JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, maintained his lead Saturday at the FLW Tour at the Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance after catching five bass weighing 16 pounds even. Upshaw’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 52-4 will lead the final 10 pros into the fourth and final day of the event, where he and his peers will cast for a top prize of up to $125,000.
After starting the day in eight place, Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, made a leap up the leaderboard with a limit weighing 17-6 to sit within striking distance of Upshaw in second place with a three-day cumulative total of 50-10, while Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Arkansas, sits in third with 50 pounds, 1 ounce. The stage is set for an exciting final day of competition with only 4 pounds, 15 ounces, separating 10th place from first.
Upshaw said he spent the day targeting main-lake spawning fish, a pattern he’s followed all week. He said his day started out slower than his first two mornings, which he admitted threw him off mentally.
“I pulled up to where I wanted to start and I caught a non-keeper immediately, and that’s only my second non-keeper of the week,” said Upshaw, who is seeking his first career victory in FLW Tour competition. “Then, a few minutes later, I caught another non-keeper, then another, and it really started spinning me out a little bit. Not necessarily the missed fish. But when you’re just catching little, little ones, it threw me off a little bit.
“Once I caught my first couple of decent ones, I kind of got this calming feeling,” Upshaw continued. “I really focused and got a little talkative – I got to where I was having fun. I caught a 4-pounder and I was really having fun – I know how big 4-pounders are going to be here.”
Upshaw said his plan for Championship Sunday is to try and eliminate the slow morning by going for a limit at a secondary area he’s been saving.
“What I’m trying to do is get that stress off of my back. I can pull up to this spot, and maybe not catch a bunch of fish, but I feel like I can catch two, three, maybe a limit fairly quick,” said Upshaw. “It’s actually a bigger area. It’s reloading and it’s got a ton of fish in it.”
The Oklahoma pro went on to say that he’s definitely feeling the pressure to finish strong after leading the event for three days, but with his secondary area set to potentially ease the stress of getting an initial limit, he has confidence that he can find his groove once again.
“As far as nerves go, I’ve dealt with high-stress situations before. Not just in tournament fishing, but in other sports like football and basketball and everything like that. Tomorrow I get to go have fun and I’ve got my family here to calm me down, so everything should be fine.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Cherokee Lake are:
1st: Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 15 bass, 52-4
2nd: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., 15 bass, 50-10
3rd: Dylan Hays, El Dorado, Ark., 15 bass, 50-1
4th: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., 15 bass, 49-4
5th: Andy Young, Isle, Minn., 15 bass, 49-0
6th: Matt Becker, Finleyville, Pa., 15 bass, 48-13
7th: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 15 bass, 48-3
8th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 15 bass, 48-3
9th: Derrick Snavely, Piney Flats, Tenn., 15 bass, 48-2
10th: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 15 bass, 47-5
Finishing 11th through 30th are:
11th: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 15 bass, 47-4, $12,000
12th: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 47-2, $12,000
13th: J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga., 15 bass, 46-14, $12,000
14th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 46-11, $12,000
15th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 46-11, $12,000
16th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 46-9, $11,500
17th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 15 bass, 46-8, $11,500
18th: Dakota Ebare, Denham Springs, La., 15 bass, 46-4, $11,500
19th: Berkley pro Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., 15 bass, 45-14, $11,500
20th: Johnny McCombs, Morris, Ala., 15 bass, 45-14, $11,500
21st: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 15 bass, 45-12, $10,500
22nd: Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., 15 bass, 45-7, $10,500
23rd: A.J. Slegona, Pine Bush, N.Y., 15 bass, 45-6, $10,500
24th: Jon Englund, Farwell, Minn., 15 bass, 44-13, $10,500
25th: Yamamoto Baits pro Larry Nixon, Quitman, Ark., 15 bass, 43-5, $10,500
26th: Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 42-14, $10,500
27th: Jason Meninger, Saint Augustine, Fla., 15 bass, 42-14, $10,500
28th: Evan Barnes, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 42-10, $10,500
29th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 15 bass, 42-10, $10,500
30th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 15 bass, 42-1, $10,500
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Overall, there were 150 bass weighing 436 pounds, 13 ounces, caught by pros Saturday. All 30 pros were able to bring five-bass limits to the scale.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 164 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to 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 Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance is more than $860,000. The tournament is hosted by the Economic Development Alliance, Jefferson County.
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. EST Sunday from the TVA Dam Boat Launch, located at 2805 N. Highway 92, in Jefferson City. Sunday’s Championship weigh-in will be held near the launch beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the TVA Dam Boat Launch from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, as well as learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance will premiere in 2019. The exact air-date will be announced soon. 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 Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros. Host 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 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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