UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Schultz grabs lead; Elias flames out

Schultz grabs lead; Elias flames out
Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla. was in the first place in the Pro Division of the FLW Championship in Shreveport, La. after the completion of Thursday's competition. Only the top 10 anglers survived the cutdown for Friday's competition.

FLW Championship race tightens up as top-10 finalists prepare for Friday's battle

SHREVEPORT, La. - And then there were 10.

In one of the closest top-10 finishes in recent memory, Bernie Schultz of Gainesville, Fla., grabbed the overall lead in the Pro Division on the pivotal second day of the Wal-Mart FLW Tour Championship with a two-day total catch of 25 pounds, 13 ounces. Pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., finished in second place with a catch of 24 pounds, 14 ounces. Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla. leapfrogged from 22nd place to third overall in the pro standings with a two-day catch of 24 pounds, 13 ounces.

Forty of the top 50 pros and 40 of the top 50 co-anglers were eliminated after today's competition.

Although there was nearly a 7-pound difference between the top 10 pro anglers after day one, only 2 pounds, 14 ounces separated the top-10 finalists after Thursday's competition - making it one of the tightest championship groupings in years.

Schultz, who moved up from second to first place on Thursday, agreed that the $250,000 championship prize is up for grabs due to the competitive nature of the remaining field.

"It feels great to be in this position, but the fact of the matter is that we all start over tomorrow," said Schultz, referring to round two, where everyone starts over at zero. "I've got myself in position to win, but there are a lot of great anglers and this is a really tough field. Tomorrow is going to be an anxious day."

However, the big story of the tournament thus far might very well be the angler who didn't make the top 10 at all. Despite catching 18 pounds, 4 ounces on the first day of competition, opening-day leader Paul Elias of Pachuta, Miss., only managed 4 pounds, 9 ounces on day two - a result which dropped him out of the top 10 in the Pro Division by a mere two 2 ounces. Elias finished in 11th place.

"I really feel bad for Paul," said Carl Svebek, who finished eighth overall in the Pro Division with a two-day catch of 23 pounds, 3 ounces to advance to Friday's round of 10. "It's tough. But it just goes to show you that anything can happen. This is a very tough sport."

Co-Angler Division leaders hold on to top positions

In the Co-Angler Division, opening-day leader Tom Hunley of Stamping Ground, Ky., maintained his grip on first place with a two-day catch of 18 pounds, 3 ounces - easily outdistancing his competition for a second consecutive day.

"It feels good to be here, but anything can happen tomorrow," said Hunley. "I need this tournament bad. I need it so bad I can taste it. But there are a lot of other guys just as hungry as I am. I'm just going to get some rest and do a lot of praying."

Marc Levesque of Waterbury, Conn., maintained his hold on second place in the overall standings in the Co-Angler Division with a two-day catch of 15 pounds, 9 ounces.

"It's great to be here. It's a national tournament and there's lots of great competition," said Levesque, who qualified for the championship during the very last FLW tournament of the year in Florence, Ala. "But I'm a low-key guy and I know that I have my work cut out for me. I've been practicing hard, I've braved the heat and I just need to keep on going. This is truly and endurance sport. And hopefully I'll be there in the end."

Unlike the Pro Division which will be decided on Saturday, the Co-Angler champion will be crowned tomorrow. First prize in the Co-Angler Division is $25,000 and an automatic berth in the FLW Pro Division.

Rounding out the top-10 in the Co-Angler field were Pat Fisher of Stone Mountain, Ga., (third place) with a two-day catch of 14 pounds, 14 ounces; Rodney Chmolack of Phenix, Ala., (fourth) with a catch of 13 pounds, 11 ounces; Mike Cooper (fifth) of Branson, Mo., with a catch of 13 pounds, 4 ounces; Curtis Thompson of Baytown, Texas, (sixth) with a catch of 12 pounds, 10 ounces; Tommy Szwankowski of Hope, Ark. (seventh) with a catch of 12 pounds, 4 ounces; Homer Stephens of Noblesville, Ind., (eighth) with a catch of 12 pounds, 3 ounces; Ken Golub of Pittsford, N.Y. (ninth) with a catch of 12 pounds, 3 ounces and Andy Heinkelein of Cincinnati, Ohio, (tenth) with a catch of 12 pounds, 1 ounce.

Co-angler Quinten Stacy of Bassett, VA., took home $5,000 for winning the Coca Cola Big Bass award which recognizes the angler who caught the biggest bass of the year. Stacy landed a bass weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces last March on Lake Murray, S.C., to win the prize.

Pros gear up for crunch time

Although the remaining anglers believe the competition is tough, all have their eyes on one thing - the $250,000 first-place prize.

"My goal is make the top five tomorrow," said Nixon. "I know where the fish are and they are big enough for me to win. They just have to bite. If they do, I think I can win this thing."

Svebek, who placed fifth overall in the ESPN Great Outdoor Games bass fishing competition last July, says he plans on running a good 70 to 80 miles tomorrow in the hopes of taking the next big step to Saturday's final.

"I was sweating it out today but I'm tickled to death to be in my first top-10 FLW Championship," Svebek said. "I have a spot a long ways away that I'm planning to use. I had success there about 8 years ago and I hope it comes through for me again."

In addition to Schultz, Nixon, Biffle and Svebek, the remaining top-10 standings in the Pro Division broke down as follows: Darrel Robertson of Jay, Okla. (fourth place) with a two-day catch of 24 pounds, 6 ounces; Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., (fifth) with a catch of 23 pounds, 14 ounces; Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo. (sixth) with a catch of 23 pounds, 14 ounces; David Fritts of Lexington, N.C. (seventh) with a catch of 23 pounds, 12 ounces; Rick Gasaway of Kennesaw, Georgia, (ninth) with a catch of 23 pounds and Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., (tenth) with a catch of 22 pounds, 15 ounces.

Friday's weigh-in is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. under the FLW tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Saturday's 3:30 p.m. championship weigh-in will be broadcast live in Wal-Mart stores throughout the country.

Click for results, tournament news and Quick Bites: Day 2.




Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2000-09-13-red-river 

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

Falcons Win by 2 Ounces on Erie

The Bowling Green State University team of Jamesen Simion of Saline, Mich., and Cameron Wilt of Alvada, Ohio, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI at Lake Erie event Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Bowling Green bass club $2,000 and qualified them to compete in the 2021 College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Bishop Hartley wins Erie Open

Ohio’s Bishop Hartley High School duo of Braden McNamara and Mike Abbott brought five bass to the scale Saturday weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Erie Open. READ MORE »

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Mallory Drops 25-5 at St. Clair

Boater Buck Mallory of Lawton, Michigan, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 25 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake St. Clair in Harrison Township, Michigan. For his victory, Mallory earned a total of $4,652. READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Carter Cruises to Wheeler Win

Anglers who have fished the Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine in the southeast any length of time know the name Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga. For years, Carter has pocketed plenty of checks from both leagues with a career total of 50 top 10s. This year, Carter decided to jump back into regional competition with the Southeastern Division of the Toyota Series, and in just his second event back, he found his way to the winner’s circle at Wheeler Lake.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 3

The fish were biting pretty well for the top 10 on the final morning of Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Overcast skies and a steady south wind put a perfect buzzbait ripple on the water back in the shallow flats in creeks – and the anglers were taking advantage of it.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Carter Takes Over at Wheeler

Kip Carter of Mansfield, Ga., may not have the nicest, shiniest boat in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event this week, but it sure gets him where he needs to go. His beater aluminum tunnel hull craft has plenty of nicks and dings in it and for good reason: Getting into the places he has fished on Wheeler Lake the last two days has required enduring some scratches and dents. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Millsaps Grabs Lead on Wheeler

Wheeler Lake doled out some lumps today in the second event of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division season. Only 14 pros managed to crack the 10-pound mark and six pros took a zero on the day. Leading the way is Jesse Millsaps of Jasper, Ga., with five fish weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces. His biggest bass weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces, which was certainly the difference maker in nudging him to nearly 15 pounds in a challenging summertime grinder. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Wheeler Lake has turned out to be beyond stingy to the anglers fishing the second event in the Toyota Series Southeastern Division today. After visiting with some 20 pros this morning, the most fish reported caught by a pro was just two keepers. The rest either had just one bass or an empty livewell. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

As expected on the river, the weights are bunched together after the first day of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries. More than a quarter of the field are in the 11-12-pound range, and 10 pounds marked the exact halfway point of the field. That means leader Scott Wiley only has a 5-pound, 3-ounce lead over half the field after weighing in 15-3. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fifth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

Cayuga Double-Header Shows Out

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Union Springs with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Cayuga events. READ MORE »

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Estes, Pike Tie for Potomac Title

Boaters Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va., and Keith Estes of Spring Grove, Va., both brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces to tie for the win at the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Potomac River in Marbury, Md. Estes earned a total of $4,262 after contingency awards, while Pike took home $10,262, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Buntin By 3 Ounces on Alabama River

Boater Sean Buntin of Satsuma, Ala., brought a five-bass limit bass to the scale Saturday totaling 12 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the Alabama River in Prattville, Ala. Buntin topped his nearest competitor, Ben Weldon of Petumpka, Alabama, by just 3 ounces and earned $4,296 for his victory. READ MORE »