Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

The fish are chewing today
Image for Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage
Jeff Gustafson Photo by Andy Hagedon. Angler: Jeff Gustafson.
February 24, 2018 • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

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2:40 That’s a wrap on the blog

Pretty much everyone is either headed back or close to takeoff now and check-in is at 3:15 p.m. with weigh-in starting at 4 p.m. ET. With that, we’ll call it on the blog for the day. It looks like it’s going to be a really fun weigh-in – a lot of guys caught ‘em good and the battle to make the top 10 is going to be tight.


2:30 Gussy!

Jeff Gustafson just caught a 4-pounder on a vibrating jig to cull up to 20 pounds. He’s kinda stealing the Team Canada show from Johnston this afternoon. He’s actually been catching fish schooling around offshore grass today, which is really a pretty cool deal for February in Florida.


2:15 Browne is headed back

Glenn Browne might well hit something else on the way back, but he’s finally started the move back toward takeoff. As of now, he’s probably got a bag in the upper teens, but he might not have 20. Nonetheless, he’s got a spot in the top three locked up for sure.


2:08 Dumitras limits

Tony Dumitras has finally wrangled a limit. He’s got around 14 pounds now, which is well off the pace he was on, but plenty to keep him in the top 10.


1:55 Yeah Buddy!

Buddy Gross smacked a 6-pounder a second ago to cull up and also culled with a 4-pounder about 20 minutes ago. He’s got 20 pounds now and is threatening to fish day three.


1:45 Woods culls

Boo Woods found a bedding bass under a dock and just caught here. She went about 4 pounds on the scale and brings his total up to about 13 pounds. That’s a solid day for sure, but he still needs another big one to move up into the cut.


1:40 Team Canada

Jeff Gustafson just caught a 5-pounder and then waved Chris Johnston over. Gussy has about 19 pounds now and is cruising for a top five spot. Johnston hasn’t caught much of anything in ages. It’s odd, he had an amazing morning and hasn’t been able to capitalize on any of the afternoon bigs that others are catching.


1:20 Dove upgrades, Kreiger is on the verge

Kurt Dove just boxed up a solid 5-pounder to get up over 17 pounds. That gives him a shot at the top five and certainly puts him among the better limits of the day. Down in the canals, Koby Kreiger has eyed up a 5-pounder that he’s convinced will let him fish one more day. He’s on the edge, so if he does get it it’ll lock him in for sure.


1:10 Another for Gags

Anthony Gagliardi has hit the sight-fishing bite just right today. After getting going in Harris offshore he made the trek to the canals near Apopka and just caught another 5-pounder. He’s not got around 23 pounds and could be in second soon if Browne doesn’t get to work.


12:58 Dumitras and McMillan

Tony Dumitras is shy of a limit, but he just landed “a giant.” We think it's perhaps 6 or 7 pounds. Meanwhile, Jared McMillan continued his rampage, boxing up a 2-pounder to get his estimated weight up around 18 pounds.


12:50 Gross limits, Horton has a small limit

Buddy Gross finally has five, filling things out with a 2-pounder. Also, Jamie Horton has a small limit in the boat – he just hasn't been able to replicate the magic of day one. 


12:42 McMillan update

Jared McMillan just wrapped up combing through a pad field for beds. He says there is 25 pounds cruising through them, but none of them are locked on beds.


12:33 Git ‘em Gags

Anthony Gagliardi just busted a 6-pounder on a bed down in the canals around Apopka. That’s a game-changer for him – he’s now got over 20 pounds in the livewell and is steaming toward a top five start tomorrow.


12:30 Kreiger makes an error

Koby Kreiger just foul-hooked a 4-pounder on a bed and had to let her go. That’s a critical mistake, but there’s a non-zero chance he’ll be able to catch her again. Maybe it happens in an hour, maybe it happens tomorrow, but he knows where at least one good one is now.


12:20 Kreiger culls

Koby Kreiger picked up a spawner from a canal down near Apopka to cull up by perhaps a pound. He’s got 13 pounds or so in the box and is very unofficially in the top five.


11:55 Hunter continues to upgrade

John Hunter lost a big one on top early, but he’s been chipping away with a jerkbait since then. He’s had a limit for a while now and is getting up close to or past the 10-pound mark.


11:50 McMillan is hunting 20 pounds

Jared McMillan just got done working a 4-pounder on a bed. Before giving up on her, he tied some reeds in a knot to mark the spot. If Little Mac can find one or two more big ones as the afternoon wears on he could have a great shot at making the top five. Considering how so-so many of the leaders are doing today, there’s plenty of room in the top 10 at the moment.


11:40 Bohannan breaks the ice

Greg Bohannan finally caught a keeper. He’s the last man to get off the schneid and now everyone in the field has at least one in the boat.


11:35 McMillan

Jared McMillan was cool with a GoPro on day one (in contrast to his superstitious and viral brother), and he’s now made the cut and busted 17 pounds on the day. He’s got an 8-pounder and a 6-pounder with some skippers and is currently sight-fishing up in Lake Denham.


11:22 Waiting on some updates

Two anglers who we have bad info on are Jared McMillan and Braxton Setzer. We know Setzer has a 5-pounder and a limit and that Jared McMillan has about 17 pounds for his limit (two bigs), but we don’t have a whole lot of definition outside of that.


11:10 Browne smacks another

Glenn Browne is flipping specific openings and clumps of arrowheads and reeds and he’s simply cruising. Browne just culled out a decent fish with a 4-pounder and is up over 16 pounds now.


11:02 Birge and Thrift

Zack Birge just made another cull down in the canals. He’s got a pretty good bag going and could be a candidate for a camera tomorrow depending on how the day shakes out. Closer to home, Bryan Thrift finished off his limit with a 3-pounder and then culled with a 2-pounder. He’s got about 12 pounds in the livewell now.


10:45 Gussy, Greenblatt and Kreiger

Jeff Gustafson has caught two good ones and has about 14 pounds in the livewell now. Matt Greenblatt has culled once now, but still has less than 10 pounds.

With a good bag already, Koby Kreiger is running down toward the Apopka canals to look for some bed fish.


10:38 A couple more fish

We’ve had a few more fish catches in short order. Bryan Thrift just caught his fourth and has four now for perhaps 9 pounds. Kurt Dove added a 2-pounder as well, and has now culled up to almost 15 pounds. Josh Douglas has his third keeper now too, and Randy Haynes finally got his first keeper.


10:33 Browne culls

Glenn Browne flipped up another 2-pounder to cull out a dink from earlier. He’s starting to cruise now and looks like he might be set to make up some ground on Chris Johnston.


10:25 Gagliardi is over 15 pounds, Browne limits in style

Anthony Gagliardi just caught a 5-pounder on a swim jig to break, the 15-pound mark. Down in Apopka, Glenn Browne just flipped a 5-pounder into the boat to finish his limit – he seems to be on track for another 20-pound bag.


11:16 Weaver and Nixon

It happened a while ago, but Josh Weaver has one in the boat now that's a solid 2-pounder. He's had a pretty slow morning. Larry Nixon is doing very well – he just finished his limit and has over 14 pounds.


10:11 Gross and Murphy improve, Birge culls again

Buddy Gross just popped a 6-pounder for his fourth keeper of the morning. He’s doing pretty well and might be making a charge for the top 10 at the rate he’s going. Shawn Murphy just made his first cull of the day with a 4-pounder. Zack Birge has also culled twice recently and has over 12 pounds in the livewell now. He seems to be in good shape to fish the final day.


9:55 No. 3 for Nixon

Larry Nixon has landed three so far this morning and has about 10 pounds in the boat. The bulk of that weight is in two fish, so he’s got plenty of room for upgrades.

Glenn Browne just popped his fourth keeper on FLW Live. Nothing big, but they all count.


9:45 Birge limits

Zack Birge busted out a wacky rig a minute ago and has quickly filled his limit. It’s only about 8 pounds, but now he can hunt big ones.


9:36 Birge adds a second, Browne has three

Zack Birge’s second fish is a pretty good one, but he’s still well off the pace that the folks in Harris and Glenn Browne are setting. Down south, Browne is up to three keepers now, but he hasn’t really landed anything big yet. Now, Jeff “Gussy” Gustafson, Johnny McCombs and Shawn Murphy have limits as well.


9:15 Another for Young and Browne

With Chris Johnston fairly idle, Ronald oung just boxed up his third, which is a decent 2-pounder. He’s been mostly throwing a Carolina rig today. Down south, Glenn Browne just added one a bit shy of 3-pounds to his box.


9:10 Browne on the board

Glenn Browne just got on the board with a 2-pounder. He’s making a heck of a run to the south end of Apopka, so he hasn’t been fishing long.


9:04 Kreiger culls

Koby Kreiger of Bokeelia, Fla., just caught a 5-pounder to cull out a skipper to get up over 11 pounds. He’s unofficially in third early on.


9:00 Morin goes big, Douglas and Dumitras with two

Bob Morin just popped a 7-pounder to get his morning rolling. That’s a giant, and it could be plenty to key a charge to the top 10. Over in Griffin, Josh Douglas has just caught his second, as has Tony Dumitras in Harris.


8:50 It seems to have finally slowed down

Matt Greenblatt just boated his first fish, and Buddy Gross caught his third, but otherwise things seem to have finally slowed down. Chris Johnston hasn’t caught or culled in a while now. A bunch of pros have noted that there’s a shad spawn going on now, and that is usually confined to the morning hours. So, it makes sense that there would be an early flurry.


8:28 Young and Dumitras

Both Ronald Young and Tony Dumitras are on the board now. Dumitras with a 2-pounder and Young with a pair of dinks.



8:15 More culling

Chris Johnston and Kurt Dove both just culled again. Johnston now has more than 17 pounds in the boat without touching the trolling motor and has more than 60 pounds total. Dove has 14 pounds in the livewell already and has temporarily rocketed up the leaderboard.


8:05 Rounding some fish up

So far Chris Johnston, Kurt Dove, Anthony Gagliardi and Koby Kreiger have all boxed up limits, with Johnston and Dove doing the best. Currently, Johnston is catching a dink on just about every cast and just culled up again with a 3-pounder.

Elsewhere, John Hunter and Jeff Gustafson are sitting on two each. Larry Nixon and Bryan thrift each have one good one. Down in Apopka Zack Birge and Jordan Osborne are both fishing and Osborne has two keepers and Birge has one.


7:44 Another for Johnston

Chris Johnston swapped over to a ripping a lipless and promptly caught a 4-pounder. He’s simply on fire today.


7:38 Johnston limits, Dove is cooking

Chris Johnston just filled out his limit with a little skipper and then caught another that was no help in short order.

Starting the day in 14th, Kurt Dove already has a 5-pounder and three other keepers in the boat.


7:33 Johnston is cooking

Team Canada is off to a hot start on day three. Chris Johnston just boxed up a 3-pounder for his fourth keeper and has more than 10 pounds in the livewell already.


7:23 They’re catching the fire out of them

Day three has started off with a bang. There are fish all over the board already. Notably, Chris Johnston has a pair of keepers in the ‘well, Anthony Gagliardi has two that include a 3-pounder, Kurt Dove started with a 5-pounder and Brandon Cobb got started off with a 3-pounder as well.


7:02 Johnston is already fishing

Slinging a jerkbait, Chris Johnston didn’t go far from takeoff to get his day rolling. By comparison, Glenn Browne and Zack Birge have at least an hour of running ahead of them.


7:00 Only the top 30 fish today

The first two days of the FLW Tour presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain have been simply spectacular. Big bags have come from all over the place and no less than five anglers are averaging over 20 pounds heading into the weekend. Now, with fewer boats on the water and more stable weather, the fishing could get even better.

Leading the way, Chris Johnston has plied offshore grass in Harris with a jerkbait and a few other moving baits. On day two, he crushed ‘em to the tune of 25-7 to move from 12th into the lead, proving that big swings are not just possible, they’re almost likely on the Harris Chain. With that the case, it sure looks like almost anyone in the top 20 or so could get in contention with just a few big bites. Heck, it might only take one – Ronald Young says he lost one in the teens on day two.

As befits a chain with 10 different lakes, the patterns are pretty varied. Folks are fishing offshore grass, sight-fishing for bedding bass, flipping for unseen spawners and just flipping or fishing generally shallow. Right now, there are a lot of options for catching bass, and it should be fun to dial in to them over the next few days, both on the blog and on FLW Live.


GoPro from day two



Temperature at takeoff: 67 degrees

Forecast high: 84 degrees

Sky: mostly clear

Precipitation: 20 percent chance of rain

Wind: southeast at 7 mph


Tournament Details

Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7:00 a.m. ET at Venetian Gardens – Ski Beach, 201 East Lake Harris Drive, Leesburg, Fla.

Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET at Venetian Gardens – Ski Beach and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Venetian Gardens – Ski Beach

FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Venetian Gardens – Ski Beach

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET


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