November 6, 2010 by Rob Newell
DECATUR, Ala. - Steve Gregg of Florissant. Mo., won the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational on Lake Wheeler with a three-day total of 33-1.
For his win Gregg received $9,486 and is now qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs next August.
"I'm blank," an exasperated Gregg said after being named the winner. "My mind is just blank; I don't know what to say. This is wonderful."
During the week Gregg fished with pros John Voyles, Gary Woodruff and Kevin Snider today, catching weights of 12-13, 10-12 and 9-8 respectively.
"I had great partners all week," Gregg said. "I caught them on a spinnerbait the first day, a big Zara Spook yesterday and today, when I drew Kevin and he told me he was dragging a jig, that was music to my ears - dragging a jig is my thing, that's what I love to do and I was right in my comfort zone all day."
Gregg's jig of choice was an Omega 7/8-ounce Promega jig (black/blue) teamed with a Berkley Chigger Craw (sapphire blue) tied to 15-pound Segar fluorocarbon line.
Gregg qualified for the Invitational through the Central Division by finishing 3rd in the points.
"I totally forgot the winner of this tournament goes to the Forrest Wood Cup," Gregg added. "That's like icing on the cake right there."
Andrew Luxon of Richmond, Ky., finished runner-up in the Co-angler Division with a three-day total of 30 pounds, 14 ounces, collecting $3,649 for his finish.
Luxon actually double-qualified for the Invitational by finishing fourth in Central Division points and fifth in the Northern Division points.
On day one Luxon caught 13-6 on a Cumberland pro lures ¾-ounce football jig teamed with Net Bait Paca Chunk.
The last two days he resorted to a Craig Powers homemade flatside crankbait called a CP-1 fished on 12-pound test line.
Anthony Goggins of Auburn, Ala., finished third with a three-day total of 28 pounds, 9 ounces worth $2,189.
The first two days Goggins relied on a Carolina-rigged Baby Brush Hog and a Coldsteel Walking Stick shaky head-type worm.
Today, though, he changed it up to a Fishead Spin teamed with a Fluke, Jr. in glimmer blue on 17-pound test fluorocarbon.
"We were fishing a little shell bed that dropped off into about 15 feet," Goggins said. "I'd just slow roll the Fishead Spin on the bottom and let free fall off the break and they would eat it up."
Blase Frick of St. Louis, Mo., brought in the biggest limit of the co-anglers on day three - 11 pounds, 11 ounces - anchored by a big smallmouth. His limit propelled him to fourth place with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 15 ounces worth $1,824.
Frick caught his fish today on a Carolina rigged Sweet Beaver in watermelon red.
Rounding out the top-five in the Co-angler Division was Steve Harwood of Weaverville, N.C., with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 6 ounces worth $1,459.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the FLW American Fishing Series Invitational:
6th: Chris Weaver of Lawton Okla., three-day total of 22-14
7th: Randall Coyle of Nederland, Texas, three-day total of 21-12
8th: Jeff Sprague of Forney, Texas, three-day total of 20-9
9th: Bruce O'Brien of Normal, Ill., three-day total of 17-0
10th: John Olsen of Wild Rose, Wis., three-day total of 15-14