BOLIVAR, Mo. – The second day of Match 2 of the General Tire Team Series Costa Qualifier Presented by Toyota ended as it began, with the Fox Rent a Car team of Adrian Avena, Mark Daniels Jr. and Randy Howell on top of SCORETRACKER®. The team of three combined to catch 65 bass for 111 pounds, 9 ounces, pushing their two-day total to 170-9 and 30-4 clear of the second-place team of Jesse Wiggins, Matt Lee and Dave Lefebre. Team Crockett Creek — Justin Lucas, Jared Lintner and Boyd Duckett — finished in third place with a two-day total of 83-4.
Avena’s team entered the day with just a 1-3 lead over Team Knighten Industries, largely due to Daniels’ impressive day of cranking the steep and rocky banks of Stockton Lake. The discovery of that pattern was due to some teamwork between Howell and Daniels on Day 1, and the squad knew that it was the kind of pattern that could hold up in MLF’s “Anywhere is Possible” format.
“Whenever you can get on a crawfish pattern in the fall, which doesn’t happen too often, it’s generally a pattern you can duplicate on other lakes in the area,” Avena said. “We obviously didn’t know where we were going to go on Day 2, so when we found out that we would be on the same lake, just a different section, we knew we were going to light ‘em up.”
The competition shifted over to the west side of Stockton Lake and its 128 miles of shoreline to offer the productive pattern of cranking around the banks. While Howell and Daniels focused on that plan for the majority of Day 1, Avena stayed off the shoreline in deeper water. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off, so the team made a collective decision about their Day 2 strategy.
“I realized that I wasn’t doing my team any good to chase the offshore pattern that wasn’t even as close to productive as theirs,” Avena said. “We all decided on the second day to lock a topwater and a crankbait to our hands. I’m glad I listened to my teammates, because I had a much better day because of it.”
Avena only caught six bass for 9-6 on Day 1. On Day 2, that ballooned to 22 bass for 39-11 to lead his team. Add 39-3 from Daniels and 32-11 from Howell, Team Fox Rent a Car was the only team to have all three members break the 30-pound mark. Avena pointed out his staggering improvement from Day 1 to 2 shows how unique the Team Series format is and just how important it can be to pay attention to your teammates’ suggestions.
“You can miss out on a particular area or pattern really easily when you’re just focused on yourself,” Avena said. “With three talented anglers all working together, it’s way easier to unlock the lake and strategize your plan of attack. It gives you more confidence which helps you become a better angler.”
Team Fox Rent a Car will head to Florida for the Team Series Championship where they will join the other qualifying team from the Costa Qualifier, Team B&W Trailer Hitches made up of Kevin VanDam, David Walker and Todd Faircloth.
You can catch Day 1 of Match 3 of the Costa Qualifier at the following times on Outdoor Channel: March 11 (2-4 p.m. ET), March 12 (4-6 p.m. ET) and March 17 (9-11 a.m. ET)