(Feb 4, 2017 - GUNTERSVILLE, AL.)
General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 19 pounds even to extend his lead at the FLW Tour at Lake Guntersville presented by Lowrance. Rose’s three-day total of 61-8 gives him a 4-pound, 12-ounce lead heading into the fourth and final day of competition. The field is now cut to the final 10 anglers in the event that featured 165 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
In second place is Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, who weighed in five bass totaling 17-4 Saturday for a three-day cumulative weight of 15 bass worth 56-12. Hometown favorite Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 20-2 – the largest limit of the day – to move into third place with a three-day total of 54-6.
“I was pleased with how my day went,” said Rose, who is seeking his third career Tour-level victory. “I’m not getting that many bites – one here, one there – but they’re coming. I feel like I’ve got a few things figured out and hopefully we can pull this thing off tomorrow.”
Rose said that he fished around 10 different areas throughout the day Saturday, cycling through some spots along with mixing in a few new ones. He said he caught eight keepers on a little Strike King jig, an old Strike King Flat Side crankbait and a vibrating jig.
‘I’m using the weather to dictate where I fish and what baits I’m throwing,” Rose said. “I’ve been saving one little area that I’m going to go hit tomorrow afternoon, when I feel like the conditions are right. I won’t be changing anything up tomorrow. I’m going to be doing the same thing that I have been doing, so the nerves won’t be too bad.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Lake Guntersville are:
1st: General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 61-8
2nd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 56-12
3rd: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 15 bass, 54-6
4th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 15 bass, 51-11
5th: Yamamoto Baits pro Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 15 bass, 51-5
6th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 51-4
7th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 49-7
8th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 48-10
9th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Alabama, 14 bass, 48-10
10th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, 15 bass, 47-0
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Power-Pole pro Cory Johnston, Cavan, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 46-1, $12,000
12th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 15 bass, 45-14, $12,000
13th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 13 bass, 42-14, $12,000
14th: Randy Blaukat, Joplin, Mo., 13 bass, 41-5, $12,000
15th: Bradley Dortch, Atmore, Ala., 14 bass, 40-7, $12,000
16th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 11 bass, 39-2, $12,000
17rd: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 11 bass, 38-5, $12,000
18th: Todd Hollowell, Fishers, Ind., nine bass, 36-2, $12,000
19th: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 34-11, $12,000
20th: Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, eight bass, 33-11, $12,000
Overall there were 74 bass weighing 237 pounds, 8 ounces caught by pros Saturday. Eleven of the final 20 pros weighed in 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.
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 final 10 anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CST Sunday from the Guntersville City Harbor located at 201 Blount Ave., in Guntersville. Sunday’s championship weigh-in will be held at the Guntersville City Harbor but beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Sunday, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Guntersville City Harbor from noon to 4 p.m. 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.
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.