It’s no April Fool’s prank. Brent Long of Cornelius, N.C., weighed five bass worth 19 pounds, 14 ounces Sunday that gave him a four-day weight of 78 pounds, 13 ounces as well as his second championship trophy and $125,000 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Table Rock Lake presented by Kellogg’s. Long’s Sunday weight gave him a 7-ounce margin of victory in an exciting weigh-in that capped four days of competition with pros from all across the United States, Canada, Spain and Japan.
“I don’t even remember winning the first one any more,” said Long, whose other FLW Tour victory came at Lake Guntersville in 2010. “Any time that you can come to a major national tournament and beat these guys … it’s unbelievable.
“I really thought I had about 19 pounds,” Long added. “I knew it was going to be really close.”
Long is coming off of a “disappointing” finish at Lake Hartwell, where he expected to do well because the lake is somewhat near his house. Long fished clear water at Hartwell and said he wishes he had chosen to fish dirty water during the event.
Long’s plan for the Table Rock event was solidified when he took a wrong turn and chose to travel to the lake by a different route.
“When I came across the 86 bridge on my way in here and I saw that (the water) was real dirty, I said, ‘That’s where I’m going to be for four days,’” Long said. “I flipped shallow water. That’s my strength and I stuck to it, and it paid off.”
Long said he fished an area aptly named Long Creek during the event. He chose to flip wood cover with a black and blue jig made by Earnest Langley (tipped with a Charlie’s Chunk) or a Charlie’s Worms Flippin’ Bug.
“It was fun,” Long said. “I was catching quality fish. I was catching them as they moved up. I was fishing the steeper banks because they had been pulling water all week. I’m glad I don’t have to fish tomorrow because the water’s getting so low I don’t have any more cover in the water and it’s clearing up.”
Rookie pro Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., posted a total weight of 78 pounds, 6 ounces to claim second place and $35,000 in his second event as a pro.
The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 20 bass, 70-13, $30,000
4th: Clint Brownlee, Tifton, Ga., 20 bass, 67-6, $25,000
5th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 19 bass, 63-13, $20,500
6th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 62-9, $17,000
7th: Snickers pro Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 20 bass, 62-1, $16,000
8th: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 17 bass, 61-11, $15,000
9th: Kyle Welcher, Opelika, Ala., 17 bass, 60-2, $14,500
10th: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 19 bass, 56-5, $13,000
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 43 bass weighing 137 pounds, 14 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included six five-bass limits.
Patrick Bone of Cleveland, Ga., won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces followed by Brock Bertrand of Fayetteville, Ark., in second place with nine bass weighing 27-5 worth $7,500.
In FLW Tour Major tournaments, pros and co-anglers are competing for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 pro and co-anglers in the point standings from the six FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
The Tour stop on Table Rock Lake presented by Kellogg’s was hosted by the Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, and was the third of 10 Walmart FLW Tour tournaments of the 2012 season. The Walmart FLW Tour on Beaver Lake presented by Straight Talk will be the next tournament and will be held April 26-29 in Rogers, Ark. The event will be hosted by the Rogers Convention & Visitors Bureau and boats will launch from Prairie Creek Park in Rogers. For a complete schedule, visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Coverage of the Table Rock Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs May 6 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