3:00 The blog is closing down
The pros are due in at 3:30 p.m. ET and weigh-in starts at 4:00. There’s about a half hour left for someone to scramble up a last-minute bass. Maybe John Cox will find himself a kicker, or maybe someone currently on the bubble will whack a good one to move into the top 10. Either way, weigh-in is sure to be exciting. There are some giants out there for sure.
2:45 Weaver culls a bit
Josh Weaver might not be on the pace he set yesterday, but he’s still looking good to make the cut and fish the final day. He just culled up by about a half a pound and has a double-digit limit now.
2:39 Cox is back in Harris
John Cox has finally made his way back into Lake Harris, heading for the 9th Street Canal. We’ll see if he can find one last big one on a bed.
2:30 Matt Reed is having himself a day
Matt Reed just caught a 6-pounder to add to his already good day. He’s now got about 18 pounds (or more) in the boat and is over 50 pounds, just a couple of pounds off the lead.
Also up high, Bradley Dortch just filled his limit cranking offshore with about a 2-pounder.
2:20 Morgan strikes with a 5-pounder
Andy Morgan has scuffled all day, but he just caught a 5-pounder to replace a little skipper. That’s a big cull for him – he’s not in the top 10 at the moment, but he’s close.
2:10 Jocumsen lands a big one
Carl Jocumsen’s shallow move has finally paid off. He just flipped up a 5-pounder for his fourth fish. One more decent fish and Jocumsen will be fishing the final day of just his third FLW tour event.
2:08 Jocumsen lands a big one
Carl Jocumsen’s frog fishing has finally paid off. He just caught a 5-pounder for his fourth fish. One more decent fish and Jocumsen will be fishing the final day of just his third FLW tour event.
2:00 Cox limits and leads again
Going back to the cattails he started on in Dora, John Cox has filled his limit with a 1-pounder and is back in the lead (unofficially). He’s still got an hour or so top catch another big one, but he will almost certainly be going into the final day with a greatly reduced lead.
1:55 Jocumsen misses a big one
Since abandoning his offshore stuff, Carl Jocumsen has missed three big blowups on a frog. That’s kinda the deal with frog fishing, but it sounds like he’s had a chance at a really good bag. Currently, he only has three small ones in the box.
1:50 Bolton has a limit
We haven’t had a Terry Bolton update today, but he’s got a limit. Unfortunately, they are kinda dinkers. He’s fishing offshore grass in Harris.
1:36 Reed catches a 6
Matt Reed just caught a 6-pounder. That gives him nearly 14 pounds and unofficially puts him in fourth place. No doubt, he’s having a solid day.
1:30 LeHew is making an unconventional move
Shane LeHew has spent his entire day in Harris and Little Harris to this point, but he’s now headed toward the Dead River and Eustis. He may not know how well he’s doing, but he’s now got a slight lead over John Cox (4 fish). Going farther from weigh-in so late in the da could be risky.
1:25 Whitson adds a good one
Chris Whitson has had a pretty solid day down in 19th. So far he’s got nearly 15 pounds and just landed a 3-pounder. It’s close, but he may have a shot at making the top 10 cut.
1:20 Thrift report
Bryan Thrift has had an uncharacteristically slow day. Unlike previous days, his numbers have been low. It’s late on day three and he’s only got about 10 pounds in the ‘well. It’s still enough to ensure he extends his record-setting top 10 streak, but perhaps not enough to be in true contention on the final day.
1:00 The pad flipping contingent
Rusty Trancygier has been methodically flipping pads basically all day, which is the same thing that JT Kenney is doing. Now, the two are a hundred yards apart or so and occasionally catching fish. Kenney has a limit for 9 pounds, while Trancygier’s goes about 13 or 14 pounds.
Down by Apopka, Cox is waiting for the lock, getting ready to make his way back to takeoff and check a few other areas. At the moment, he still has only four bass in the boat.
12:55 Cobb limits, LeHew is on a pile of fish
Brandon Cobb took his time doing, but after a move to some offshore grass, he quickly limited with a Speed Worm. Two of the fish he boxed up are decent 3-pounders, and he’s now got about 9 pounds total.
Meanwhile, Shane LeHew can’t stop catching fish. He’s catching a 1-pounder or a 2-pounder nearly every cast on his lipless, but can’t seem to get another big bite.
12:48 Matt Reed update
Matt Reed is one of the few pros fishing mostly in Lake Eustis. He’s been fishing offshore today with a Carolina rig on some shell beds.
12:40 Still slow going for Cox, Weaver has his fourth
John Cox is jumping around between a handful of beds down near Apopka. There aren’t any true giants on them, but there are some 3-pounders. Unfortunately, none of them seem too committed. At the moment, Cox is still stuck on four fish.
Elsewhere, Josh Weaver and JT Kenney each caught their fourth keeper. They both have the makings of small limits that will need to improve to keep them inside the top 10.
12:30 Welcome back
Welcome back from FLW Live! We’ll be with you on the blog for the next couple hours here before weigh-in. It should be exciting – as the water warms up the fishing should just keep on improving.
12:28 LeHew gets another kicker
Shane LeHew notice some fish schooling in open water, picked up a lipless and caught a 4-pounder to cull up again. He’s very close to John Cox now for weight…
12:20 Jocumsen catches his second
Carl Jocumsen has had a rough day. He had been catching pretty good numbers offshore in Griffin, but that seems to have dried up for a lot of guys today. Jocumsen headed to the bank a while ago and almost instantly had a big one miss his frog. A bit ago he boxed up his second fish, and he flipped up a 1-pounder a moment ago. Now he’s up to about 4 or 5 pounds on the day.
12:15 Midday weight estimates
It’s been a pretty eventful day on the Harris Chain. Here’s how things unofficially stand right now.
Today’s Weight Estimate Total Weight
1. John Cox 8-8 (4) 53-06
2. Bradley Dortch 12-13 (4) 49-2
3. Shane LeHew 12 (5) 48-13
4. Bryan Thrift 10 (5) 46-13
5. Rusty Trancygier 12 (5) 45-12
6. Aaron Britt 15 (5) 45-4
7. Matt Reed 10-4 (5) 44-2
8. Jim Moynagh 8 (5) 44-2
9. Clark Wendlandt 12-12 (5) 42-14
10. Tim Frederick 8 (2) 40-5
12:00 Cox is standing pat, others are surging
Other Shane LeHew, John Cox’s closest competition hasn’t been tearing it up, but the folks behind them are beginning to threaten him. Between Bradley Dortch, Tim Frederick and Aaron Britt, there have been several true giants caught. If anyone else in the top 10 can strike with something special it could make John Cox pretty nervous going into weigh-in and the final day.
11:35 Big ones are biting
The sun is up and the weather is prime and the fish seem to be chewing. Down by Apopka, Tim Frederick caught a 6-pounder off a bed about 30 yards away from John Cox. In Little Harris, Aaron Britt just caught about a 10-pounder.
11:20 Dortch crushes a big one
Bradley Dortch just changed his day in a big way. Dude just caught an 8-pounder out of the pads. That rocked him up into fourth (unofficially), and has him with more than 10 pounds for just three bass.
11:08 Cox is having trouble getting females to stick
John Cox is finding beds at a pretty regular pace, but he can’t seem to get the big females to actually sit on the bed. He usually can catch the male or get it to bite pretty easy, but the females seem wise to his game today.
11:00 Whitson and Britt limit
Chris Whitson has limited out in style, filling his limit with a 5-pounder. That moves him up a long way, but he’s still only got about 10 pounds on the day. Aaron Britt just filled his limit as well, though his total is about 5 or 6 pounds.
10:45 LeHew has hit the bank
Shane LeHew has ditched his pad area and is now up on the bank nearby looking for beds. The sun is up good now, so he should have great conditions for it. He’s already found one, and boated a 2-pounder to cull up to about 12 pounds.
10:40 Dortch has another
Bradley Dortch boated a bowfin and a keeper in short order. He doesn’t have much weight, but there’s a lot of time left in the day.
10:25 Morgan limits, JT gets going
Andy Morgan filled out his limit with a 2-pounder a short while ago. He’s now technically inside the top 10 cut.
JT Kenney has been going slow today, but he finally caught his first, a solid 2 or 3-pounder. He’s been flipping pads very methodically – the same way he won on Toho a couple years back.
9:50 Cox catches the buck, Scanlon limits
John Cox took about 20 minutes to catch the buck off the bed. He shook it off a few times, but finally decided to catch it. The female is reportedly around 5 or 6 pounds.
Over in Griffin, Casey Scanlon has limited out. Also in Griffin, Bryan Thrift has changed spots and idled over to his secondary area.
9:30 Cox is on one
John Cox has set up on a bed fish again. Now we wait.
9:20 Thrift limits, Frederick catches one
Bryan Thrift has limited out – nearly all his fish are 2 pounds or better.
Way toward Apopka, Tim Frederick is on the board with a 2-pounder caught in some pads.
John Cox is out of the lock at Apopka now. He’s fishing right near it at the moment and never started the main motor once the gate opened.
9:15 Cox has a good one
Shortly before entering the Apopka lock, John Cox stopped and plucked a solid 3- or 4-pounder off a bed. That gives him three fish now and at least one of the size that will keep him in the lead.
9:03 Dortch is on the board
It took some doing, but Bradley Dortch’s first goes nearly 2-pounds.
Clark Wendlandt is on a bit of a roll. He caught a 4-pounder a moment ago and added a 3-pounder to the mix as well.
8:58 Clark Wendlandt just caught a 4-pounder
Clark Wendlandt boxed on little one early and he’s added a 4-pounder to the mix now. Unofficially that moves him up into the top 10.
Meanwhile, Bryan Thrift has caught his third of the day, about a 2-pounder.
8:52 It’s all cool now
Word is that Bradley Dortch and Andy Morgan have smoothed things over. Dortch moved down about 100 yards and they’re all chill.
Meanwhile, John Cox is still making moves. He's managed to get nearly to the Apopka lock now and is still rolling around searching for bedding fish and occasionally fishing.
8:50 Another small cull for LeHew
Shane LeHew is catching more than anyone else today. He just culled again for another few ounces. No giants so far, but it’s not bad to be catching fish.
Andy Morgan and Bradley Dortch are both fishing the same stretch of pads now. They apparently both think they own the pads.
8:30 We’re live
FLW Live is now rolling. So open up another tab or get it up on the TV to get in the boat with the top five pros.
Meanwhile, Shane LeHew has culled again, ditching a 12-incher in favor of a 2-pounder.
Tim Frederick is taking a gamble today – he’s decided to run all the way to Apopka and hasn’t even started fishing yet.
8:29 More updates
Shane LeHew has upgraded slightly to get his limit up over the 10-pound mark.
Elsewhere, Carl Jocumsen, Rusty Trancygier and Jim Moynagh each have their first keepers of the day.
8:14 A good one for Thrift, Cox catches one
Bryan Thrift’s second fish is a good 3-pounder. Cox has caught the buck off his bed now. It’s about a 1-pounder. He also caught another about the same size a few moments after.
Bryan Schmitt has two as well, both small ones that he caught nearly back-to-back.
GoPro highlights from day one
8:10 LeHew limits
Throwing a lipless on the outside edge of the pads, Shane LeHew has filled his limit. He’s not got a touch over 10 pounds for five fish. He’s also in the lead now, but Cox hasn’t caught a fish yet.
Bryan Thrift is also on the board with a squeaker.
8:05 Thrift is fishing
Bryan Thrift just rolled in to his primary area, an offshore grass bed in Lake Griffin. He’s already lost one, but it wasn’t a game-changer.
8:00 LeHew action
Shane LeHew is rolling this morning. He just caught his fourth keeper, a chunky 3-pounder. He thinks the shad may be spawning this morning because he saw a lot of action in the pads. Josh Weaver also commented on the possibility of a shad spawn, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled.
7:55 Cox has found his first bed
John Cox hasn’t caught a keeper yet, but he just settled down on his first bed-fish of the day. No word on how big it is, but if he thinks it’s worth his time then it’s either going to come easy or be decent sized.
7:50 LeHew has three now
Shane LeHew’s third keeper is pretty tiny. Well, really tiny. But, it is a keeper. This time he caught it throwing a lipless offshore.
7:45 Cox has started in Dora
John Cox has gotten his day kicked off in Lake Dora, near the mouth of the canal. He’s flipping a line of cattails and has tossed back one small non-keeper so far.
Cox in action on day two
7:30 More catches
Andy Morgan and Josh Weaver have each started the day with a small keeper. Aaron Britt has added another small keeper to his creel as well – he’s up to two bass now.
Plenty of other pros have started fishing now as well, but the contingent heading to Lake Griffin still has about 20 minutes or so to go before they’re fishing.
7:20 Dortch is dumping bass
Bradley Dortch has started off pretty hot, but he can’t get them in the boat. He’s lost 3-pounder and about a 6-pounder in the span of about 10 casts on a lipless to start his morning. Losing fish is not ideal, but he’s at least around them.
7:12 LeHew strikes first
“Maybe they came to play today,” says Shane LeHew. His first flip into his trusty pads in Little Harris resulted in a solid 2-pounder. A few minutes later, the Carolina pro caught another just about the same size.
Also on the board, Aaron Britt has caught a 1-poound keeper to start his day.
7:10 Only the top 20 fish today
Takeoff for day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on the Harris Chain was a little brisk before the sun cracked over the horizon, but it’s turning into a beautiful, fog-free day for fishing. Today should be another fun one – though there will be more pleasure boaters out, the 20 pros who have made it to day three should have lots of room to work with. For some, that will mean pitching and flipping winding, for others, that will mean lots of time on the trolling motor searching out new bedded bass.
John Cox has a pretty commanding lead, but chasing spawning bass is always a tricky proposition. Even though he’s one of the best in the world at it, there are no guarantees. Many pros believe that the majority of the bass in the lake are postspawn now, and that’s how a lot of the top 20 is catching them. There’s a good chance that some of his followers can put together big bags. Also, it’s Florida – a 30-pound bag is just a few casts away with a little luck.
Temperature at takeoff: 55 degrees
Forecast high: 80 degrees
Precipitation: none forecasted
Wind: NE at 12 mph
Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7 a.m. ET at Ski Beach Park, Lake Harris Drive, Leesburg, Fla.
Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET at Ski Beach Park and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Ski Beach Park.
FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Ski Beach Park
FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET