FLW Outdoors pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., crossed the stage Wednesday with a 5-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces to lead day one of the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake presented by Cabela’s. Pugh holds a 1-pound, 13-ounce lead in the tournament featuring 296 anglers from all across the country.
“The bite’s not easy, but it is good when you finally get one, you know it!” said Pugh, who is out for revenge after last year’s dismal 140th place finish. “I was fortunate enough to find one spot where I got four big bites, including my 6 1/2 – pounder.
“I ran quite a ways today, about an hour ride; I found an area that was thick with trees and big fish. I just hope it holds out for the next couple of days. As a matter of fact the vegetation was so thick I actually had four bites that broke off and I was using 20 pound fluorocarbon line. I caught 11 keepers, culled a couple of times and missed several.”
Many of today’s top anglers were scratching their heads as they crossed the stage. The cold water temperatures have made for a very slow bite and they are hoping they will be able to make the necessary adjustments to help improve their showing tomorrow.
Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one on Table Rock Lake are:
2nd: Mike Wurm, Hot Springs, Ark., 5 bass, 16-14
3rd: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 5 bass, 16-6
4th: Brian Travis, Conover, N.C., 4 bass, 16-4
5th: Joe Thomas, Milford, Ohio, 5 bass, 15-7
6th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 5 bass, 14-13
7th: David Walker, Sevierville, Tenn., 5 bass, 14-12
8th: Goodwill pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 4 bass, 14-10
9th: National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 5 bass, 14-7
10th: Adam Wagner, Cookeville, Tenn., 5-bass, 12-10
Overall there were 274 bass weighing 753 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 148 pros Thursday. The catch included only 14 five-bass limits.
FLW Outdoors sports a full field consisting of 150 pro anglers for the 2010 FLW Tour season. Due to family emergencies two pros had to drop out of the Table Rock event where anglers are competing for a top award of up to $125,000, which is based on the full 150 boat field, which will feature a full payback through 50th place. Anglers are also vying for valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup. This year’s Cup will be held Aug. 5- 8 at Lake Lanier in Atlanta, Ga., where pros could win as much as $600,000 – the sport’s biggest award.
Shane Melton of Greentown, Ind., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 13-9 followed by Darrell Mitchell of Taneyville, Mo., in second place with five bass weighing 12-10.
Melton took the early lead in the tournament while fishing with Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., who is currently in 70th place with one bass weighing 4-14.
“I was using the right bait and got lucky,” said second place Mitchell, who was fishing with pro Jason Cordiale of Orinda, Calif. “We were each doing our own thing and I happened to get lucky.
“I caught my fish using a PJ jig with a grub; grubs seem to be the cold water bait. I was really surprised at my weight. We were out here this weekend for practice and I didn’t get one bite; I am feeling very fortunate today.”
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., 3 bass, 8-14
4th: Teddy Bradley, Mishawaka, Ind., 4 bass, 8-13
4th: Sean Stepp, Stafford, Va., 2 bass, 8-13
6th: Chad Parks, Olive Branch, Miss., 4 bass, 8-12
7th: Eugene Robinett, Springfield, Mo., 3 bass, 8-2
8th: Mike Jones, Lebanon, Mo., 3 bass, 7-7
8th: Mike Simonds, Watertown, Wis., 2 bass, 7-7
10th: Jerry Thompson, Peoria, Ariz., 4 bass, 7-5
Overall there were 94 bass weighing 246 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 148 co-anglers Wednesday. The catch included only one five-bass limit.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of up to $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off from Table Rock State Park Marina located at 380 State Park Marina Road (Highway 165 South) in Branson at 7 each morning. Thursday and Friday weigh-ins will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Branson Convention Center located at 200 West Main Street in Branson beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to a Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo at the Branson Convention Center on Friday from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. and Saturday prior to the final weigh-in from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a drawing for a Can-Am ATV and rod and reel combos will be given to the first 300 kids under 14 in attendance on Saturday. The Family Fun Zone & Outdoor Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and the opportunity to learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events, additional information and to register for the ATV, visit FLWOutdoors.com/tablerock.
Coverage of the Table Rock Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors”, will air April 18 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