(Feb 3, 2017 - GUNTERSVILLE, AL.)
General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 4 ounces Friday to capture the lead after day two of the FLW Tour at Lake Guntersville presented by Lowrance with a two-day catch of 10 bass totaling 42-8. Rose will bring a 3-pound lead into day two of the four-day season-opening event that features 165 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I was fishing mostly grass today and I caught them fairly shallow,” said Rose, a 10-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier with six career wins and more than $2 million in career earnings. “Somebody usually catches a big bag off of the bridges, but I don’t like to do that. I’ve had two second-place finishes and a third – all early in the year – and I’ve been beat on a bridge each time. That might be the deal to win it, but I’m just as comfortable doing what I’m doing – scratching and clawing.”
Rose sad that he caught eight keeper fish Friday, compared to 10 on Thursday. He said that he was fishing shallow, 4 to 6 feet, and caught fish on four or five different baits.
“I’m flipping and winding, throwing typical pre-spawn stuff,” Rose said. “I’m looking for the typical, good, pretty looking grass where the fish would go into spawn and where I feel like one would stage. That’s what I’m trying to key on all over the lake. The lake is on the verge of being really, really good.
“I would love to win on a lake that has as much history and tradition as Lake Guntersville,” Rose went on to say. “That would mean more to me than anything, knowing that the greats of all-time have won tournaments here and being in that category. A cold weather win, fishing shallow, would mean a lot, too.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Guntersville are:
1st: General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 42-8
2nd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 39-8
3rd: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 36-6
4th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Alabama, 10 bass, 36-4
5th: Yamamoto Baits pro Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 34-10
6th: Randy Blaukat, Joplin, Mo., 10 bass, 34-7
7th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-4
8th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 34-2
9th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 34-1
10th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 10 bass, 33-13
11th: Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, eight bass, 33-11
12th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, 10 bass, 33-8
13th: Todd Hollowell, Fishers, Ind., eight bass, 33-7
14th: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, nine bass, 32-10
15th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., nine bass, 32-6
16th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 32-1
17th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 31-15
18th: Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 31-12
19th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 30-5
20th: Bradley Dortch, Atmore, Ala., 10 bass, 29-15
Jim Dillard of West Monroe, Louisiana, earned the Big Bass award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 7-pound, 10-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 444 bass weighing 1,335 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 142 pros Friday. The catch included 39 five-bass limits.
Jeff Ragsdale of Gardendale, Alabama, won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 30 pounds, 6 ounces, followed by Benjie Seaborn of Guin, Alabama, who finished in second place with eight bass weighing 24 pounds, 9 ounces worth $7,500.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Jeff Ragsdale, Gardendale, Ala., nine bass, 30-6 $20,100
2nd: Benjie Seaborn, Guin, Ala., eight bass, 24-9, $7,500
3rd: J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., nine bass, 23-10, $5,000
4th: Cody Hammontree, Flat Rock, Ala., eight bass, 22-7, $4,050
5th: Rod Huff, Monterey, Tenn., five bass, 20-7, $3,000
6th: Brian Hutcheson, Russellville, Ky., six bass, 19-13, $2,500
7th: Keith Honeycutt, Temple, Texas, seven bass, 19-12, $2,000
8th: Allen Armour, Cumming, Ga., seven bass, 19-12, $1,800
9th: Scott Towry, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., six bass, 18-13, $1,700
10th: Wataru Iwahori, Palestine, Texas, six bass, 18-8, $1,600
Tim Cales of Sandstone, West Virginia, earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the co-angler division with a 5-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.
Overall there were 178 bass weighing 518 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 91 co-anglers Friday. The catch included four five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 330 anglers competes Thursday and Friday. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Guntersville presented by Lowrance is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro division.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CST each day from the Guntersville City Harbor located at 201 Blount Ave., in Guntersville. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Guntersville City Harbor but beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Guntersville City Harbor from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Guntersville City Harbor on Saturday, Feb. 4 from 9-11 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.
The tournament is hosted by the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa 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.