Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., brought a five-bass limit to the scales Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces giving him a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass for 58 pounds, 4 ounces and the lead for the third consecutive day at the Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Castrol. He now holds a solid 3½-pound lead over second place pro Barry Wilson of Birmingham, Ala., in the event that features the best bass-fishing anglers in the world casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“All that you can ask for in a bass tournament is to go into the last day and have a legitimate chance to win,” said Christie, who is seeking his second FLW Tour victory of the season after winning at Beaver Lake just two months ago. “If I can catch what I did today tomorrow, I have a good chance.”
Christie said that Saturday was his slowest day of the tournament so far, and that he only boated 10 to 12 keeper bass.
“We won’t know until tomorrow whether my fish will hold up or not,” Christie said. “I think I’m going to try a couple of different spots early, because my main area didn’t fire up until later today. I don’t have any other areas that I have the confidence that I do in my main area, though. Hopefully, they replenish.”
Christie said that his main area was about 10 to 15 miles up the lake from the takeoff site at Wolf Creek Park. Like yesterday, he said that his main pattern all week has been flipping a YUM F2 Wooly Bug and a creature bait.
“I ran way down the lake today and tried to catch some crankbait fish,” Christie said. “I really did that to eliminate it. I didn’t want to be thinking about anything else tomorrow other than flipping bushes. It’s definitely getting a little tougher in my area, but I do believe that it can be won up there. We’re all great fisherman, but it’s all about how good your locations are… and if they can hold up for four days.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Grand Lake are:
1st: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 15 bass, 58-4
2nd: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 54-12
3rd: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 54-7
4th: Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 15 bass, 53-8
5th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., 15 bass, 53-2
6th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 53-1
7th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 51-11
8th: Zell Rowland, Montgomery, Texas, 15 bass, 51-6
9th: Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 15 bass, 51-1
10th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 50-12
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 15 bass, 50-10, $12,216
12th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,216
13th: Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,216
14th: James Biggs, Richland Hills, Texas, 15 bass, 49-5, $12,216
15th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 15 bass, 48-13, $12,216
16th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 15 bass, 47-15, $11,726
17th: M&M’s pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 15 bass, 45-8, $11,726
18th: Lendell Martin Jr., Nacogdoches, Texas, 14 bass, 45-0, $11,726
19th: Tommy Martin, Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 44-7, $11,726
20th: Matthew Stefan, Park Ridge, Ill., 15 bass, 43-11, $11,726
Overall there were 99 bass weighing 300 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 19 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 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River. Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC when “FLW” airs Sept. 29 from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET.
Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., in second place with 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces worth $7,500.
“When I drew Jason Christie today, I just thought to myself that there is no way in the world that he can flip every single bush,” said Honeycutt, who has earned more than $180,000 via fishing as a co-angler in FLW competition. “I just knew that there had to be a few bushes here and there for me.”
Honeycutt said that he caught his fish this week by flipping bushes and throwing shallow crankbaits.
“I really do appreciate what Jason (Christie) did for me today,” Honeycutt went on to say. “I had three bass at 1 p.m. and Jason heard me sighing in the back of the boat. He asked me if I wanted to go crankbait fishing, so of course I smiled and told him that I would love to go. We made a 25-mile run and went crankbait fishing, and I caught three or four more fish and got my limit. There is no doubt that Jason left the area where this tournament is going to be won to help me, and I really do appreciate it.”
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Keith Honeycutt, Temple, Texas, 15 bass, 45-13, $25,000
2nd: Anthony Goggins, Auburn, Ala., 15 bass, 41-6, $7,343
3rd: Steven Meador, Bella Vista, Ark., 15 bass, 40-2, $4,893
4th: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 15 bass, 39-15, $3,913
5th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 15 bass, 39-0, $2,933
6th: Mark Horton, Nicholasville, Ky., 15 bass, 38-13, $2,443
7th: Braxton Setzer, Auburn, Ala., 15 bass, 36-10, $1,953
8th: Troy Hollowell, New Concord, Ky., 15 bass, 36-8, $1,757
9th: Josh Gaffney, Crab Orchard, Ky., 15 bass, 36-4, $1,659
10th: Jason Theis, Larned, Kan., 15 bass, 36-2, $1,561
Overall there were 84 bass weighing 201 pounds, 4 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included 13 five-bass limits.
In addition to the top award of $25,000, co-anglers were also fishing this week for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify.
The top 10 pros will take off from Wolf Creek Park located at 963 N. 16th St. in Grove at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2115 S. Main St. in Grove beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart on Sunday from noon to 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. Also on Sunday, country music artist Dylan Scott will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.
Coverage of the Grand Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs July 28 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors