SANDUSKY, Ohio – Major League Fishing (MLF) pro Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Wednesday weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces, to take the lead after day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio. Lucas’ two-day total of 10 bass weighing 41-5 gives him a slim 3-ounce advantage heading into day three of the four-day Super Tournament that features 187 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals from FLW and MLF angling for a piece of $1.3 million, including the first-place prize of up to $160,000.
The 2016 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Champion Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Missouri, sits in second place, just 3 ounces behind Lucas with 41-2. Pro Alton Jones Jr. of Lorena, Texas, has a two-day total of 40-13, good for third place, while day one leader Arizona’s Josh Bertrand fell to fourth with a two-day total of 39-14. The field is now cut to 50 for Thursday’s competition with only the top 10 anglers advancing to Championship Friday.
“It looks really good on the scales, but it was not easy,” said Lucas, who won the final MLF Bass Pro Tour event of the season last month in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. “I only had seven keeper bites today, and I lost two of them. I only put five keepers in the boat and I never culled one time. So, it looks good but it was really tough to get there today.”
Lucas said that he spent the day hunting for active smallmouth that are ready to feed.
“They’re hard to find, but there are a few out there,” Lucas said. “Most of mine are coming on my 2D sonar. I think they’re attracted to the boat. I see them come up under the boat and then I drop straight down onto them. It can be awhile, between bites, though. Today it was hours.”
Lucas said that all of his fish came on a Berkley PowerBait Maxscent Flat Worm, and that he is “all in” on his spots.
“I don’t really have a backup plan,” Lucas said. “I do have one other area that I haven’t hit yet, but I don’t think the fish are as big there. I think 18 pounds would be a good bag there, but I think it’ll take 20 pounds a day to win this thing.
“I’m trying to stay away from the crowd – there just isn’t enough fish out there to go around,” Lucas went on to say. “I have a lot of confidence here in the summer, though. I know I can find some little sweet spots out there.”
The top 20 pros after day two on Lake Erie are:
1st: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 41-5
2nd: Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 41-2
3rd: Alton Jones Jr. of Lorena, Texas, 10 bass, 40-13
4th: Josh Bertrand of San Tan Valley, Ariz., 10 bass, 39-14
5th: Spencer Shuffield of Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 38-11
6th: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 10 bass, 38-4
7th: Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, 10 bass, 37-9
8th: Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., 10 bass, 37-4
9th: Fred Roumbanis of London, Ark., 10 bass, 36-5
10th: Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., 10 bass, 36-2
11th: Jason Reyes of Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 35-4
12th: Randy Howell of Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 35-1
13th: Boyd Duckett of Guntersville, Ala., nine bass, 34-15
14th: Russ Lane of Prattville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-12
15th: Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., 10 bass, 34-12
16th: Joseph Webster of Winfield, Ala., nine bass, 34-6
17th: David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 34-6
18th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., nine bass, 34-4
19th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 10 bass, 34-4
20th: Grae Buck of Green Lane, Pa., 10 bass, 33-11
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Anglers were also vying for the prestigious 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Angler of the Year (AOY) title that is determined by the most points accumulated over the six Pro Circuit events in 2020.
Pro Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Michigan, the 2019 Polaris Rookie of the Year, clinched the 2020 AOY title Wednesday, after bringing in a limit and ending the day in 18th place. Nelson can finish no worse than 50th place, which clinches the title for the Michigan pro after bringing a 73-point lead into the event. Nelson will receive his entry fees paid for the entire 2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season for his win.
Nelson also won the $500 Berkley Big Bass award Wednesday in the pro division after bringing a 6pound largemouth to the scale.
Overall there were 754 bass weighing 2,206 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 174 pros Wednesday. The catch included 121 five-bass limits.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Erie is hosted by the City of Sandusky and the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center. The total purse for the event is more than $1.3 million, including a top prize of up to $160,000.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament competition, the full field of 187 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday. Now, the top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Thursday. Only the top 10 pros will continue competition on Championship Friday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.
MLF pros competing in the Pro Circuit Super Tournaments will fish for prize money only. No points will be awarded toward any championship or title to MLF competitors. Only the original Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers will compete for the AOY title throughout the remainder of the season. AOY points in the final events will be awarded based on Pro Circuit anglers finishing order. The top-finishing FLW pro will receive “first-place points” regardless of where he finishes in the overall standings, and so on.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EDT each day from the Shelby St. Public Boat Launch, located at 101 Shelby St., in Sandusky. The weigh-in each day will be held at the Paper District Marina, located at 611 W. Shoreline Drive, beginning at 4 p.m.
Attendance is limited to competing anglers and essential staff only. Fans are encouraged to forgo the daily takeoffs and weigh-ins and follow the event online through the expanded four-day “FLW Live” on-the-water broadcasts and weigh-in coverage at FLWFishing.com.
Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Erie will premiere at 7 p.m. EDT, Sept. 25 on the Outdoor Channel. Running now through Dec. 27, FLW will air 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit action on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. Each two-hour long episode goes in-depth to break down the final rounds of each regular-season competition. Episodes premiere in Friday night primetime slots on the Outdoor Channel, with additional re-airings on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on all four days of competition, 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 and MLF’s Marty Stone 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.
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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