(Apr 13, 2018 - SOMERSET, Ky.)
Pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, brought a 15-pound, 12-ounce limit of bass to the scale Friday to maintain his lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by General Tire. Morgan’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 11 ounces gives him a 1-pound, 6-ounce advantage heading into the third day of competition in the four-day event that featured a field of 183 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers competing for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and up to $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.
The field is now cut to 30 as anglers resume competition Saturday morning, with only the top 10 anglers advancing to Championship Sunday. Former Forrest Wood Cup Champions Darrel Robertson (2nd place, 33-5), Polaris pro David Dudley (22nd place, 28-0), Scott Martin (24th place, 27-13), and Justin Atkins (29th place, 27-4) remain in competition, along with reigning Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year Bryan Thrift (4th place, 32-13).
Thrift weighed another five-bass limit Friday – his 51st consecutive limit weighed in FLW Tour competition – breaking the FLW Tour’s all-time record of 50, set in 2014 by pro Cody Meyer of Auburn, California. Thrift has the opportunity to extend his record Saturday.
“Despite my weight being down, today was actually a better day for me,” said tournament leader Morgan, a 20-year Tour veteran who has 38 career top-10 Tour finishes. “I caught a lot more fish, and I had a shot at a really good bag. It might have just been bad luck, but a lot of fish were just slapping at my bait and would come off, for no real rhyme or reason. I lost four or five really good ones today – including a 5-pound largemouth.”
Morgan is fishing in the lower end of the lake, running pockets and covering water with a spinnerbait and a jig. He estimated that he caught around 20 keepers on Friday and weighed in a limit consisting of four largemouth and one smallmouth bass.
“I started the day running totally new water, but this afternoon I ended up going back through some things that I did yesterday,” Morgan said. “The water is fairly clean, but a little windblown in some places. It really didn’t matter where I fished, though. They were biting.
“Tomorrow I think everyone will blast them again and we’re going to see a lot of fish caught,” Morgan went on to say. “Anyone fishing can still win this deal. There is a 20-pound bag lurking around out there, and 20 pounds can go far here. I’m going to continue to do more of the same, and going to keep doing it until it quits.”
The top 30 pros that made the first cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Cumberland are:
1st: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn.., 10 bass, 34-11
2nd: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 33-5
3rd: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 10 bass, 32-15
4th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 32-13
5th: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 10 bass, 31-6
6th: Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., 10 bass, 30-14
7th: Allen Boyd, Salem, Ind., 10 bass, 30-13
8th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, 10 bass, 30-11
9th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 10 bass, 30-8
10th: Carl Jocumsen, Queensland, Australia, 10 bass, 30-5
11th: General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 30-3
12th: Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 10 bass, 29-14
13th: Bob Morin, Seymour, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-11
14th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 29-3
15th: Glenn Chappelear, Acworth, Ga., 10 bass, 29-0
16th: Kyle Cortiana, Coweta, Okla., 10 bass, 28-8
17th: Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 28-7
18th: Brian Latimer, Belton, S.C., 10 bass, 28-7
19th: Clayton Batts, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 28-5
20th: Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 10 bass, 28-3
21st: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 28-1
22nd: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 28-0
23rd: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., 10 bass, 27-13
24th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 27-13
25th: Billy Hines, Vacaville, Calif., 10 bass, 27-12
26th: Shawn Murphy, Nicholasville, Ky., 10 bass, 27-12
27th: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 27-6
28th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 27-4
29th: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 10 bass, 27-4
30th: James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 10 bass, 27-4
Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Delaware, earned Friday's $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 15-ounce bass.
Overall there were 872 bass weighing 2,190 pounds, 2 ounces, caught by 181 pros Friday. The catch included 161 five-bass limits.
Joel Willert of Prior Lake, Minnesota, won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 2 ounces, followed by Robert Case III of Point, Texas, who finished in second place with 10 bass totaling 23-15, worth $7,550.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Joel Willert, Prior Lake, Minn., 10 bass, 24-2, $20,000
2nd: Robert Case III, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 23-15, $7,550
3rd: Shane Melton, Kokomo, Ind., 10 bass, 23-11, $5,000
4th: Pat Eichmann, Nancy, Ky., 10 bass, 23-7, $4,000
5th: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., nine bass, 23-5, $3,000
6th: Robert Case Jr., Point, Texas, 10 bass, 23-4, $2,500
7th: J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., 10 bass, 23-2, $2,000
8th: Keith Honeycutt, Temple, Texas, nine bass, 22-12, $2,050
9th: Mike Casada, Stearns, Ky., 10 bass, 22-12, $1,700
10th: Joe Rucker, Nicholasville, Ky., nine bass, 22-12, $1,850
Honeycutt earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Friday with a 7-pound, 7-ounce bass.
Overall there were 578 bass weighing 1,137 pounds, 10 ounces, caught by 157 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 70 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 366 anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 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.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by General Tire is more than $930,000. The tournament is hosted by the Somerset Tourist and Convention Commission and the Burnside Tourism Commission.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EDT each morning from General Burnside Island State Park, located at 8801 S. Highway 27, in Burnside, Kentucky. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, April 14-15, will be held at the park, beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, April 14-15, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at General Burnside Island State Park 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 Pulaski County Park, located at 1200 State Highway 3189 in Nancy, Kentucky on Saturday, April 14 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by General Tire will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) May 23 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.
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 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. 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.