BAINBRIDGE, Ga. – Pro Braxon Setzer of Montgomery, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 25 pounds, 15 ounces to jump out to the early lead after Day One of the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa. Fellow Alabaman Joseph Webster of Winfield (25-9) and Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina (25-2) are right behind Setzer in second and third place as the four-day tournament, which features 165 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for a top award of up to $125,000, heads into Day Two.
“This morning I pulled into a spot near the area where I wanted to start and thought that I would fish my way up to it. I started fishing, then watched Joseph (Webster) idle right over to where I wanted to be, sit down and commence to just whacking them,” said Setzer, a four-year FLW Tour veteran with one previous FLW Cup appearance. “I thought to myself, ‘Oh my goodness, what a stupid call on my part.’ I struggled with that, but then I settled down and just picked apart the area that I was in.
“I caught a limit by 9:30,” Setzer continued. “The fishing was slower than I was hoping it was going to be, but it was a bigger area and took me a long time to pick it apart.”
Setzer said the spot was mainly deeper grass, with his most success coming from an area he described as a ditch that runs up into a flat. He caught seven keepers there – on two different baits – then left the spot around 11 a.m.
“The bite died off, so I ran down to another stretch of grass that I liked and ended up culling two fish there,” Setzer said. “It was very slow and was an hour or two between bites, but when I got bit it was a good one.”
Setzer tallied just nine bass total throughout the day. He said his plan for tomorrow was mainly to keep his options open.
“There is obviously a bunch of fish in my main area, but it’ll be interesting to see what the weather and the boat pressure does to it,” Setzer went on to say. “I don’t know if I’ll stay with it as long as I did today. I may have to run around and fish some new water. I think I’ve got maybe one or two more areas that I can get bit off of.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Lake Seminole are:
1st: Braxton Setzer, Montgomery, Ala., five bass, 25-15
2nd: Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., five bass, 25-9
3rd: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., five bass, 25-2
4th: Sheldon Collings, Grove, Okla., five bass, 23-14
5th: Rob Kilby, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 23-3
6th: Kurt Dove, Del Rio, Texas, five bass, 20-5
7th: Tyler Woolcott, Port Orange, Fla., five bass, 19-14
8th: Miles Howe, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., five bass, 19-13
9th: Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, five bass, 19-7
10th: Brian Latimer, Belton, S.C., five bass, 19-1
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Beavers earned Thursday’s $500 Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a largemouth weighing 7-pounds, 5-ounces to the scale.
Overall there were 573 bass weighing 1,551 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 154 pros Thursday. The catch included 72 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 165 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 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.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa is more than $860,000. The tournament is hosted by the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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 at 7 a.m. EST Friday and Saturday and 7:45 a.m. Sunday from the Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin, located at 100 Boat Basin Circle, in Bainbridge. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the boat basin beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the boat basin, but will begin at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Bainbridge Earle May Boat Basin from 2 to 6 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 boat basin on Saturday, March 9 from Noon-2 p.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa 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 on Saturday and Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran will be joined by veteran FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day 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, and YouTube.
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, and YouTube.
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