Fishing & Boating News

WILLIAMS GRABS EARLY LEAD AT FLW TOUR AT LEWIS SMITH LAKE PRESENTED BY T-H MARINE

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

Pro David Williams of Maiden, NC, weighed an 18-lb, 11-oz limit of largemouth bass to take the lead on Day 1 of the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Apr 26, 2018 - JASPER, AL)

Pro David Williams of Maiden, North Carolina, weighed an 18-pound, 11-ounce limit of largemouth bass to take the lead on Day One of the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine. Williams will bring a 2-pound, 9-ounce lead into Day Two of the four-day event that features the world’s premier bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers 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.


Williams worked along two 4- to 5-mile stretches of creek to catch his largemouth Thursday. He said he fished flooded cover, and that he had 40 to 50 bites throughout his day.


“I went to the area where I’d caught two big ones in practice and caught my weight pretty quickly,” said Williams, who is seeking his first career win as a professional on the FLW Tour. “I culled a few times and was basically done fishing by 10:30 (a.m.).


“They’re on a mixture of stuff – it’s not just one thing,” continued Williams. “I didn’t see anybody else in the area and I didn’t fish anything twice. I just kind of blew through it one time and left.”


Williams said he plans on returning to his two stretches Friday.


“There’s plenty of fish in there to catch a fairly decent limit. It’s just a matter of getting those big 4- and 5-pound bites,” said Williams. “I don’t know if I can catch another 18 pounds, but I can catch some fish. I’m just going to keep working them and hopefully it lasts a few days.”


The top 10 pros after day one on Lewis Smith Lake are:
               1st:          David Williams, Maiden, N.C., five bass, 18-11              
               2nd:         Blake Smith, Lakeland, Fla., five bass, 16-2    
               3rd:          Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., five bass, 15-13
               3th:         Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 15-13  
               5th:          Pennzoil Marine pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 15-9      
               6th:          Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., five bass, 15-8              
               7th:          James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, five bass, 15-6           
               8th:          Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., five bass, 15-2
               9th:          Jeff Dobson, Bartlesville, Okla., five bass, 15-1
               10th:        Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, five bass, 15-0

Moynagh and Dobson each angler weighed a 4-pound, 15-ounce bass to tie for and split the day's $500 Simms Big Bass award..
Overall there were 863 bass weighing 1,825 pounds, 15 ounces, caught by 178 pros Thursday. The catch included 161 five-bass limits.
Billy Messer of Spartanburg, South Carolina, leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces, followed by Joel Willert of Prior Lake, Minnesota, who weighed five bass totaling 12-10, good for second place.


The top 10 co-anglers after day one on Lewis Smith Lake are:
               1st:          Billy Messer, Spartanburg, S.C., five bass, 13-15          
               2nd:         Joel Willert, Prior Lake, Minn., five bass, 12-10              
               3rd:          Hiroyuki Watanabe, Shizuoka, Honshu, Japan, five bass, 12-7    
               4th:          Joshua Perrymon, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 11-11   
               5th:          Brian Norman, Hagersville, Ontario, Canada, five bass, 11-2       
               5th:          Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., five bass, 11-2       
               7th:          Marcus Corbett, Anniston, Ala., five bass, 11-1              
               8th:          Casey Martin, New Hope, Ala., five bass, 10-14            
               9th:          Jerry Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., five bass, 10-12         
               10th:        Wataru Iwahori, Palestine, Texas, five bass, 10-10        
               10th:        Randy Hill, Athens, Ala., five bass, 10-10        
               10th:        Robby Frashier, Carrollton, Ga., five bass, 10-10


Mark Guhne of Hixson, Texas, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division with a 4-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Overall there were 644 bass weighing 1,074 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 169 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 81 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 anglers competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes 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 Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine is more than $930,000. The event is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County


Anglers will take off at 6:30 a.m. CDT each day from the Smith Lake Dam Access, located at 7482 Smith Lake Dam Road in Jasper. Friday’s weigh-in, April 27, will be held at the Access beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins, April 28-29, will also be held at the Access, but will begin at 4 p.m.


Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Smith Lake Dam Access from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is the perfect opportunity for fishing fans of all ages 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 the Smith Lake Dam Access on Saturday, April 28, 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 youth (18 and under) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). 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.


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.


Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by T-H Marine will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) June 6 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.


For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.


About FLW
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.