Boutries Moves to the Front at Grand - Major League Fishing

Boutries Moves to the Front at Grand

Alabama rookie weighs 20-6 on day two (updated)
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Bailey Boutries Photo by Kyle Wood.
March 29, 2019 • Sean Ostruszka • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Ala., celebrated his 20th birthday less than 2 weeks ago. Grand Lake is providing him one heck of a birthday present thus far.

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Day two coverage blog

The FLW Tour rookie followed up his 14-14 day one with only the third 20-pound bag of the event (20 pounds, 6 ounces) on day two to take the lead at Tour stop No. 4 presented by Mercury. His total of 35-4 gives him a 4-ounce lead over former FLW Cup champion John Cox.

“I’m so excited,” says Boutries of being in the lead. “I love fishing. It’s incredible to be competing against guys like Scott Martin, David Dudley and Bryan Thrift.”

Ironically, one of those pros (Thrift) happens to be right on his heels in fifth. In fact, after Kyle Weisenburger held a sizable lead yesterday, the top of the leaderboard has tightened considerably, with less than 4 pounds separating Boutries from Terry Bolton in 10th. Oh, and the top 10 is loaded.

Along with the former Cup champ, Cox, and the former Angler of the Year, Thrift, you also have Bradford Beavers (coming off a top 10 at Seminole and in third), Seminole-winner Brian Latimer in sixth, tournament-favorite Bradley Hallman in ninth and current AOY-leader, Bolton.

That might intimidate most young rookies, especially one that has only caught one limit in his first three tournaments. Yet, Boutries is calm and confident thanks to his pattern. 

Bailey Boutries

“My roomamates and I figured [the pattern] out in practice,” Boutries says. “It’s only in certain areas, but the lure and water clarity don’t seem to matter.”

That said, Boutries did do the majority of his damage today on a War Eagle spinnerbait thrown on a 7-2 medium-heavy Profishiency rod, with a 6.5:1 Ardent reel spooled with 17-pound P-Line Tactical fluorocarbon.

He had to switch up his retrieve a little today, but he caught nine keepers, with the majority coming with some help from mother nature.

“That storm really helped,” says Boutries of the significant storm cell that hit the lake for little more than an hour late in the morning. “When it started raining and got really windy, they really bit that spinnerbait. The wind was a huge factor for me.”

Boutries was able to replicate his pattern on at least 10 different areas, and most of them were new water he’d never fished before. He’s simply able to run around and find exactly the right combination of rock to key his pattern.

As for tomorrow – it’s calling for more rain and a significant drop in temperatures – Boutries is still confident, as he feels his fish are staging in these key areas as the falling water and fluctuating water temps have forced them to hold there. It’s just a matter of not letting the moment get too big for him.

“I’ve always prided myself on staying calm and not letting things get to my head,” says Boutries.


John Cox

2. John Cox – Debary, Fla. – 35-0 (10)

Cox is convinced the bass in Grand Lake want to go to the bank to spawn in the worst way. He certainly wants them to, as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, but he’s finding a way to adjust and stay with them.

“The bass are kind of sitting back off the bank,” says Cox, who weighed in 19-1 today after 15-15 on Thursday. “I was originally fishing closer to the bank, but today I started fishing a little more out.”

While he has a rough idea of where they are, bites have been extremely hard to come by, as he figures he got eight yesterday and only six today. Yesterday, he says the majority of his bites came in a strong hour of fishing, but today it was random flurries.

“It seems like it’s been in little flurries,” Cox adds. “Like, I’ll catch two back to back and then go hours with nothing. And where they’re sitting is random.

“I’m just going to do the same thing tomorrow, which is simply try and catch a limit. That’s hard enough right now.”


Bradford Beavers

3. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 34-15 (10)

Many anglers are on similar patterns. Beavers is not one of them.

His deal is much more methodical, and it’s not producing many bites (though that’s pretty much par for everyone). Yet, when he gets bit it’s been the right ones.

“It takes a long time to get a bite, especially today,” says Beavers, whose weight dipped to 15-15 after 19-0 yesterday. “They were a lot more finicky today.”

Along with adjusting his tackle, he also had to adjust how he fished today due to calm conditions in the early morning. Once the storm came through, though, and the wind picked up, he was able to finish up his limit pretty quick.

“I don’t know about tomorrow,” Beavers says. “My whole game plan every day is to just get five bites. We’ll see if I can do it again.”


Jamie Horton

4. Jamie Horton – Centerville, Ala. – 32-14 (10)

If there’s an award for resilience, Horton has earned it.

After boat troubles cost him a good portion of day one, they once again resurfaced today.

“It’s a fuse issue,” Horton says. “They thought they had it fixed, but I had to get towed in once today and idled in the second time. Fortunately, (Tournament Director) Bill Taylor gave me another boat to use.”

Normally, that kind of luck would sink a pro. Instead, Horton actually has excelled. In fact, he made a key adjust with a little dose of home that keyed his 19-pound bag today.

“I got bit today, and the way the fish bit told me I should try something I do a lot back home,” Horton says. “As soon as I made the switch it got silly. I mean, they were choking it.”

Needless to say, Horton was tight-lipped on what the lure was, but he’s hopefully the fish keep “acting like they’ve never seen it before” tomorrow.


Brian Thrift

5. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 32-14 (10)

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Thrift is in the top five burning the bank and making as many casts as he can. Shocker, right?

“I’m just throwing a ChatterBait and making as many casts as I can trying to put it in front of as many fish as I can,” says Thrift, who only caught seven fish today but has been the most consistent pro thus far, weighing in 16-12 and 16-2.

What area of the lake is he fishing, you ask? “The whole lake,” Thrift says. “Well, I haven’t seen the dam yet, but I’ve been close. I probably hit more than 20 places today.”

And any pattern? “None,” Thrift adds. “It’s totally random.”


News and Notes


Bradley Dortch

Stormy highs and lows

Spring often means storms, and a good one blew through the area late morning today. It turned out to be the turning point for many pros.

Almost as soon as the heavy stuff started falling and the thunder rumbling, big catches were reported. Brandon McMillan and Andy Young both immediately caught 6- and 7-pounders, with Young’s fish taking big-fish honors for the day.

Boutries credits the storm for igniting his bite, and Hallman says he caught all of his fish during the rain.

Of course, it wasn’t great for everyone.

“All I did was get wet,” Cox says.


Jeremy Lawyer

Still no quantity

When pros say it’s hard to catch five fish, they truly mean it in this tournament. After only 37 limits brought to the scales on day one, it got worse today, with a mere 31. Meanwhile, the number of pros who didn’t bring in a single fish increased from 22 to 26.

If you can believe it, only 13 pros have managed to bring in limits both days.

It also seemed no one was immune, as none of the top three anglers from day one brought in a limit on day two.

And it could get worse because …


Cold is coming

After pleasant temperatures in the 60s and 70s the first two days, Mother Nature is fixing to throw a massive curveball, as the forecast is calling for temperatures to drop more than 20 degrees tonight and get down into the 20s tomorrow night.

Throw in storms and more rain tomorrow morning, and few pros were optimistic for their patterns.


Top 10 pros

1. Bailey Boutries – Daphne, Ala. – 35-4 (10)

2. John Cox – DeBary, Fla. – 35-0 (10)

3. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 34-15 (10)

4. Jamie Horton – Centerville, Ala. – 32-14 (10)

5. Bryan Thrift – Shelbyville, N.C. – 32-14 (10)

6. Brian Latimer – Belton, S.C. – 32-11 (8)

7. Kyle Weisenburger – Ottawa, Ohio – 32-7 (8)

8. Billy McCaghren – Mayflower, Ark. – 32-2 (10)

9. Bradley Hallman –Norman, Okla. – 31-12 (10)

10. Terry Bolton – Benton, Ky. – 31-8 (10)

Complete results