Coming into day three at the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Beaver Lake presented by Straight Talk the largest stringer that had been weighed in for the tournament was a nice 16-pound, 3-ounce bag weighed in Friday by Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney. That weight was shattered on Saturday as Kenney’s fellow Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury wowed the Rogers, Ark., crowd with a huge 19-pound, 11-ounce stringer of Beaver Lake bass. He now leads a full field of the best bass-fishing pros from all across the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan as they fish for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
The Springville, Ala., native weighed in a five-bass limit Saturday vaulting him from 13th place yesterday into the top spot. After three days of fishing, Canterbury has weighed in 15 bass totaling 42 pounds, 5 ounces. He now holds a slim 12-ounce lead over Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash., who caught five bass today weighing 14-5. Clausen has weighed in 15 bass totaling 41-9 after the first three days.
“Man, it was an absolutely awesome day today,” said Canterbury, who has career earnings of more than $500,000 on the FLW Tour. “I have not changed anything, and I’m fishing the exact same way that I did on day one and day two. I was just blessed today. Every time I moved, I caught them. Every time I changed baits, I caught them. When I switched to bigger lures, I caught bigger fish. It was one of those days where everything that I did just worked out for me.”
Canterbury said that he covered a lot of water Saturday, and plans on doing the same Sunday.
“I started today in Prairie Creek and just started catching them right off of the bat,” Canterbury said. “Then I went way up the river and had some good bites up there as well. I’m really just looking for the transition banks and fishing the shallow cover. I was throwing so much different stuff today. I was power fishing. I threw the Alabama rig. I was throwing a big jig. I fished some topwaters. I was throwing a squarebill-crankbait. I’m just covering as much water as I can and trying different lures. I caught nine keepers on the day today. I feel like I’m around some fish – it’s just all about getting the big bites, though. Luckily that happened for me today, and I’m hoping I can do it again tomorrow.”
After his success on day three, Canterbury said he has no plans of altering his strategy heading into the fourth and final day.
“My plan for day four is to just keep doing the same thing. It’s just how I like to fish,” he continued. “I’ve got a good chance to catch some big fish tomorrow, but you never really know. I feel good about my chances, but this is still Beaver Lake. I only weighed in 8 pounds on the second day, and I’ve zeroed here before. I feel like I’m around a lot of fish but it’s all about getting those bites. Hopefully I can make that happen and everything goes good for me on day four and I can finish this thing off.”
Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day or competition on Beaver Lake are:
3rd: Dr. Pepper TEN pro Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 15 bass, 39-0
4th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 37-14
5th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 36-7
6th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 36-5
7th: Kelley Jaye, Dadeville, Ala., 15 bass, 35-8
8th: Charlie Evans, Gilbertsville, Ky., 15 bass, 35-7
9th: Brad Rightnour, Mingoville, Pa., 15 bass, 34-8
10th: Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 15 bass, 34-6
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: National Guard pro Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 34-1, $12,500
12th: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats pro Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 bass, 32-11, $12,500
13th: National Guard pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 32-7, $12,500
14th: Thanh Le, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 15 bass, 32-1, $12,500
15th: Kenneth (Boo) Woods, Hazard, Ky., 15 bass, 31-10, $12,500
16th: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 30-0, $12,000
17th: Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 29-10, $12,000
18th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 13 bass, 27-14, $12,000
19th: Derrick Snavely, Rogersville, Tenn., 15 bass, 27-11, $12,000
20th: Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 14 bass, 26-4, $12,000
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 93 bass weighing 205 pounds, 13 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 16 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 22-15 followed by Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., in second place with 10 bass weighing 18-14 worth $7,500.
“Coming into this tournament I was hoping to make some money to cross over to the boater side next year,” said Pipkens. “This check will definitely help. My kicker was the first fish that I caught today, right around 8 a.m., and I had my other fish by 11 a.m. I felt really good after that first one, but I knew that if any of these other guys were weighing in 7 or 8 pounds today I didn’t really like my chances. If you catch a 6-pounder and a 4-pounder on Beaver Lake and don’t win, it’s just not meant to be. It held up and worked out for me today, though.
“I caught my fish on a ½-ounce white chartreuse War Eagle Spinnerbait today,” Pipkens continued. “I caught a couple flipping as well. I kind of figured it out this afternoon that a lot of the bigger fish were staying near the banks on the laydowns, so I tried to just work my areas off of the back of the boat. I was really trying to be careful to not interfere at all with what my pro was doing. I know what’s at stake for those guys, and you never want to step on anybody’s toes. I got to go fishing with Charlie Evans today, and if you think that guy talks a lot on stage, well, you should see him in the boat.”
The Michigan native has fished quite a bit with FLW, and has found success in multiple stages of circuits.
“I’ve won three BFL events from the front of the boat,” Pipkens went on to say. “And the last two years I have fished the EverStart series as a pro. I think that this is going to be my last year of fishing out of the back of the boat, and I’m looking forward to fishing the FLW Tour next year as a pro.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Greg Sapp, Rogers, Ark., 11 bass, 16-15, $5,000
4th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 11 bass, 16-11, $4,000
5th: Steven Meador, Bella Vista, Ark., 13 bass, 16-2, $3,000
6th: Lenny Francoeur, Rogers, Ark., 10 bass, 15-15, $2,500
7th: Kevin Gordon, Aiken, S.C., 10 bass, 15-11, $2,000
8th: Nick Loeffelman Jr., Valles Mines, Mo., eight bass, 15-10, $1,800
9th: Ken Keirsey, Owasso, Okla., nine bass, 14-10, $1,700
10th: Alex Posey, Roswell, Ga., 11 bass, 14-9, $1,600
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 30 bass weighing 46 pounds, 12 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. None of the co-anglers were able to catch a five-bass limit today on Beaver Lake.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
The top 10 pros will take off at 6:30 a.m. from Prairie Creek Park located at 9300 North Park Road in Rogers. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the John Q. Hammons Center located at 3303 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy. in Rogers beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the John Q. Hammons Center on Sunday from noon – 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of US94 KAMO-FM Country. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of KNWA. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Coverage of the Beaver Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs June 3 from 1 – 2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
photo: FLW Outdoors