DAYTON, Tenn. – Yamamoto Baits pro Matt Greenblatt of Port St. Lucie, Florida, brought a five-bass limit of largemouth to the Dayton Boat Dock scale Friday weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces, to vault into the lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Chickamauga presented by Evinrude in Dayton, Tennessee. Greenblatt’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 43 pounds, 2 ounces gives him a slim 8-ounce advantage heading into Day Three of the four-day competition that features 165 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, who led after Day One, fell to second place, just 8 ounces behind Greenblatt with 42-10. Former FLW Cup champion and three-time Angler of the Year Polaris pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Virginia, is just 15 ounces behind Greenblatt in third place with 42-3. The field is now cut to 30 for Saturday’s competition with only the top 10 anglers advancing to championship Sunday.
“I pretty much did the same exact thing that I did Thursday – same spot, same bait, same everything,” said Greenblatt, a six-year FLW Tour veteran with one career FLW Cup appearance. “I thought I had milked it for everything it was worth yesterday, but it replenished overnight. Hopefully there is two more days of bass in there, but I really don’t know what it has left.”
Greenblatt described his key area as a slope, in 8 to 12 feet of water.
“I don’t know why the fish are setting up there. There really is nothing there,” Greenblatt said. “Thursday I caught the heck out of them, all day long. Today it slowed down a lot – I think because of the pressure and we had a little different conditions. I’m catching fish on three different baits, and there seems to be a lot of bait in the area so hopefully it keeps them where they are.”
Greenblatt declined to name his main two baits, but did divulge that a Yamamoto Senko has also been a key piece of his arsenal this week.
“There is definitely a shallow Senko bite that is developing,” he said. “Wacky-rigged seems to be best, but I’ve got them rigged up four different ways. I’m dyeing the tail a little bit, giving them a little more to see.
“Hopefully tomorrow my area is not all blown out,” Greenblatt went on to say. “I’m going to get everything I can there and see what happens. If it’s not happening by noon I’m going to drop back, punt, and go to the dock pattern.”
The top 30 pros that made the cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Chickamauga are:
1st: Yamamoto Baits pro Matt Greenblatt, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 43-2
2nd: Berkley pro John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 42-10
3rd: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 42-3
4th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 10 bass, 39-1
5th: Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Mich., 10 bass, 39-1
6th: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 10 bass, 38-15
7th: Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 10 bass, 38-14
8th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 10 bass, 38-10
9th: Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 10 bass, 38-6
10th: Clark Reehm, Elm Grove, La., 10 bass, 36-3
11th: Aaron Britt, Yuba City, Calif., 10 bass, 35-15
12th: Bass Pro Shops pro James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 10 bass, 35-9
13th: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 35-6
14th: Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 10 bass, 35-1
15th: Dicky Newberry, Houston, Texas, 10 bass, 35-1
16th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-13
17th: David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 10 bass, 34-11
18th: T-H Marine pro Sam George, Athens, Ala., 10 bass, 34-11
19th: Charlie Ingram, Centerville, Tenn., 10 bass, 34-4
20th: Miles Howe, San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 10 bass, 34-1
21st: Glenn Chappelear, Acworth, Ga., 10 bass, 33-11
22nd: Kyle Weisenburger, Ottawa, Ohio, 10 bass, 33-4
23rd: Chris Whitson, Louisville, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-12
24th: Rapala pro Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 32-11
25th: David Gaston, Sylacauga, Ala., 10 bass, 32-9
26th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 32-8
27th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 32-6
28th: Ryan Salzman, Huntsville, Ala., 10 bass, 32-4
29th: T-H Marine pro Luke Dunkin, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-3
30th: Bradford Beavers, Summerville, S.C., 10 bass, 32-1
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Ingram won the Big Bass Award and the $500 prize on the pro side Friday with a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces.
Overall there were 765 bass weighing 2,171 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 162 pros Friday. The catch included 138 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 165 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight now 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 Chickamauga presented by Evinrude is more than $860,000. The tournament is hosted by Fish Dayton and the Rhea Economic Tourism Council.
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. ET Saturday and Sunday from the Dayton Boat Dock, located at 175 Lakeshore St., in Dayton. Weigh-ins will also be held at the Dayton Boat Dock, beginning at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Dayton Boat Dock 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 Dayton Boat Dock on Saturday, May 4, 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 Chickamauga presented by Evinrude 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 FLW Tour veteran Peter Thliveros 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.
# # #