(Jan 11, 2019 - BROOKELAND, Texas)
Rapala pro Terry Bolton of Benton, Kentucky, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 33 pounds, 9 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard on Day Two of the FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented Polaris after starting the day in 10th place. Bolton’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 54-3 will give him a 5-pound, 15-ounce advantage over second place angler Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, (48-4) who led the competition after Day One. The field of 170 anglers is now cut to just the top 30 as the world’s best bass fishing professionals continue their competition for the top award of up to $125,000.
“I think I caught more fish today than I caught all last year on Tour,” joked Bolton, a 13-time FLW Cup qualifier. “It was a really special day. I had a pretty good day yesterday and this was the same place that I caught my big ones. There is bigger fish there and it’s just a timing deal.
“I actually found the place in practice by pure luck,” Bolton continued. “I was idling along – I’m a Kentucky Lake ledge fisherman and I always watch my depth finder – and I happened to idle over the needle in the haystack. I thought there was some big ones there when I saw them, and I caught a 6-pounder and a keeper and left. Now that I’ve gotten to fish it for two days, I’m starting to figure it out.”
Bolton said that the fish are suspended, and he estimated that he caught more than 50 bass from the area on both Thursday and Friday. His baits of choice has been Rapala DT14 and Rapala DT16 crankbaits, in Demon and Caribbean Shad colors.
“It’s just something that happens here – early in the year those fish stage over the hydrilla,” Bolton said. “I’ve done it here in the past, and I know tournaments have been won here that way. When I got up around 26 to 27 pounds I started to leave. I thought, no, I’ll stay here just a little longer. Then I caught the 9-8 and I realized I was throwing back fish that were 5 pounds so I knew it was time to go.
“Tomorrow I’m going to do the exact same thing that I’ve done the last two days and just go fishing and enjoy myself. That’s what this year is all about – me having fun,” Bolton went on to say. “Last year, I had no fun. I thought about retiring. So this year I decided I’m going to come back and get back to just having fun. Now, of course, catching 33 pounds helps to have fun. But, regardless, the secret to doing well is enjoying yourself. Don’t let the highs get you too high – and this is definitely a high. But there will be lows, and you can’t let the lows get you too low.
“I may have to start over, tomorrow. But, I’m prepared for that and if so I’m going to enjoy myself.”
The top 30 pros that made the cut and will fish Saturday on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:
1st: Rapala pro Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., 10 bass, 54-3
2nd: Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 10 bass, 48-4
3rd: Evinrude pro Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 45-4
4th: Chad Warren, Sand Springs, Okla., 10 bass, 44-6
5th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 43-15
6th: Miles Burghoff, Hixson, Tenn., 10 bass, 42-8
7th: Billy Shelton III, La Crosse, Va., 10 bass, 42-1
8th: Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 41-9
9th: Sam George, Athens, Ala., 10 bass, 39-9
10th: Andy Wicker, Pomaria, S.C., 10 bass, 38-14
11th: Charles Sim, Nepean, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 38-7
12th: Colby Schrumpf, Highland, Ill., 10 bass, 37-6
13th: Kyle Cortiana, Coweta, Okla., 10 bass, 36-10
14th: Bass Pro Shops pro Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 36-8
15th: Tom Redington, Royse City, Texas, 10 bass, 35-14
16th: Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 10 bass, 35-2
17th: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Va., 10 bass, 34-5
18th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 34-0
19th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 33-11
20th: Kurt Mitchell, Milford, Del., 10 bass, 33-6
21st: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 33-4
22nd: Jon Englund, Farwell, Minn., 10 bass, 32-9
23rd: Derek Fulps, Broken Arrow, Okla., 10 bass, 32-8
24th: Strike King pro Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 10 bass, 32-5
25th: Timmy Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., 10 bass, 32-0
26th: Casey Scanlon, Lake Ozark, Mo., 10 bass, 31-11
27th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 31-10
28th: Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 10 bass, 31-7
29th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 10 bass, 31-6
30th: Christopher Brasher, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 31-5
Wicker earned Friday’s $500 Big Bass award in the pro division thanks to an 11-pound, 2-ounce largemouth. The fish was the 9th largest Big Bass Award winner in FLW Tour history.
Overall there were 750 bass weighing 1,902 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 164 pros Friday. The catch included 136 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 170 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight now advance to fish on 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 Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris is more than $860,000, including $9,000 through 65th place in the Pro Division. The tournament is hosted by the Jasper County Development District.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11, and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. CST each day from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway, in Brookeland. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the pavilion, beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the Umphrey Family Pavilion from 2 to 6 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 the pavilion on Saturday from Noon-2 p.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 Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Polaris will premiere in 2019. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water program will air Saturday and Sunday, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. New for 2019, host Travis Moran will be joined by veteran FLW Tour pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com.
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 2019 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct more than 290 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 while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.