Quick Bites: FLW Tour Lake Murray, Day 2 - Major League Fishing

Quick Bites: FLW Tour Lake Murray, Day 2

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Kevin Vida grabs a cheeseburger from Joanne McMurray. Photo by Jennifer Simmons. Angler: Kevin Vida.
February 9, 2006 • Jennifer Simmons • Archives

Wal-Mart FLW Tour

Lake Murray, Columbia, S.C.

Opening round, Thursday

Cheeseburgers in paradise … It pays to fish with co-angler Rob McMurray. Not only is the Michigan angler a pretty nice guy in general, but if you are ever his pro partner, you’re going to get a cheeseburger. At every weigh-in. For free. “They always come in hungry, so we bring in cheeseburgers,” said Joanne McMurray, who has made a habit out of giving McDonald’s goodness to every pro who has fished with her son in his FLW career. “I used to buy 10; now I’m up to 15.” One of the lucky recipients is Kevin Vida, who has fished with Rob twice. “I drew her son probably two years ago, and she gave me a cheeseburger,” Vida said. “Ever since, even at the Stren Series, she brings me one. Every time I see her, I just laugh.” According to Rob, it’s just a nice service to help the guys out so they can watch the weigh-in without the hunger pangs. “It’s just a show of appreciation for all the great boaters on the tour,” he said. “They’re just waiting around to watch the rest of the weigh-in, and they can’t go grab something to eat. It works out great.” The downside, though, are all the anglers who don’t yet get a cheeseburger. “I feel bad because I don’t give them to everyone,” Joanne said. “They look at me like, `How’d he get the lucky number?'” Rob is also earning quite a reputation on tour as the son of the cheeseburger lady. “When he’s prefishing, they say, `Why didn’t you call me?’ because they know there is a hamburger in it for them,” she said.

Tim Carroll brings the National Guard leaderIn the bag … In 2006, FLW Tour leaders have more to look forward to than seeing their name at the top of the leaderboard. On days two, three and four this season, the tournament leader will bring a special weigh-in bag to the stage emblazoned with the National Guard logo. Also, a $500 donation will be made in the leader’s name to the FishAmerica Foundation. Today, Tim Carroll became the first angler to hold the leader’s bag, and he will hold it again tomorrow as he extended his lead into day two.

Girl power … The last time the FLW Tour visited Lake Murray, two women – Pam Wood and Laura Long – made the co-angler top 10, and history repeated itself today when Judy Israel and Sondra Rankin finished seventh and eighth, respectively, to fish the final two days. Israel fished with Lake Murray stalwart Anthony Gagliardi on day one and busted an 18-plus-pound stringer, but on day two, she mustered only 1 pound, 1 ounce, making her top-10 appearance quite a surprise to her. “I was second after day one in Okeechobee too,” she said. “I just can’t put two days together.” Yet she did, earning her fifth FLW Tour top 10. Israel remains the only woman to have ever won an FLW Tour event. As for Rankin, she jumped 69 spots up the leaderboard to claim her second career top-10.

Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas, landed the day's Snickers Big Bass award and $750 in the Pro Division with a 9-pound, 14-ounce largemouth. He also earned the tournament's overall Snickers Big Bass award of $1,000 and will likely win the season's big bass award of $5,000.The colder it gets, the hotter it gets … Though none of the forecasted snowflakes were witnessed around the city of Columbia today, it was still teeth-chattering cold out there on Lake Murray. Pro Dave Wolak, in fact, mentioned he’d spent a lot of time on ski slopes and today’s temperatures ranked right up there with some of the coldest days he’d spent in the snow. However, the frosty temps did little to cool down the fishing, as the pros actually brought in slightly more weight today than they did yesterday, and Danny Correia’s season-best 9-pound, 5-ounce big bass was bested by a 9-14 from Kelly Jordon. The fish earned Jordon $750 for day-two Snickers Big Bass honors and also puts him in the running for the overall big-bass award, given at the end of the year to the angler who catches the heaviest bass of the season.

The ties that bind … No. 11 pro Ralph Laster Jr. and No. 11 co-angler Homer Stephens are probably driving home a little extra disappointed at just barely missing the top 10. After all, both the pro and co-angler cuts were determined by tiebreakers. On the pro side, both Laster and Wolak scored two-day totals of 34 pounds, 9 ounces, but Wolak advanced with the heaviest day-one stringer. On the co-angler side, Stephens and Mark Cummings each caught 19 pounds, 4 ounces, with the heaviest day-one weight being the tiebreaker there also. “What can I say?” Stephens said. “I gave it all I had.”

Sean Minderman caught 22 pounds on day two after bringing in only 1-14 on day one.Big bouncers … Several anglers also experienced a reversal of fortune on day two, most notably pro Brennan Bosley, who jumped from 74th to fifth with the day’s heaviest stringer, a 26-pound, 5-ounce limit. Other pros who smashed them on day two but couldn’t quite make the cut include Alvin Shaw (8-0 to 19-5, 33rd), Randy Blaukat (4-7 to 22-3, 37th) and Sean Minderman (1-14 to 22-0, 58th). “I did the same thing I did yesterday, but I just stayed confident and it worked out,” Minderman said. … Co-angler Melinda Mize also picked up a good check in her last tournament before going overseas with the National Guard. She caught 1 pound, 2 ounces yesterday but hauled in 17 pounds, 7 ounces today to end her season on a high note.

Quick numbers:

9-10: Co-angler leader Bryan Thrift’s lead over No. 2 David Brunaugh, in pounds and ounces. (Weights will be cleared for Friday’s competition, however.)

3: Number of pros making their first top-10 appearance, including leader Carroll.

Anthony Gagliardi is the hometown favorite this week on Lake Murray.2: Time in the afternoon when Gagliardi says he got on his fish. He caught 15 pounds on day two.

12-8: Weight, in pounds and ounces, caught by both Michael and R.J. Bennett on day one. The pair are brothers.

141: Places above R.J. that Michael ultimately finished after R.J. blanked on day two. Michael finished 23rd.

1: Number of pros, out of 200, who did not catch a fish on either day one or day two.

Sound bites:

David Smith scored his first FLW Tour top-10 with a 35-pound, 9-ounce catch on Lake Murray, good for ninth.“It brought tears to my eyes when I caught it.” – No. 9 pro David Smith, describing what he called an “onion fish.” The fish weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces.

“In another month, it’ll be silly out there.” – No. 16 pro Mike Hawkes, on how the awesome fishing on Lake Murray is only going to get better in the coming weeks.

“That’s the thing about fishing. Anybody can beat anybody any day.” – Thrift, on his reluctance to get too excited about his success.

“If I need help carrying these anchovies in, I’m in trouble.” – Alton Jones, who brought in three fish weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces on day two to finish the tournament 115th.

“Yeah, the last time we were at Murray.” – No. 8 pro Matt Herren, when asked if he remembered the last time it took so much weight to make a top-10 cut. In 2003, it took 35 pounds to make the cut on Lake Murray; today, it took 34-9.

“I don’t deal with fish like this a lot, except in video games.” – Minnesota pro Jim Moynagh, after weighing in an 8-pound, 7-ounce bass.

Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. EST at Jakes Landing, located at 220 Jakes Landing Road in Lexington, S.C.

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