(Nov 3, 2017 - Paris, TN)
Boater Chad Foster of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, brought four bass weighing 13 pounds, 9 ounces, to the scale Friday to jump from third into the lead after Day Two of a very tough Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake. Foster’s two-day total of nine bass weighing 33-6 gives him a slim 1-pound, 13-ounce, advantage over second-place boater Larry Stoafer of Leavenworth, Kansas, heading into the third and final day of competition. Reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year Bryan Thrift, who led the event on Day One, weighed just two bass totaling 3-9 and fell to third place.
This week’s tournament features anglers from six countries casting for a $95,000 prize package in the Pro Division, including a new Ranger Z518C boat with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and automatic qualification to the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup – the world championship of professional bass fishing.
Foster was able to overcome the stingy conditions and follow up his 19-pound Day One limit with four solid keepers. Foster is fishing south, near New Johnsonville, and said he has multiple shallow areas with a lot of potential.
“There’s a bunch of fish in my area. I’m getting the bites, but they were biting weird today,” said Foster, who recently moved to Minnesota after qualifying for the championship through the FLW Series Southeastern Division. “There were five or six fish that didn’t eat really eat the bait. I feel fortunate to have four today.”
Foster said his areas range from 6 inches to 3 feet in depth and that the wind played a key role in his success today.
“I caught my two biggest fish in three casts as soon as the wind switched and started blowing,” said Foster. “It was slick calm this morning. I think the fish were getting too good of look at the bait.”
The top 10 boaters that will advance to the final day of competition on Kentucky Lake are:
1st: Chad Foster, Pequot Lakes, Minn., nine bass, 33-6
2nd: Larry Stoafer, Leavenworth, Kan., 10 bass, 31-9
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., seven bass, 31-1
4th: Bradford Beavers, Ridgeville, S.C., 10 bass, 30-13
5th: Tim Fox, Meridian, Miss., eight bass, 28-13
6th: Jason Abram, Piney Flats, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-8
7th: Todd Hollowell, Fishers, Ind., nine bass, 28-7
8th: John Soukup, Agra, Okla., 10 bass, 27-7
9th: Michael Matthee, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa, eight bass, 27-1
10th: Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., 10 bass, 26-13
Competitors qualified for the Costa FLW Series Championship through five U.S. divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – and an International division that features anglers from Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. The highest finishing pro from each U.S. division and the International division will qualify for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, along with the overall top five finishers not already selected as the highest finisher of a division. A total of 11 FLW Series boaters will advance to the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup.
The International, Southwestern and Northern division Cup qualifiers have now been decided after two days of competition, and the rest will be determined Saturday.
The Day Two leaders from each division are:
Southeastern Division leader – Chad Foster, nine bass, 33-6, (1st)
Central Division leader – Larry Stoafer, Leavenworth, Kan., 10 bass, 31-9, (2nd)
*Southwestern Division qualifier – John Soukup, Agra, Okla., 10 bass, 27-7, (8th)
*Northern Division qualifier – Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., 10 bass, 26-13, (10th)
Western Division leader – Brent Shores, Boise, Idaho, nine bass, 24-10, (14th)
*International Division qualifier – Michael Matthee, Centurion, Gauteng, South Africa, eight bass, 27-1, (9th)
Day One co-angler leader Justin Hicks of Roanoke, Virginia, held the lead on Day Two with a two-day total of seven bass weighing 27 pounds, 13 ounces, followed by Robbie Bartoszek of Hampshire, Tennessee, in second place with eight bass weighing 20-6.
The top 10 co-anglers that will advance to the final day of competition on Kentucky Lake are:
1st: Justin Hicks, Roanoke, Va., seven bass, 27-13
2nd: Robbie Bartoszek, Hampshire, Tenn., eight bass, 20-6
3rd: Casey O'Donnell, Langston, Ala., six bass, 18-0
4th: Gabriel Scott, Stanardsville, Va., seven bass, 17-7
5th: Chuck Laslie, Quincy, Fla., six bass, 16-5
6th: Heath Gilmore, Meridian, Miss., five bass, 15-1
7th: Andy Greek, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 14-1
8th: Gary Haraguchi, Redding, Calif., five bass, 13-4
9th: Austin Baskette, Leesburg, Fla., three bass, 13-3
10th: Michael Allbright, Athens, Texas, six bass, 12-7
Co-anglers are casting this week for a top award of a Ranger Z175 boat with a 90-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The final 10 boaters and co-anglers will take off from Paris Landing State Park, located at 16055 Highway 79 N. in Buchanan, Tennessee, at 7:30 a.m. CDT Saturday. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the state park beginning at 3:30 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
The Costa FLW Series Championship on Kentucky Lake is being hosted by the Henry County Tourism Authority.
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 258 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.