LEESBURG, Fla. – Local pro angler Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Florida, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 31 pounds, 6 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers. His two-day total of 10 bass weighing 46 pounds even will give him a 4-pound, 3-ounce lead over second place pro Jimmy Washam of Covington, Tennessee (41-13) and more than a 6½-pound advantage over third place pro Hunter Freeman of Monroe, Louisiana (39-6).
The tournament, originally scheduled for four days, was shortened to three after strong winds forced a postponement of competition on Friday. With a top prize of up to $135,000 on the line, the full field of 154 anglers competed on Thursday and Saturday and now only the top 30 anglers advance to Championship Sunday.
While a 4+ pound lead would be very substantial on most bodies of water, the giant bass that lurk at the Harris Chain of Lakes mean that Strickland’s lead is by no means safe and many anglers remain in contention to take home the top prize. However, what is perhaps most interesting about Strickland’s magical day on Saturday is that the Florida pro thinks he might be able to duplicate it on Sunday.
“On Thursday I only caught 14 pounds, but I had three swimmers and I lost two or three giants,” said Strickland, a rookie who is fishing his second tournament at FLW’s top level. “Today, I caught my giants and was out of there by 10 (a.m.). I really laid off my fish – there is so much there that I haven’t fished yet.
“I’m really excited because I know what’s happening, and I believe it’s going to hold for at least another day. We’re just going to go fishing tomorrow and see if I can catch a dirty 30 again.”
Although Strickland was tight-lipped about his specific details and presentations, he did mention that he has caught all of his fish this week – except one that he weighed today – on just one bait. He said he was flipping and casting.
“I thought I would maybe catch around 20 pounds today, but the bigguns bit for me,” Strickland said. “I caught six fish today and left it. Just fishing around I caught a couple of little dinks, but I never caught anything else that could help.
“Things are lining up to get good again, and I think tomorrow I’m going to either hero or zero,” Strickland went on to say. “I’m just going to go fishing and do what I know how to do to catch them.”
The top 30 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on the Harris Chain of Lakes are:
1st: Laramy Strickland of Bushnell, Fla., 10 bass, 46-0
2nd: Jimmy Washam of Covington, Tenn., 10 bass, 41-13
3rd: Hunter Freeman of Monroe, La., 10 bass, 39-6
4th: Miles Burghoff of Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-15
5th: Kyle Gelles of Pingree, Idaho, 10 bass, 36-12
6th: Jared McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 35-15
7th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., 10 bass, 35-11
8th: Casey Scanlon of Lake Ozark, Mo., 10 bass, 35-4
9th: Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., 10 bass, 34-3
10th: Chad Warren of Sand Springs, Okla., 10 bass, 34-1
11th: John Cox of DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 33-13
12th: Brandon McMillan of Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 33-4
13th: Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 33-3
14th: Jacob Wall of New Hope, Ala., 10 bass, 32-13
15th: Bill McDonald of Greenwood, Ind., 10 bass, 32-10
16th: Lance Crawford of Broken Bow, Okla., nine bass, 32-9
17th: James Niggemeyer of Van, Texas, 10 bass, 32-6
18th: Erik Luzak of Fenelon Falls, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 32-4
19th: Chad Grigsby of Maple Grove, Minn., 10 bass, 31-12
20th: Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 31-10
21st: Jon Canada of Helena, Ala., 10 bass, 30-15
22nd: Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., 10 bass, 30-10
23rd: Robert Nakatomi of Sacramento, Calif., 10 bass, 30-5
24th: Grae Buck of Green Lane, Pa., 10 bass, 29-15
25th: Terry Bolton of Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 29-11
26th: Joshua Weaver of Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 29-8
27th: Matt Becker of Finleyville, Pa., 10 bass, 28-7
28th: Dakota Ebare of Denham Springs, La., 10 bass, 28-4
29th: Mike Surman of Boca Raton, Fla., 10 bass, 28-3
30th: Tyler Woolcott of Port Orange, Fla., 10 bass, 28-1
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Strickland’s biggest bass of the day – a 9-pound, 4-ounce largemouth – also claimed the day's $500 Berkley Big Bass award.
Overall there were 696 bass weighing 1,608 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 153 pros Saturday. The catch included 122 five-bass limits.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Bad Boy Mowers is hosted by Lake County, Florida.
In normal Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 154 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. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition. After Friday’s weather postponement the format was changed to a three-day event, with the full field fishing the first two days of competition (Thursday and Saturday) and the top 30 pros advancing to Sunday, the final day of competition.
The final 10 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST Sunday from the Venetian Gardens, located at 201 E. Lake Harris Drive, in Leesburg. Sunday’s Championship weigh-in will be held at the Gardens, beginning at 4 p.m.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Harris Chain of Lakes will premiere in 2020. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit will have 156 two-hour airings on network television, including 26 consecutive weeks of Friday night primetime airing on Outdoor Channel and 130 airings on Sportsman Channel for a total of 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit programming.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by Toyota Series 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 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit 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 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, FLW and its partners conduct more than 290 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show while Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. Acquired by Major League Fishing in late 2019, FLW is expanding its programming in 2020 to the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel as well as on-demand at MyOutdoorTV (MOTV).
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