of up to $125,000. FLW anglers continued to use a variety of baits and techniques throughout the day with much of the same results as the first day of competition.
The rainy morning and overcast afternoon did seem to have a small effect on the staging bass, as bag sizes were generally smaller than Thursday’s results. Kettle Brand Chips Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., remains in the lead after Day 2 – his second-straight day as the tournament leader – after weighing a five bass limit for 16 pounds, 1 ounce. Morehead’s two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 15 ounces gives him a slim 9-ounce lead heading into the third day of the tournament.
“It was a real grind to generate even a bite today,” said Morehead, who has 32 top-10 finishes and 10 tournament wins in his FLW career. “It seemed to pick up a little later in the afternoon, but it was tough. I was running and gunning all over the lake today; I must have burned about 25 gallons of gas. I ran pretty much the same spots as yesterday and I caught half of my fish on them and half in water I hadn’t covered. The fish are suspending right now and real close to spawning. They’ll be in spawn by the next new moon.”
Morehead said the unpredictability of the lake played to his strengths. He has already qualified for The Forrest Wood Cup by winning the 2011 EverStart Series Championship, and he said this allowed him to not feel much pressure.
“That’s when I fish my best,” Morehead said. “When I can just make it up as I go. I didn’t feel any pressure at all today. Now it’s all about the points and money.”
National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., is in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 36-6.
“I’ve been able to find a few areas that have a lot of fish,” said Ehrler, who has career winnings of more than $1.7 million. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to find some spots that have some big ones. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to catch those big ones, and it’s panned out. I’ve tried to lay off the areas where there are a lot of fish biting, because I want to save them for the next day. My best area is something that doesn’t look very good, and no one else is fishing it.”
Ehrler said the key to his success was just finding the fish. He fished everywhere from as shallow as 2 feet to as deep as 50. Once he found fish, he found success in a variety of ways.
“I used six different rods today,” Ehrler said. “They’re deep, but every day they are moving farther and farther up the banks. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, because there will be a lot less traffic. I’ll be able to fish around a lot more places without having to worry that I’m fishing behind somebody.”
Rounding out the top 20 pros that will fish Saturday on Lake Hartwell are:
3rd: Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga., 10 bass, 36-5
4th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 35-5
5th: Marty Stone, Fayetteville, N.C., 10 bass, 33-15
6th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 33-6
7th: M&Ms pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 10 bass, 33-6
8th: Tom Monsoor, LaCrosse, Wis., 10 bass, 32-15
9th: National Guard pro Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 10 bass, 32-7
10th: Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz., 10 bass, 32-0
11th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 10 bass, 31-14
12th: Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 10 bass, 31-5
13th: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 10 bass, 30-15
14th: Pringles pro Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, 10 bass, 30-11
15th: Allen Boyd, Salem, Ind., 10 bass, 30-9
16th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 30-6
17th: Lancen Halbert, Enoree, S.C., 10 bass, 30-5
18th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 30-5
19th: EverStart pro Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 29-8
20th: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 29-7
Final results for the remaining field can be found on FLWOutdoors.com.
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., won the day’s big bass award with a fish weighing 7-0 on the pro side to win $500.
Overall there were 717 bass weighing 1,678 pounds, 2 ounces caught by pros Friday. The catch included 125 five-bass limits.
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 presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
David Lauer of Loxahatchee, Fla., leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 15 ounces, followed by Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., in second place with 10 bass weighing 25-2.
Rounding out the top 20 co-anglers are:
3rd: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 10 bass, 24-14
4th: Rich Dalbey, Greenville, Texas, 10 bass, 24-8
5th: Alex Posey, Roswell, Ga., 10 bass, 23-6
6th: David Kuykendall, Fletcher, N.C., 10 bass, 23-4
7th: Doug Caldwell, Kane, Pa., 10 bass, 23-0
8th: Jim Jeff Townsend, Philadelphia, Pa., nine bass, 22-12
9th: Jason Johnson, Gainesville, Ga., nine bass, 22-9
10th: Allen Murray, Reidsville, Ga., 10 bass, 22-3
11th: Brant Grimm, Kingsport, Tenn., nine bass, 21-9
12th: Brandon Hunter, Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 21-7
13th: Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 21-6
14th: Michael Tennison, Russell Springs, Ky., seven bass, 21-0
15th: Dean Tucker, Hiawassee, Ga., 10 bass, 20-15
16th: Roger Wideman, McCormick, S.C., 10 bass, 20-12
17th: Bryan Partak, Marseilles, Ill., eight bass, 20-6
18th: Steve Redmond, Waynesville, N.C., 10 bass, 20-0
19th: James Dixon, Southfield, Mich., 10 bass, 19-13
20th: J.R. Wright, Truckee, Calif., 10 bass, 19-11
Final results for the remaining field can be found on FLWOutdoors.com.
Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., won the day’s big bass award with a fish weighing 7-11 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 535 bass weighing 994 pounds, 9 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 60 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 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Anglers will take off from Portman Shoals Marina located at 1629 Marina Road in Anderson at 7 a.m. Saturday morning and at 7:30 a.m. DST Sunday morning (Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday). Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the TD Convention Center located at One Exposition Drive in Greenville beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the TD Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon – 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 fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of The Greenville News. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of WESC 92.5. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs April 15 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.