John Cox of Debary, Fla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces Thursday to retain the lead in the FLW Series Eastern Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 47-15.
“I was just running and moving around a lot and catching a good one here and there,” said Cox, who is fishing in his first FLW Series event. “I figured I caught 15 (pounds) early in the morning and figured that was pretty good.”
Cox said his technique of moving around and searching for fish produced 12 keepers Thursday. He said he is mainly focusing on fish he can see and picks the fish he thinks will bite. The longest he targeted one fish Thursday was 20 minutes.
“I’m kind of just standing around and waiting to see them,” Cummins said.
Cummins said he fished new water on the second day of competition and will continue to do the same Friday. Cummins also said he is looking forward to the forecast of rain for Saturday.
“I’ve got a flipping spot and I’ve been dying to go to it,” Cummins said. “These flipping fish are on beds; you just can’t see them.”
Cox now holds a commanding 8-pound, 13-ounce lead over second place pro National Guard team pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 39-2 during the first two days of competition.
“The neat thing about Lake Okeechobee is that it’s never the same year after year,” said Martin, who has won more than $1 million in FLW Outdoors events. “As big as this lake is, it’s always different based on water levels and the amount of grass. I’ve never really gone out and caught fish in the exact same spot year after year.”
Rounding out the top-10 pros at Lake Okeechobee are:
3rd: Team Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 35-11
4th: Bob Izumi, Milton, Ontario, 10 bass, 34-6
5th: Tom Mann Jr., Buford, Ga., 10 bass, 34-0
6th: Craig Dowling, Grant, Ala., 10 bass, 33-5
7th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 33-2
8th: Ray Scheide, Dover, Ark., 10 bass, 32-0
9th: Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla., 10 bass, 31-8
10th: Trevor Fitzgerald, Ocklawaha, Fla., 10 bass, 31-3
Overall there were 671 bass weighing 1,459 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 153 pros Thursday. The catch included 113 five-bass limits.
In FLW Series competition, pros are competing for a top award of $50,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for a shot at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing.
Jeff Cummins of Marion, Ohio, leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 25-2 followed by Larry Mullikin of Lauderhill, Fla., in second place with nine bass weighing 24-6.
“We were throwing everything,” said Cummins, who is fishing in his first FLW Series event. “The bite was tough, but we worked at it all day long and finally got a limit.”
Cummins said he caught six fish during the course of the day on Reaction Innovations Skinny Dippers and flukes. Cummins said his largest fish, an estimated six-pounder, was his second fish of the day and fell for a Senko.
Cummins caught five bass weighing 10-14 while fishing with pro Robert Sherry of Saint Charles, Ill., Wednesday and five bass weighing 14-4 while fishing with pro Pat Kelly Sr. of Guntersville, Ala.,Thursday.
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Larry Butler, New Haven, Vt., 10 bass, 19-13
4th: Richard Rhodes, Calvert City, Ky., six bass, 19-12
5th: Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 19-2
6th: Marlon Crowder, Tampa, Fla., 10 bass, 18-13
7th: Eugene Lewis, Saint Petersburg, Fla., 10 bass, 18-9
8th: Robert Eid, Key West, Fla., nine bass, 18-4
9th: Anthony Goggins, Sylacauga, Ala., nine bass, 17-14
10th: George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 17-12
Overall there were 355 bass weighing 591 pounds, 10 ounces caught by 130 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 29 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a Ranger 177TR with 90 horsepower engine as well as valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off from C. Scott Driver Park located at 10100 W. Hwy. 78 in Okeechobee at 7 each morning. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. The final weigh-in on Saturday will be held at Gilbert Chevrolet Company located at 3550 Hwy. 441 S. in Okeechobee at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone at Gilbert Chevrolet prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a $300 Cabela’s gift card and drawings for rod and reel combos will be held every 30 minutes during the event. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Lake Okeechobee tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, will air May 2 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
ABOUT FLW OUTDOORS FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com. FLWOutdoors.com