LEESBURG, Fla. – Mud Hole Custom Tackle pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces Friday to extend his lead after day two of the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Ranger Boats with a two-day catch of 10 bass totaling 44-10. Cox will bring a 5-pound, 13-ounce lead into day three of the four-day tournament that features 163 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“Today was pretty stressful,” said Cox, who won a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on the Harris Chain in 2007. “Nothing was working for me. No fish were moving up, so I just got on the trolling motor and fished all new stuff. Right at the end of the day, around 4 o’clock, I caught two 4-pounders. The game plan has been to go and go until I find something that looks like it’s starting to turn on and today it happened really late.”
Cox said that the spot where he caught the two 4-pounders wasn’t something that he expected to replenish and that he was going to have to continue to cover a lot of water tomorrow.
“Yesterday I caught them on five different baits and today was three,” Cox said. “I’m not on a pattern or anything, I’m just doing what I like doing and looking for them swimming around.”
Despite the field being cut to the final 20 and many areas of the lake expected to see less traffic, Cox didn’t expect that to affect his gameplan.
“I really haven’t seen many other boats, so I don’t think it will make much of a difference for me. But, it could definitely help everybody else.
“Either way, I’m having a blast fishing and I just love being here,” Cox went on to say. “I’ve been dreaming of this tournament for so long. Each day I’ve managed to get a couple where I didn’t think that I was going to catch them. I hope it happens again tomorrow.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on the Harris Chain are:
1st: Mud Hole Custom Tackle pro John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 44-10
2nd: Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C., 10 bass, 38-13
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 36-13
4th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 36-9
5th: Bradley Dortch, Atmore, Ala., 10 bass, 36-6
6th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 10 bass, 36-2
7th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 10 bass, 34-10
8th: Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 10 bass, 33-14
9th: Rusty Trancygier, Hahira, Ga., 10 bass, 33-9
10th: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 32-6
11th: Carl Jocumsen, Frisco, Texas, 10 bass, 32-4
12th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 31-5
13th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 31-1
14th: Aaron Britt, Yuba City, Calif., 10 bass, 30-4
15th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 30-2
16th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 29-10
17th: Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan., 10 bass, 29-8
18th: Jamie Horton, Centerville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-0
19th: Chris Whitson, Louisville, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-14
20th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-11
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Dortch earned the Big Bass award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 7-pound, 6-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 744 bass weighing 1,625 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 159 pros Friday. The catch included 128 five-bass limits.
Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Florida, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Tyler Woolcott of Port Orange, Florida, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $7,550.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Robert Crosnoe, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 33-1, $25,000
2nd: Tyler Woolcott, Port Orange, Fla., 10 bass, 30-9, $7,550
3rd: Chris Ferguson, Wittensville, Ky., nine bass, 27-8, $5,000
4th: Trey Shaw, Dunnellon, Fla., nine bass, 25-15, $4,250
5th: Richie Eaves, Nauvoo, Ill., 10 bass, 25-6, $3,000
6th: Dave Patchell, Green Cove Springs, Fla., 10 bass, 25-5, $2,500
7th: Steven Hatala, Saint Clair Shores, Mich., 10 bass, 24-5, $2,000
8th: Tyler Meredith, Oliver Springs, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-11, $1,800
9th: Jeffrey Mathews, Maitland, Fla., 10 bass, 23-6, $1,700
10th: Mark Schlarb, Atwater, Ohio, 10 bass, 22-15, $1,600
David Oelschlager of Braidwood, lllinois, earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the co-angler division with an 8-pound, 3-ounce largemouth.
Overall there were 474 bass weighing 854 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 137 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 51 five-bass limits.
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 of 326 anglers competes Thursday and Friday. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Ranger Boats is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro division. The tournament is hosted by Lake County, Florida.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST each day from the Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Dixie Ave., in Leesburg. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Venetian Gardens beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Venetian Gardens from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the Venetian Gardens on Saturday from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to area youth 15 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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