(Feb 5, 2016 - CLEWISTON, Fla.)
Pro angler Bradley Hallman of Norman, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces to the scale Friday to extend his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Okeechobee presented by Ranger Boats. Hallman will bring an 8-pound, 8-ounce advantage into day three of the four-day competition that features 169 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
In second place is Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, who weighed in five bass totaling 20-15 Friday for a two-day cumulative total of 10 bass worth 41-15. The field is trimmed to the top 20 on Saturday, with only the top 10 anglers fishing on the final day Sunday.
“With the cold front that moved in last night, I went out there today only expecting to catch 10 or 11 pounds,” said Hallman, who brought in a 25-pound limit yesterday to take the early tournament lead. “I flipped mats and reed clumps in the same area as yesterday, but had only one fish in the boat by 11 a.m. Luckily after the sun came out the bite improved and I was able to get some momentum going.
“I started out targeting the same water that I had caught my biggest fish from yesterday, but didn’t get any bites,” Hallman continued. “The water clarity was different due to the strong north wind, so I only focused on those spots for about 15 minutes apiece and then moved on. Half of the cover I ended up hitting today was new.”
Hallman said a major strategy in his approach today was putting his back to the wind.
“In this kind if wind, you have to put your back to it in order to get a better presentation,” said Hallman. “The bait is so much more efficient and has a lot more action when you throw it.”
Hallman said that he only caught a total of six keepers throughout the day.
“I caught a mix of spawning and post-spawn bass, which is good,” said Hallman. “The weather tomorrow is supposed to be similar to today but with less wind from the north. As long as it doesn’t get too cold, I can live with it.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Okeechobee are:
1st: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., 10 bass, 50-7
2nd: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 41-15
3rd: Charlie Weyer, West Hills, Calif., 10 bass, 34-6
4th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 32-6
5th: Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 32-5
6th: Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 32-1
7th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 31-0
8th: Ryan Chandler, Hebron, Ind., 10 bass, 30-7
9th: Billy Shelton, La Crosse, Va., 10 bass, 30-4
10th: Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., 10 bass, 29-8
11th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 28-6
12th: Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, nine bass, 27-12
13th: Clark Reehm, Huntington, Texas, 10 bass, 27-5
14th: Kevin Johnson, Surprise, Ariz., 10 bass, 27-4
15th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 26-9
16th: John Devere, Berea Ky., 10 bass, 26-7
17th: Keystone Light pro Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 26-3
18th: Andy Young, Mound, Minn., 10 bass, 26-2
19th: Jamie Horton, Centerville, Ala., 10 bass, 25-12
20th: Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 25-9
Shelton earned the Big Bass Award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 7-pound, 11-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 748 bass weighing 1,446 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 166 pros Friday. The catch included 128 five-bass limits.
Tim Cales of Sandstone, West Virginia, won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 11 ounces, followed by Gary Haraguchi of Redding, California, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 5 ounces worth $7,500.
“I got laid off from my job a month ago, so this has really been a blessing for me,” said Cales, who is fishing his second season as a co-angler on the FLW Tour. “I caught most of my fish this week on a Deep Creek Lures Lizard and a Vertical Lures Creature X.”
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 10 bass, 30-11 $20,000
2nd: Gary Haraguchi, Redding, Calif., 10 bass, 27-5, $7,500
3rd: Greg Mansfield, Burnsville, Minn., 10 bass, 26-5, $5,250
4th: Maurice Cobb, Kuttawa, Ky., 10 bass, 25-4, $4,000
5th: Vincent Yonemitsu, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 25-3, $3,000
6th: Spiro Agouros, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada, eight bass, 25-0, $2,500
7th: Frank Divis Sr., Farmington, Ark., 10 bass, 23-9, $2,000
8th: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., 10 bass, 22-1, $1,800
9th: Larry Mullikin, Lauderhill, Fla., nine bass, 21-12, $1,700
10th: Logan Thomas, Gilbertsville, Ky., 10 bass, 21-12, $1,600
Mansfield caught Friday’s Big Bass in the co-angler division, a largemouth weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces to win the $250 prize.
Overall there were 522 bass weighing 820 pounds, 2 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 60 five-bass limits.
In addition to casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division, anglers are also competing for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing. The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Huntsville, Alabama, Aug. 4-7 on Wheeler Lake.
Anglers will take off from Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort located at 920 E. Del Monte, Ave., in Clewiston at 7:30 a.m. each day. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at Walmart, located at 1005 W. Sugarland Highway, in Clewiston beginning at 4 p.m.
The FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will also be held at Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina on Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to area youth 15 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. All bait is provided by the DMF Bait Company.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes a 100-yard Lew’s Casting Lane, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Lake Okeechobee tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) this fall. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network as well as FLWFishing.com and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
The tournament is hosted by Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort and the Hendry County Tourism Development Council.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.