Hanselman Takes Lead at Rayovac FLW Series Championship on Ohio River
Hicks Leads Co-anglers
Ray Hanselman took the lead with another solid limit of smallmouths. Photo by Colin Moore. Angler: Ray Hanselman.
PADUCAH, Ky. – Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas,
brought another five-bass limit of smallmouth to the scale Friday weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces to take the lead after day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River
. Hanselman’s second consecutive day with a limit of smallmouth gives him a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 14 ounces. The tournament now heads into the third and final day of competition and the field is cut to the final 10 boaters and co-anglers in the three-day event, hosted by the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau and the City of Paducah, that features 171 anglers from across the country casting for a top cash award of $50,000 plus a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup qualified.
“Today I went out there and basically retraced my steps from yesterday,” said Hanselman, who swept the FLW Series Texas Division earlier this season, winning all three regular-season events. “I’m focusing on small, isolated areas looking for a specific type of structure on the Tennessee River about a quarter-mile from the Kentucky Dam.”
Hanselman said the structure he likes produces eddys and rip currents. He said that bass are actively riding the slack water between the eddys and rips, creating a lucrative area for him to dissect.
“I can feel the current with every cast,” said Hanselman. “After a few seconds it slows down, that’s when I know I’m in the slack water and I can get a bite.
“Today I caught five keepers and lost four others,” continued Hanselman. “After catching two keepers at my first area before 8:30 a.m., the bite slowed down so I moved to some nearby structure and drifted over it a couple of times. I caught a 4-pound, 11-ouncer which really helped. Then I left those two areas alone, I want to save them for tomorrow.”
Hanselman was vague about sharing his lure of choice, but said he was primarily using a big-profile bait.
“Tomorrow I plan on using the same bait and hitting the same areas near the Dam,” said Hanselman. “After two days of following the same pattern and gaining the lead, I think it’s the best choice.”
Day one leader David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine
, fell to second place after weighing in two bass totaling 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Hanselman will hold a 2-pound, 7-ounce lead heading into Saturday’s finale.
The top 10 boaters that will advance to the final day of competition on the Ohio River are:
1st: Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 10 bass, 30-14
2nd: David Barnes Sr., China, Maine, seven bass, 28-7
3rd: Brian Holder, Belmont, N.C., eight bass, 27-10
4th: Tyler Suddarth, Valdosta, Ga., nine bass, 27-7
5th: Brandon Perkins, Counce, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-5
6th: Nick Prvonozac, Warren, Ohio, eight bass, 22-11
7th: Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., nine bass, 22-9
8th: Denny Brauer, Del Rio, Texas, 10 bass, 21-6
9th: Jeff Hippert, Hamburg, N.Y., nine bass, 21-2
10th: Trevor Fitzgerald, Belleview, Fla., six bass, 20-10
In addition to the top cash award of $50,000 and a Ranger boat if Ranger Cup guidelines are met, the highest finishing pro from each of the five Rayovac FLW Series divisions based on final results qualifies for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, along with the top five pros not already selected as the highest finisher from a division. A total of 10 Rayovac FLW Series boaters in this event will punch their ticket to the Forrest Wood Cup, the richest payday in bass fishing. The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Huntsville, Alabama, Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake.
Buddy Hicks of Port Neches, Texas, leads the co-angler division with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 5 ounces. Kirk Sims of Lowell, Arkansas, is in second place with six bass also weighing 16-15. Hicks holds the lead via the tiebreaker of having the heavier one-day catch.
The top 10 co-anglers after day two on the Ohio River are:
1st: Buddy Hicks, Port Neches, Texas, five bass, 16-15
2nd: Kirk Sims, Lowell, Ark., six bass, 16-15
3rd: Bill Fussell, Thibodaux, La., nine bass, 14-9
4th: Scott Stallings, Glencoe, Okla., five bass, 13-14
5th: Michel Purvis, Canton, Ga., six bass, 12-15
6th: Tom Rubbo, Lexington, S.C., seven bass, 12-10
7th: Lorne Dornak, Cedar Park, Texas, four bass, 12-8
8th: Jimmy Ballard, Paris, Texas, eight bass, 11-14
9th: Dave Crawford, Springfield, W. Va., six bass, 10-15
10th: Todd Kline, San Clemente, Calif., seven bass, 10-13
Co-anglers are casting this week for a top award of a Ranger Z117 with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
Saturday’s final weigh-in will take place at Walmart located at 5130 Hinkleville Road in Paducah, at 4 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Also on Saturday, fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at Walmart prior to the final championship weigh-in. The Expo includes a Ranger boat simulator, a unique opportunity to interact with anglers who did not make the weekend cut, interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and a chance to learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. The first 50 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of WPSD Local 6 after the final weigh-in. All activities are free and open to the public.
The 2015 Rayovac FLW Series consisted of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consisted of three tournaments, with competitors vying for valuable points to earn their way into the top 40 and the opportunity to fish in the Rayovac FLW Series Championship.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world. For more information about FLW visit FLWFishing.com
and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
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