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

Quick Bites: FLW Tour Pickwick Lake, Day 2

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Jason Knapp holds up two fish from the second of his two limits. He caught 10 fish the first two days that averaged less than a pound each. Photo by Jennifer Simmons. Angler: Jason Knapp.
March 2, 2006 • Jennifer Simmons • Archives

Wal-Mart FLW Tour

Pickwick Lake, Florence, Ala.

Opening round, Thursday

Little fish in a big pond … Rookie pro Jason Knapp took some on-stage ribbing yesterday for bringing in a five-bass limit that weighed only 4 pounds, 13 ounces. Limits have been few and far between this week, and despite finishing the tournament in 55th place, he caught yet another limit today, this one weighing only 4 pounds, 10 ounces. That means Knapp brought in 10 fish over two days with an average weight of less than a pound each. “Pickwick’s got a lot of big fish – it’s one of my favorite places to come fishing,” said the Pennsylvania pro. “I just had a bad practice.” … Interestingly, Knapp caught his limits – one of only 12 limits on day two – on a big-fish bait. “I caught all my fish on a jig, which is crazy because a jig is a big-fish bait.” As to why he couldn’t bring in any that were any bigger, Knapp laughed and said, “I suck.” Trust us, Jason – no one who brought in two limits during this tournament could possibly suck.

Spanked … Scott Martin is a man that could probably be described as honest to a fault. The Florida pro took 38th place this week and caught a pair of bass today that weighed 11 pounds, 9 ounces, but it seems he could have had a lot more, but he chose instead to honor his obligations. “Jason Kilpatrick, Wesley Strader and I were all going to lock through into the Tennessee River,” Martin said. “I was one of the first boats out, and I knew I had a few minutes, so I had told Wesley, `I’m going to make a few casts. I’ll be four or five minutes total – hold the lock for me.'” Martin did just that and caught a sizable bass on the first cast. A couple of casts later, he had a 3-pounder and was eyeing a 5-pounder swimming around it. By this time, his five minutes were up, and it was time to get to the lock that his friends were so generously holding for him. “To keep my end of the deal, I had to go on down there,” he said. “I thought I could catch a few more where I was going, but it didn’t happen.” By leaving the fish, Martin may have done the honest thing, though he did defy what he says is the best advice his father, fishing legend Roland Martin, ever gave him – and there could be consequences. “The best advice my dad ever gave me was, if you’re catching them, don’t leave them, so I’m going to be in trouble,” he said. “I’m going to get a 30-year-old spanking.”

Ramie Colson Jr. walks off the stage. He ended the tournament 11th though two of his roommates are in the top 10.Friendly fire … At most tournaments, the motley crew of Andy Morgan, Dan Morehead, Ramie Colson Jr. and Terry Bolton room together and participate in all kinds of prankish behavior, most of which is unprintable in this column. The high jinks are bound to escalate this week with two of the four in the top 10 and one who barely missed. Morgan ended the opening round in fifth with Morehead behind in seventh, and Colson was the odd man out, barely missing the cut and finishing the tournament in 11th place. “Ramie’s probably going to be mad at me,” Morgan said. Turns out, not so much. “He deserves it more than I do,” Colson said. “I can’t be mad, no more than I caught prefishing. The bad part is being the first one out, but one of these days I’ll get it.” … As close as they are on the leaderboard (Bolton finished 65th), one would assume they have swapped information, though that is not the case. Colson said each of them is fishing differently, adding that he himself fished two locks away from Morgan on day two.

Ciao! … Because the Internet is truly the World Wide Web, fishing fans from across the globe can get a piece of FLW Tour action just by watching FLW Live, the real-time weigh-in broadcast on FLWOutdoors.com. Watching her mom all the way from Italy is pro Karen Savik’s daughter Brita, who’s studying abroad in a city about 40 minutes north of Venice. “She left in January and comes home in May,” Savik said. “I couldn’t help her get ready because I was on tour. It was torture!” Savik found out that Brita had been watching her from across the pond during the Lake Murray event, so the proud mother wanted to give a little greeting to her daughter today from afar. “I said to her, `This tournament, I’m going to say hi,'” Savik said. “I am so excited that she could see it and share a little part of home.”

The Mustard Man himself, Bill Hunter.Hot dog, it’s the Mustard Man! … At every FLW Tour event, a genial angler named Bill Hunter crosses the stage made up like a bottle of mustard, and for good reason – he’s the Mustard Man. “I was fishing a tournament when my wife fell and hurt her arm,” said Hunter, who proudly wears his title on his bright yellow vest. “The other firshermen’s wives knew I couldn’t cook, so they asked what I was living on. I told them mustard and bread.” Thus began the Mustard Man nickname, which stuck and continues to this day. “They made me all kinds of clothes,” he said, pointing to his vest. “I’ve got yellow pants and shirts. I’m known all over the country as the Mustard Man.” Peculiar to be sure, though there are definitely worse things for which he could be known.

Quick numbers:

14: Number of five-bass limits caught on day two – six fewer than yesterday.

22: Number of pros who blanked both days of competition.

77: Number of co-anglers who came up empty on days one and two.

2-11: Amount of weight it took to earn a check on the co-angler side (payout is through 75th place).

Scott Dobson caught the day

7-7: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of the bass brought in by Scott Dobson that was the heaviest of the day.

7-2: Leader Rob Kilby’s lead over No. 2 Tommy Biffle, in pounds and ounces. (Weights are cleared for day three.)

2: Number of co-anglers who blanked on day one but caught enough on day two to finish in the top 10 – Stephen Smith and James Green.

2: Number of pros making their second top-10 appearance of the year – Biffle and Brennan Bosley.

Sound bites:

“Every time I catch a fish, my nose clears up, my throat doesn’t hurt as much, and I stop coughing.” – Under-the-weather pro Ish Monroe, discussing the healing powers of catching a bass.

“There are a couple of other guys I’d like to pay back, but Todd’s pretty cool.” – Morehead, on whether he would employ any scare tactics on No. 8 pro Todd Auten, with whom he is sharing a spot.

“I caught that fish early and thought, `I’ve got it made.'” – Bosley, who caught only one bass today but still slipped into the top 10.

“I fished six days at Lake Murray and finished 132nd. I fished three hours here, and I’m in the lead.” – Pro David Walker, who eventually relinquished the lead to Kilby but still ended the day in fourth.

“Three hundred dollars in gas for 12 ounces.” – Pro Rich Tauber, bemoaning the cost of making the long run to Guntersville for such a puny payback. Tauber ended the tournament in 176th, though his one bass did weigh 1 pound, 1 ounce.

Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. Central time at McFarland Park, located on James M. Spain Drive in Florence, Ala.