Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner didn’t weigh the largest sack of bass during the third day of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour on Kentucky Lake presented by OFF!. However, it turned out to be enough to take the lead in a field of 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 Gastonia N.C., angler advanced to the top 10 as the No. 1 seed with a five-bass limit Saturday of 22-15. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 58 pounds even, he now holds a very slim 2-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.
“I had a good day,” said Baumgardner, who has more than $778,000 in FLW career winnings. “It started off a little slow and picked up, and I had a good limit by 9 o’clock.
“I caught one that had me wrapped around a steel post on a dock, and I didn’t think I’d ever get him in, but my partner got the net under him and we got him in,” Baumgardner added. “It was about a 5-pounder. Then maybe about half an hour later I caught a 6-pounder. And then I was out of there. I had 23 pounds, and I didn’t think I’d be helping myself (by staying there).”
Baumgardner said he’s been fishing docks shallow and throwing jigs, Chatterbaits and Zoom Super Flukes to catch his fish during the tournament, and said he’ll continue to do the same on the final day of competition.
“This lake has got so many fish in it, if they start biting out deep, those guys can bring in 20 or 25 pounds easy,” Baumgardner said. “I’m just going to go out and catch everything I can. I’m going to hammer them hard tomorrow.”
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 57-14. Lefebre’s Saturday weight of 23-5 was the largest limit of the tournament.
Lefebre said the key to his week has been conservation — not only caring for the well being of the fish he caught, but making sure he didn’t deplete an area of fish by catching too many out of one spot.
“There are no guarantees in this sport,” Lefebre said. “No matter what you do to prepare or conserve (fish) … my main deal this week is conserving fish.”
Lefebre said he will start Sunday less than a mile away from the takeoff ramp fishing shell beds in 5 to 6 feet of water with Rapala DT6 and DT10 crankbaits. Lefebre said he hopes to catch a quick limit before that bites dies around 8:30 a.m. He said then he would switch to a Storm swimbait early in the morning and a Tabu 1-ounce jig the rest of the day.
“I thought after the second day of practice I had a shot to win,” Lefebre said. “And after the first day started, I thought, ‘this could happen.’ So I started thinking about conservation and leaving those fish alone. I didn’t pound anything yet. I have a lot of places I want to pound tomorrow. It’s all about decision making, and I think I have a really, really good shot.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition are:
1st: Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 15 bass, 58-0
2nd: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 15 bass, 57-14
3rd: M&M’s pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 15 bass, 53-13
4th: Kyle Mabrey, McCalla, Ala., 15 bass, 50-10
5th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 49-10
6th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 49-5
7th: Fatheadz pro Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 15 bass, 48-13
8th: EverStart pro Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 15 bass, 48-7
9th: Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 15 bass, 47-9
10th: Todd Hollowell, Fishers, Ind., 15 bass, 46-6
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: OFF! pro Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 15 bass, 46-5, $11,837
12th: Rick Cotten, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 46-0, $11,837
13th: Shane Long, Springfield, Mo., 15 bass, 46-0, $11,837
14th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 45-2, $11,837
15th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 45-0, $11,837
16th: Kevin Hawk, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 44-7, $11,360
17th: Brent Long, Cornelius, N.C., 15 bass, 42-15, $11,360
18th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 14 bass, 42-12, $11,360
19th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 42-6, $11,360
20th: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 13 bass, 38-12, $11,360
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 97 bass weighing 274 pounds, 3 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 18 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.
Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 51 pounds, 6 ounces followed by Terrance Smith of Fishers, Ind., in second place with 15 bass weighing 42-14 worth $7,134.
“I thought I had blown it today,” said Martin, who now has three FLW Tour co-angler titles. “I had a big lead going into today, but I had a feeling someone was going to bust a big bag today. It was pretty tough out there.
“Most of the time you’re just trying to catch as much as you can,” Martin added. “But I’m so tired by the third day I’m not thinking a lot. I’m just throwing my bait out there and trying to catch what I can. If I win, I win. If I don’t, I don’t.”
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Brad Roberts, Faubush, Ky., 15 bass, 42-2, $4,750
4th: Mike Helton, Jeffersonville, Ind., 15 bass, 41-9, $3,797
5th: Jeff Taylor, Olmstead, Ky., 15 bass, 40-9, $2,844
6th: Chad McClendon, North Richland Hills, Texas, 14 bass, 39-2, $2,367
7th: Mark Myers, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 12 bass, 38-15, $1,890
8th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 15 bass, 38-11, $1,700
9th: Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ohio, 15 bass, 37-15, $1,604
10th: Zac Cassill, Fairfax, Iowa, 15 bass, 37-5, $1,509
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 78 bass weighing 189 pounds, 2 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.
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 from Kentucky Dam Marina located at 466 Marina Drive in Gilbertsville, Ky., at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the CFSB Center at Murray State University in Murray beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the CFSB 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 WKYQ 93.3. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of The Paducah Sun. 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 Kentucky Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 19 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.