MIDDAY UPDATE: Becker Jumps in Front of Dickerson; Skeet Reese Gaining Ground - Major League Fishing
MIDDAY UPDATE: Becker Jumps in Front of Dickerson; Skeet Reese Gaining Ground
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MIDDAY UPDATE: Becker Jumps in Front of Dickerson; Skeet Reese Gaining Ground

Image for MIDDAY UPDATE: Becker Jumps in Front of Dickerson; Skeet Reese Gaining Ground
Matt Becker has jumped into the lead on Lake Murray with a limit of around 15 pounds. Photo by Jody White
April 23, 2021 • Mason Prince • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – Day 2 of the Googan Baits Stop 3 Presented by Favorite Fishing on Lake Murray is off and running under sunny skies and comfortable temperatures for the 161 competing pros.

Yesterday’s second-place angler behind Day 1 leaders Tommy Dickerson and Clabion Johns, Matt Becker, has taken hold of the unofficial lead with five fish in the box for around 15 pounds. That would bring his total weight to just over 33.5 pounds. Becker has found his success running points looking for bass feeding on herring. A duo of a jerkbait and a fluke is how he has done a majority of his damage.

Dickerson isn’t far behind, however, with four fish of his own today that weigh close to 9.5 pounds. Reports from the water tell us that Dickerson is using either a swim jig or vibrating jig around docks and break walls. When the situation calls for it, Dickerson has also been seen throwing a topwater around the same cover.

Johns has fallen down the leaderboard after a slow morning with only two bass for 6 pounds.

California pro Skeet Reese has his limit for the day and is now looking for some bigger keepers to cull as he sits unofficially in third. Reese was sight-fishing for his bites yesterday and it’s a safe bet to assume that he’s probably at it again today. Reese used an impressive Day 2 during Stop 1 of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit to secure a win on Lake Okeechobee. Could another strong Day 2 help Reese to his second win of the season?

Cole Floyd is leading in the Angler of the Year race but currently sits in 70th place as he has yet to put one in the livewell today. Second in the AOY standings is Jim Neece Jr. and he sits in 151st unofficially with no bass today and only 8-11 to his name.

Lake Murray 2021: How’re We Doing?

Comparing the Lake Murray of late April, 2021 to the Lake Murray of 2008, 2014 and 2017 – the last three times the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competed here, for those years’ Forrest Wood Cup – isn’t exactly comparing apples to oranges. It’s more like watermelons to cantaloupes.

Still in the melon family, but boy, are they different.

You won’t need to dig very deep into the Day 1 results of Googan Baits Stop 3 on Lake Murray this week to see the differences. The 2008, 2014 and 2017 Cup events – won by Michael Bennett, Anthony Gagliardi and Justin Atkins – produced six 20-plus-pound bags combined in 12 days of competition. Those events were held in the heat of the Carolina summer (the first or second weeks in August), with wildly varying conditions that contributed to “grinder” tournaments.

Thursday’s Pro Circuit weigh-in saw five 20-pound bags come across the BIG5 stage at Dreher Island State Park, led by Tommy Dickerson and Clabion Johns’ 21 pounds, 12 ounces apiece. One of those bags (Dean Rojas’ 21-0) included a 6-12 big fish.

How does that all rank in the organization’s all-time tournament history on this impoundment of the Saluda River? Pretty darn well.

-Dickerson and Johns’ Day 1 weight of 21-12 is in the top 70 single-day weights in the 129 MLF events held on Lake Murray dating back to the first event held here (a Phoenix Bass Fishing League tournament in 1995).

-For reference, the heaviest five-fish bag weighed in here in an MLF event was a whopping 30-15 caught by Tim Carroll in a Pro Circuit event in early February of 2006. That event produced six of the top 10 single-day bags caught on Lake Murray in the organization’s history (30-15, 28-4, 28-1, 28-1, 26-14, 26-8 and 28-5).

-Gagliardi was responsible for two of those 10 weights, and owns three of the 30 heaviest single-day limits weighed in on Murray in MLF derbies.

-Rojas’ 6-12 big fish ranks 32nd in big bass recorded on Murray, dating back to 1995. Fellow MLF pro Kelly Jordon holds the big-bass landmark with a massive 9-14 caught in the same 2006 Pro Circuit event that produced the six big limits referenced above.

We’ll see how those number change after the end of Day 1!  

The live weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. ET and can be streamed at MajorLeagueFishing.com or on the MLF app.