Quick Bites: FLW Ouachita River, Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Quick Bites: FLW Ouachita River, Day 2

Image for Quick Bites: FLW Ouachita River, Day 2
Bobby Lane shows off two of the fish that earned him a third consecutive top-10 finish in his rookie year on the FLW Tour. Photo by Jennifer Simmons. Angler: Bobby Lane.
March 10, 2005 • Jennifer Simmons • Archives

Wal-Mart FLW Tour

Ouachita River, Monroe, La.

Opening round, Thursday

Three Lane expressway … The hottest angler of the year just keeps on getting hotter, as rookie phenom Bobby Lane earned his third consecutive FLW Tour top-10 berth – in just three attempts – with an opening-round total of 28 pounds, 15 ounces, good for seventh. Lane ended day one in 14th and climbed into the top 10 with a 14-pound, 4-ounce catch, a hefty stringer on a day when catches fell off a bit. “I’m just trying to prove that I can make it on the big tour,” Lane said. … Last year’s Angler of the Year, Shinichi Fukae, was also a rookie and earned the AOY title with three top-10 finishes. When Dan Morehead took the No. 1 spot in 2003, he also got there via three top-10s. Could Lane already have the title locked up?

Greg Hackney rebounded on day two with the dayComeback attack … There are many anglers who would be perfectly content to find themselves 32nd in Angler of the Year points, but not Greg Hackney. The Hack Attack was smoking at the close of 2004 but really had not done anything remarkable this season until day two on the Ouachita River. Many felt Hackney would turn his year around on his home waters of the Ouachita, but he surprised the pundits on day one when he brought in a scant 4 pounds, 2 ounces to find himself in 141st. He came back in a big way on day two, however, bringing in the day’s heaviest stringer – 19-12 – and leaping 121 spots up the leaderboard to finish the tournament in 20th place with a two-day total of 23 pounds, 14 ounces. “Slack Attack”? Hardly. “I probably just practiced a little too fast,” he said. “I settled down and found the right area.” … The quantum leap is nothing new for Hackney, who scored one of the FLW Tour’s greatest comebacks last season on Old Hickory Lake. He jumped from 122nd to sixth and ultimately finished the tournament in fourth.

On a tear … Bobby Lane isn’t the only angler enjoying a hot streak. No. 10 pro Toshinari Namiki earned his second top-10 finish of the year, and rookie William Davis earned his first-ever FLW Tour top 10 fresh off an EverStart Series top-10 performance that included his record-breaking two-day stringer that weighed 51 pounds.

Matt Herren retained his spot at the top of the leaderboard with a two-day total of 36 pounds, 6 ounces.Meet Matt … Over the past three seasons, Matt Herren has quietly built a solid FLW Tour career that earned him a championship slot in both of his first two seasons. Though he tore up the BFL Bama Division before ascending to bass fishing’s upper echelon, Herren has flown under the radar until his dominant performance this week on the Ouachita River. He earned his first FLW Tour top-10 finish and led both days of the opening round, accumulating a two-day total of bass that weighed 36 pounds, 6 ounces. Should he win, it would also be his first victory in 55 FLW Outdoors events since 1995.

Taking the plunge … Six of the top 10 anglers after day one failed to advance to Friday and Saturday’s final rounds, though all managed to finish in the top 30. The numbers did indeed fall today as some had predicted, both in numbers caught as well as overall weight. The most likely explanations for the drop-off seemed to be either the end of the cold front or the falling water levels. A few anglers cited fishing pressure, which is possible due to the large number of competitors locking through to Arkansas to find their bass.

Quick numbers:

56: Jason Kilpatrick’s day-one finish. He jumped up to eighth on day two and will fish Friday and Saturday.

3: Number of pros making their first FLW Tour top-10.

2: Number of former FLW Tour winners in the pro top 10.

4: Number of co-anglers who advanced to the top 10 despite catching only one bass on day two.

26-6: Top-10 cutoff weight on the pro side.

Robert Karbas earned day-two big-bass honors in the Pro Division with this 7-pounder.7: Weight, in pounds, of pro Robert Karbas Jr.’s Snickers Big Bass.

5-8: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of the co-angler big bass on day two.

2: Number of co-anglers who caught a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass on day two to claim big-bass honors – Bill Barrett and Randy Clark.

Sound bites:

“If I had an idea then maybe I wouldn’t have shown up with two.” – David Walker, upon being asked what happened to his fish on day two. Walker entered day two as the No. 2 pro but finished the tournament in 17th after bringing in only two bass Thursday.

“I don’t know how to catch a limit. I got caught with my britches down and lost one.'” – Pro Scott Suggs, who indeed failed to catch a limit this tournament but still managed to finish in 32nd place.

“I actually culled!” – Karen Savik, upon catching her first five-bass limit of the season.

“It’s like a road course.” – NASCAR angler Sandy Melvin, comparing the Ouachita’s winding curves to a certain loopy type of racetrack.

“Last year I zigged when everybody else zagged and I won the tournament. This year it’s just the opposite.” – Louisiana pro Sam Swett, who earned his first win last year in his home state but didn’t fare so well this year.

“I’m trying to make the bottom 100 this time and I’m doing a good job getting there.” – Greg Pugh, who finished the tournament in 156th after finishing in the top 10 in the season’s first two events.

“I’m going to need some money to buy all that gas to come back here and pick my boat up.” – Jim Tutt, whose boat broke down this week on the Ouachita River. Luckily for Tutt, he finished 44th and earned a check for $10,000, plenty enough to buy gas even at $2 a gallon.

“My boss will know I’m not skipping work.” – Derek Moyer, who finished 175th on the co-angler side. He zeroed on day one but caught a 15-ounce bass on day two to get himself on the leaderboard – and prove to any doubters that he was indeed fishing the tournament.

“You don’t go bear hunting with a switch.” – Weighmaster Charlie Evans to Steve Kennedy, who broke off a fish on a hookset that Evans blamed on line that was too light.

Bobby Lane is more than a pretty face.” – Co-angler Merle Wells Jr., who fished with Lane on day two and thus got an upclose view of the hotshot in action.

Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. CST at Forsythe Park, located at 2401 Sycamore St. in Monroe, La.