For the third day in row, Walmart FLW Tour rookie Buddy Gross of Ringgold, Ga., walloped a 20-pound plus limit on Pickwick Lake and in the process pretty much walloped the rest of the field.
Gross toted 22 pounds, 12 ounces of bass to the scales in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State and hosted by Florence/Lauderdale Tourism on day three to take a commanding lead by nearly 15 pounds with a three-day total of 69 pounds, 7 ounces.
Gross will be hard to catch tomorrow, especially given the fact that no one else in the top 10 seems to be as dialed in as he is right now.
Gross has discovered something very unique on Pickwick Lake that he wants to keep quiet until the final day, just for good measure. Essentially, there is a shad spawn occurring on this distinct cover he has found and the bass feeding on the shad are big. The only problem is the shad spawn is only good for three or four fish early. Then he has to grind around the rest of the day to fill his limit.
Today Gross caught three good fish and a keeper quickly off his primary spot. After going bite-less for a couple of hours he left it and went to a secondary area that he says is more of a typical Tennessee River ledge with more traditional cover on it. The secondary area yielded three 4-pounders in a short span of time, filling out his limit and giving him a couple of solid culls.
“I truly feel like my shad spawn deal is tailing off,” Gross says. “The number of shad following my lure each day is getting less and less. I found the back-up spot in practice, but have not fished it in the tournament until today. It might be a little better than I thought and could be what saves me if my primary area dies on me tomorrow.”
Gross did begin revealing some of his key lures for the week, though, which have primarily been a Hog Farmer Hair Jig, as well as a Tennessee River Tackle Tremor with a Zoom Magnum Fluke and also a Fringe Tackle Hollow Belly Swimbait.
GoPro video of Gross's day three
Day 3 interview with Gross
Top 10 pros
1. Buddy Gross – Ringgold, Ga. – 69-7 (15)
2. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 54-12 (15)
3. Jamie Horton – Centerville, Ala. – 51-5 (15)
4. Scott Suggs – Alexander, Ark. – 47-1 (14)
5. Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Ala. – 44-9 (15)
6. Travis Fox – Rogers, Ark. – 43-12 (14)
7. Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn. – 43-12 (15)
8. Mike Surman – Boca Raton, Fla. – 43-11 (14)
9. Peter Thliveros – St. Augustine, Fla. – 43-1 (15)
10. Stephen Patek – Dallas, Texas – 42-15 (14)