Lake Erie Day 2 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Lake Erie Day 2 Coverage

Image for Lake Erie Day 2 Coverage
Zack Birge Photo by Jody White. Angler: Zack Birge.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit concludes its regular season with Super Tournament No. 3
August 12, 2020 • MLF • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

QUICK LINKS

FLW Live Leaderboard – click here

Day one leader story – click here

Tournament Details – click here

Super Tournament Details – click here

FLW Live Schedule – click here

 

2:30 p.m. – Weigh-in in 30 minutes

That’s it for the live blog and leaderboard today. Most of the field is now running back to Sandusky for weigh-in, starting at 3 p.m. ET on flwfishing.com.

It’s been an interesting day on Lake Erie (and St. Clair), to say the least. No one has run away with it yet, and the top of the leaderboard is packed with some solid weights. Eight pounds separates 10th from first, but there’s only 3 pounds between fifth and third and the top four pros are separated by less than 2 pounds.

We also only have unofficial weights for about half the field. Of the pros we didn’t hear from today, seven weighed in at least 16 pounds yesterday. Any one of them could have gotten on a 20-plus-pound bag and put themselves right in the thick of it.

While there’s still a lot up in the air, one thing is not: the AOY race. Ron Nelson is bringing a 15-pound limit to the weigh-in stage today, and that’s going to be more than enough to make the day three cut and secure the Angler of the Year title. Congratulations in advance to Ron Nelson.

The Polaris Rookie of the Year race is still very much undecided, though, and that intrigue is going to continue to play out this afternoon. Be sure to tune in for the live weigh-in show in 30 minutes and come back tomorrow for day three coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit finale tomorrow. 

 

1:55 p.m. – FLW Live done for the day

FLW Live is now done for the day. Live coverage will pick back up in an hour with the start of weigh-in. You can catch that action on flwfishing.com.

In the meantime, we’ll keep the leaderboard and live blog running for the next 30 minutes to catch the remaining updates before anglers start checking in.

Nothing much has changed at the top of the leaderboard, but we have some anglers who did well yesterday and didn’t report weights today. The potential is there for us to see some truly big bags at weigh-in today.

Right now, Jeremy Lawyer, Justin Lucas, Spencer Shuffield and Alton Jones Jr. are all within a couple pounds of one another, and with weights all being estimates, any of the four could be in the lead right now. There’s another solid group not far behind them consisting of day one leader Josh Bertrand as well as Fred Roumbanis, Jacob Wheeler and Todd Faircloth.

Much of the field is now running back to Sandusky, but we’ll have another update before it’s all said and done. 

 

Justin Lucas

1:02 p.m. – Plenty of solid bags

We’ve only seen one bag estimated over 20 pounds today, but there are six more 18 pounds or better – and those are all unofficial weights. There’s a good chance a couple more are a little over 20 pounds. Yesterday, there were only as handful of 20-pound bags on our live leaderboard by the time we shut it down and seven pros weighed in 20 pounds. There’s a good chance we see at least that many – probably more – over that mark at weigh-in this afternoon.

Josh Bertrand is still struggling a bit, but this might be the time for him to actually pick up some momentum. It seems a bite window is opening up, as evidenced by Justin Lucas recently breaking off a nice one and Boyd Duckett landing a good one of his own. Bertrand has been grinding today, for sure, and he’s just looking for that hard work to pay off in the form of one or two good kickers to cement him in the top 10 heading into day three.

Ron Nelson has 15 pounds in the box today. As long as he gets back to weigh-in on time and everything goes according to plan, he’s making the day three cut (easily) and hoisting the Angler of the Year trophy. 

That has to be bittersweet for Spencer Shuffield, who needed to have a great tournament and a poor one from Nelson to have a shot at AOY. Shuffield is sitting in third place right now. He certainly did his part. 

 

12:17 p.m. – Lawyer back on top

Jeremy Lawyer is once again in the lead. He and Justin Lucas are just trading blows at this point. Both have had plenty of time atop the leaderboard today. Lawyer now has about 19 1/4 for the day and 40 pounds for the tournament. Lucas is just ounces behind him.

Day one leader Josh Bertrand finally has his limit that’ll go about 12 3/4 pounds. He’s struggled today, but there’s still plenty of time to fish. After catching only about seven good keepers yesterday, it might just be a matter of waiting them out and chipping away.

 

Spencer Shuffield

11:47 a.m. – Lucas back in the lead

Justin Lucas filled out his limit not long ago and has jumped above Jeremy Lawyer for the unofficial lead by a pound or so. The top is really bunched at the moment, with Alton Jones Jr. and Spencer Shuffield lurking.

Jacob Wheeler continues to cull a little bit at a time. After that last cull that added a few ounces, Wheeler finds himself in fifth and about 3 1/2 pounds back.

A few other updates from around the field:

Fred Roumbanis is having himself a day. He’s still sitting with four fish in the box and has about 17 pounds. Paired with his 18-1 yesterday, Boom Boom is in great shape even before finding his fifth fish.

Scott Dobson has a limit of 14 pounds, which he filled out shortly after lamenting about how bad the fishing is for him today. He’s now entrenched in the top 10.

Darrell Davis called to report his weight – a limit for about 12 pounds. Also in that range are Jason Reyes (12 pounds for four fish), Zack Birge (12 1/4) and Mitch Crane (12 pounds).

 

Jacob Wheeler

11:13 a.m. – AOY update and Wheeler making moves

Ron Nelson has done more than enough to close the door on the AOY race, it seems. He has four fish for 11 pounds and is sitting comfortably in 19th place, well inside the day three cut line. If he makes the cut, no one can close the AOY points gap on days three or four and Nelson goes from 2019 Polaris ROY to 2020 Angler of the Year.

Elsewhere, Jacob Wheeler is making big moves. He’s caught a couple really solid fish in the last 15 minutes and has about 14 1/4 pounds now. That weight estimate might even be a little light.

 

10:45 a.m. – Lawyer doing work

In about 15 minutes, Jeremy Lawyer filled out his limit, culled and took the lead from Alton Jones Jr. He has roughly 18 pounds now to go with his 20-14 from yesterday. Lawyer is all over them right now and in position to widen the gap.

Justin Lucas is 3 pounds back but he’s still looking for No. 5. One decent bite and he and Lawyer are going to be neck and neck at the top.

Josh Bertrand hasn’t added to his total lately, but he’s still in position to retake his lead. He has three keepers for 8 3/4, so there’s room to make some big moves.

Otherwise, it’s been all Spencer Shuffield, who’s in the top 5 and making a bunch of culls to get to 18 pounds. With 18-3 yesterday, he still has some work to do to challenge for the lead, but he’s definitely making the top-50 cut. 

 

Alton Jones Jr

10:25 a.m. – New leader

Alton Jones Jr., after weighing in 19 pounds yesterday, has another 19 1/2 pounds today, He’s in Lake St. Clair and we have an on-the-water reporter heading his way for more details. Jones is now unofficially in first place, more than 6 pounds ahead of Justin Lucas (still with three keepers). Whatever he’s on, he’s smashing ‘em.

Lucas and Jeremy Lawyer are still in position to jump Jones, though. Lawyer started his day with that 5-pounder that’s really anchoring his bag, and he only has three in the box. A couple more solid fish will put him in contention for the lead after weighing in almost 21 pounds yesterday. 

Justin Lucas just landed his fourth – one that will go close to 4 pounds. He’s less than 3 pounds behind Jones now.

Spencer Shuffield, currently in third, continues to cull. He has about 15 1/2 pounds now, and Cole Floyd, who weighed in 14-12 yesterday, has about 14 pounds and sits in 10th. Floyd is a pro to watch closely this week as he chases the Polaris Rookie of the Year title.

 

9:45 a.m. – Some early limits

The fishing seems to be as steady (or steadier) today as it was yesterday. We’ve seen some decent early limits, but a lot of pros who caught them well yesterday are still searching for the right fish. Justin Lucas is on the right ones, but he’s not on a ton of quantity just yet. He’s got three keepers in the box for almost 11 pounds still.

Tyler Woolcott (13 pounds), Mitch Crane (12), Cole Floyd (11), Dave Lefebre (11), Alex Davis (12), Tyler Stewart (10 1/4), Casey Ashley (10 1/4) and Clayton Batts (9) all have limits. We also have reports of three or four fish for a bunch of other pros. The anglers who ran to St. Clair are mostly not among them, though Spencer Shuffield made the run and has four keepers for about 9 pounds to move into the top 5.

Darold Gleason has boxed a couple keepers for 6 pounds so far. He self-reported his catches and wants to keep his wife up to date on his progress.

 

Dave Lefebre

8:50 a.m. – Do or die on St. Clair

According to Digital Editor Jody White, “way, way more” pros are running up to St. Clair today than did yesterday. Scott Dobson is among them. He boated one small keeper before deciding to make the rest of the trip up.

That’s not really much of a surprise considering boating conditions are a little better today and a lot of pros are gunning for a massive bag to jump into the top 50 for the day three cut. St. Clair certainly offers that opportunity.

As for the current leaderboard, Justin Lucas is already on them. He’s got three fish for close to 11 pounds to jump into the lead. Lucas’ scale was off yesterday and inflated his weight by a few pounds. Today, he’s just eyeballing it.

We have three reported limits so far in Tyler Woolcott (13 pounds), Mitch Crane (9 3/4) and Dave Lefebre (11 pounds). 

 

8:10 a.m. – Hot start to day two

It didn’t take long for pros to get rocking this morning. Within 35 minutes, Tyler Woolcott had four fish for 10 1/2 pounds. He obviously stuck close to takeoff and got on those Sandusky Bay largemouth that seem to be pretty easy to fill out a limit with.

Jeremy Lawyer and Jason Reyes both have tanks in their livewells already this morning, each catching one close to 5 pounds. They’ve found the quality everyone is looking for out there – those kinds of kickers can go a long way when you’re mostly catching 3- to 4-pounders.

Our first reported limit of the day goes to Mitch Crane, who has about 9 3/4 pounds. He doesn’t have anything in the box over 3 pounds, though, so he can do some big time upgrading still. Not a bad start to the morning for Crane.

There’s still quite a bit of chop on the lake and winds 10 to 15 mph are expected today, but it sounds like pros are running with a little more abandon this morning. Some made it to the Detroit River in about 55 minutes, which is a short time for that haul across the waves of Lake Erie.

We’ll probably start seeing a lot more fish catch reports soon as those anglers getting into the Detroit River either set down or work their way toward St. Clair. 

 

Ryan Salzman

7:00 a.m. ET – Day two is underway

Despite St. Clair being the shiny toy under the tree everyone can’t wait to play with, Lake Erie did the heavy lifting on day one of the final Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament of the 2020 season. Almost every bag over 20 pounds came from Erie, though it wasn’t as big a surprise as you might think when considering how choppy the lake was yesterday. Making the long run to St. Clair was not a very appealing prospect, and several pros suffered mechanical issues from the run. 

If there’s not as much rough water to navigate today, St. Clair might once again be the target for pros looking for the biggest bronzebacks. And, considering that St. Clair always offers the potential for a 25-pound bag, anglers in need of a big boost to make the top-50 cut might be more inclined to swing for the fences. 

Josh Bertrand could potentially be one to switch gears and make the run today. He leads at takeoff this morning, but he says he only had seven keeper bites all day Tuesday. St. Clair has to be an appealing option for him on some level.

One key storyline to watch today is Ron Nelson and his Angler of the Year lead, which is still very much at risk given his 15-2 day one weight (with only four fish). Then again, if he stays in the same place he’s currently at (44th), Nelson will make the cut and have AOY wrapped up with two tournament days left in the season.

For coverage of all the action today, stick right here to the live coverage blog and leaderboard, and be sure to tune in to FLW Live starting at 8 a.m. ET and running through 2 p.m.

 

CONDITIONS

Temperature at takeoff: 70 degrees

Forecast high: 81 degrees

Sky: Partly cloudy

Precipitation: 10 percent chance of rain

Wind: NE 10 to 15 mph

 

TOURNAMENT DETAILS

Hosted by the City of Sandusky

Takeoff: 7 a.m. ET at Shelby Street Public Boat Launch, 101 Shelby Street, Sandusky, Ohio 

Weigh-in Day 2: 3 p.m. ET at Paper District Marina, 611 W Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio

Weigh-in Days 3 & 4: 4 p.m. ET at Paper District Marina

FLW Live studio and on-the-water show: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET all four days

FLW Live weigh-in show: 3 p.m. ET to end of weigh-in