BROOKELAND, Texas – It was more of the same Saturday on Day Three of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris – big limits, big bass and big smiles from tournament leader Rapala pro Terry Bolton of Benton, Kentucky. Bolton weighed a solid five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 10 ounces to maintain his lead heading into Championship Sunday in the tournament which features 170 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals competing for a top prize of up to $125,000.
The field is now trimmed to the final 10 pros for Sunday, and Bolton (15 bass, 73-13) will start with a 4-pound, 12-ounce lead over second-place pro Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, (15 bass, 69-1) who led the first day of competition. Also in contention for the win in third place is the angler considered by many to be the best in the world, Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, (15 bass, 68-14). Bolton and LeBrun are both seeking their first career Tour win – Lebrun in his first career Tour event – while Thrift has six career wins and surpassed Andy Morgan Saturday for the most career top-10 finishes in FLW Tour competition with 40.
“I’ve had a blast this week,” said Bolton, who is fishing in his 168th career FLW Tour event – tied for 5th most all-time. “This lake is fishing phenomenal. I mainly fished the same areas that I have been all week today, but I also tried some new ones. I caught some keepers, but nothing that would really help me. I probably didn’t catch quite as many today, but the wind was a factor.”
Bolton estimated that he caught around 40 fish Saturday, throwing the Rapala DT14 and DT16 crankbaits that used to bring 33 pounds to the scale Friday but also mixing in a ¾-ounce Accent spinnerbait.
“I weighed in one bass on it today,” Bolton said about the spinnerbait. “I caught them with it on the first day, but not the second. I throw it when it’s sunny, to see if I can get quality.”
Bolton has been in this position before, leading an FLW Tour event going into the final day. He has two second-place Tour finishes, two third-place Tour finishes, and four fifth-place Tour finishes. But, the victory has eluded him. His 168 career events without a victory is the most among active FLW Tour pros. Bolton, however, said that he’s not feeling the pressure and just enjoying the moment and going fishing.
“One thing that I’ve learned out here on the Tour is that when it’s your time, it’s your time – you can’t stop it. And if it’s not your time, there’s nothing that you can do about it. So I might as well enjoy it. I’m going to get to fish the final day, on a great fishery. Would I love to win? Sure, it’d be very big for me. But is it the end all, be all, stomp my feet and go home mad if I don’t win? No.
“I’ve been very fortunate this week and I’ve had a lot of fun. We’re going to do the same thing tomorrow.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:
1st: Rapala pro Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 73-13
2nd: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 15 bass, 69-1
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 68-14
4th: Evinrude pro Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 62-13
5th: Chad Warren, Sand Springs, Okla., 15 bass, 60-11
6th: Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 56-12
7th: Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, 15 bass, 54-13
8th: Sam George, Athens, Ala., 15 bass, 54-3
9th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 15 bass, 52-9
10th: Charles Sim, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 52-3
Finishing in 11th through 30th are:
11th: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Va., 15 bass, 51-9, $12,000
12th: Miles Burghoff, Hixson, Tenn., 15 bass, 51-8, $12,000
13th: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 50-6, $12,000
14th: Bass Pro Shops pro Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 15 bass, 50-4, $12,000
15th: Kyle Cortiana, Coweta, Okla., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,000
16th: Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 15 bass, 49-9, $11,500
17th: Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 15 bass, 49-3, $11,500
18th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 15 bass, 49-3, $11,500
19th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 49-1, $11,500
20th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 15 bass, 48-15, $11,500
21st: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 48-0, $10,500
22nd: Andy Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., 15 bass, 47-14, $10,500
23rd: Derek Fulps, Broken Arrow, Okla., 15 bass, 47-10, $10,500
24th: Billy Shelton III, La Crosse, Va., 13 bass, 46-11, $10,500
25th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 15 bass, 44-15, $10,500
26th: Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 15 bass, 44-4, $10,500
27th: Casey Scanlon, Lake Ozark, Mo., 15 bass, 44-3, $10,500
28th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 44-2, $10,500
29th: Jon Englund, Farwell, Minn., 15 bass, 43-14, $10,500
30th: Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 15 bass, 42-10, $10,500
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Overall there were 148 bass weighing 443 pounds, 11 ounces caught by pros Saturday, Twenty-nine of the final 30 pros were able to bring a five-bass limit to the scale.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 170 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to fish on Saturday. Now, only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris is more than $860,000, including $9,000 through 65th place in the Pro Division. The tournament is hosted by the Jasper County Development District.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off for the final day of competition at 7 a.m. CST Sunday from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway, in Brookeland. Sunday’s championship weigh-in will also be held at the pavilion, beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-in Sunday FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Umphrey Family Pavilion from 2 to 6 p.m. 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.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris will premiere in 2019. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water program will air Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Travis Moran will be joined by veteran FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show 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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