ANDERSON, S.C. – Boater Dustin Lippe of Lampe, Missouri, took the early lead Wednesday at the 37th annual Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American on Lake Hartwell presented by TINCUP with a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds even. Right behind Lippe in second place is Leesburg, Ohio’s Cole Floyd, who brought five bass to the scale good for 11 pounds, 10 ounces.
The 2020 All-American features a field of the top 55 boaters and 55 co-anglers from across the 24-division Bass Fishing League, The Bass Federation, Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI and High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing, all competing for a grand prize of up to $120,000 in the boater division and $50,000 in the co-angler division.
“It was tough out there today,” said Lippe, who qualified through the Bass Fishing League Ozark Division. “Practice seemed to be pretty good – I could catch numbers, and the size was better than I anticipated. This morning, that was not the case. I started off with a small limit – like 7 pounds – and I eventually stumbled on to one that weighed close to 3½ (pounds) and that helped.
“It was slow the rest of the day, then in the last 10 minutes I caught one that culled up my weight another pound and a half. I weighed in all spotted bass. I had been catching some largemouth, but I could not get them to bite today.”
The Missouri angler said that the key to his day was covering a lot of water.
“I’m watching them on my electronics – I’ve got LiveScope – and just video game fishing and covering a lot of water,” Lippe said. “That can be very frustrating too, at times, because I can see them and then they don’t bite. I’ve just been throwing a lot of reaction baits.
“I caught 11 or 12 keepers, which sounds better than it is because quite a few were 13-inchers,” Lippe went on to say. “I need to figure out if I’m going to try to do the same thing tomorrow or change it up. I’m happy with 12 pounds, but I only had three good fish and I know that I’ll need something more. I’m excited to get out there tomorrow, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
The top 10 boaters after day one on Lake Hartwell are:
1st: Dustin Lippe, Lampe, Mo., five bass, 12-0
2nd: Cole Floyd, Leesburg, Ohio, five bass, 11-10
3rd: Todd Goade, White Pine, Tenn., five bass, 11-7
3rd: Bryan Dowdy, Florence, Ala., five bass, 11-7
5th: Chris Macy, Diamond, Mo., five bass, 11-6
6th: Wesley Sandifer, Chapin, S.C., five bass, 11-4
7th: Dennis Berhorst, Holts Summit, Mo., five bass, 11-1
8th: Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 10-12
9th: Ryan Davidson, Branchland, W.Va., five bass, 10-10
10th: Michael Miller, Greenville, S.C., five bass, 10-9
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Overall, there were 233 bass weighing 431 pounds, 8 ounces, caught by 53 boaters Wednesday. The catch included 36 five-bass limits.
Larry Rothweil of Saint Charles, Missouri, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 5 ounces, followed by Michael Duarte of Baltimore, Maryland, in second place with five bass weighing 9 pounds, 14 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers are:
1st: Larry Rothweil, Saint Charles, Mo., five bass, 10-5
2nd: Michael Duarte, Baltimore, Md., five bass, 9-14
3rd: Kerry Harris, Bethel Island, Calif., five bass, 9-2
4th: Justin Kimmel, Athens, Ga., five bass, 9-0
5th: Kibbee McCoy, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 8-11
6th: Alan Scott, Shelbyville, Ind., five bass, 8-4
7th: David Blankinship, Cushing, Okla., five bass, 8-1
7th: Leo Reiter, Greenup, Ill., five bass, 8-1
7th: Andrew Wooley, Little Rock, Ark., five bass, 8-1
10th: Chad Cartwright, Eddyville, Ky., five bass, 8-0
Overall, there were 170 bass weighing 262 pounds even, caught by 52 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included 18 five-bass limits.
All-American competitors will take off from Green Pond Landing, located at 470 Green Pond Road in Anderson, at 7:30 a.m. EST each morning. Weigh-in will be held at the landing at 4 p.m. daily. Attendance is limited to anglers, family and essential staff. Fans are encouraged to follow the event online through the daily coverage, live blogs and photos at FLWFishing.com.
The 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American presented by T-H Marine on Lake Hartwell presented by TINCUP is hosted by Visit Anderson.
Television coverage of the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP will premiere Jan. 2, 2021, on the Outdoor Channel, Jan. 4, 2021, on the World Fishing Network and featured in the FLW television series on YouTube.com/FLWFishing. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Namibia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and Zimbabwe.
The 2020 All-American field of 55 boaters and 55 co-anglers is comprised of the top six boaters and co-anglers from each of the six Bass Fishing League Regional Championships held in 2019, along with the top six boaters and co-anglers from the 2019 Wild Card tournament. They are joined by the top boater and co-angler from each of the seven divisions at the 2020 TBF National Championship, along with both members of the second, third and fourth-place teams at the 2020 Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance, who compete as boaters. The fifth and sixth place teams from the College Fishing National Championship and the winning team from the 2019 High School Fishing National Championship compete as co-anglers.
In addition to the cash payouts, the highest-finishing boater and co-angler from each of seven Regional Championships (including the Wild Card) at the All-American will advance to the 2020 Toyota Series Championship next month on Lake Cumberland for a shot at winning $235,000 and $33,500, respectively.
The full field of anglers compete on Wednesday and Thursday, with only the top 10 boaters and top 10 co-anglers based on cumulative weight from the first two days continuing to Championship Friday. The 2020 All-American champions will be determined by the heaviest three-day total weight.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine 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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