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Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Red River, Day 2

Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Red River, Day 2
The opening round's top two pros and co-anglers talk about the day's tight competition. Pictured (left to right) are first-place pro Dan Morehead, first-place co-angler Steve Bowman, second-place pro Kevin VanDam and second-place co-angler W.D. "Hoot" Gibson.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Tour Stop #5
Red River, Shreveport-Bossier, La.
Day 2, Opening Round

Crowded at the top, and heavy ... It was a tight crowd atop today's Pro Division leaderboard. Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., and Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., switched positions from yesterday when Morehead jumped into the lead with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 13 ounces and VanDam slid into second place with a weight of 28-12. Climbing all the way up from 13th place yesterday into third place today was Jerry Williams of Conway, Ark., who also notched a weight of 28-12 for the opening round. Behind them, the rest of the top-10 qualifiers weren't too far back. The cut weight today rested at a hefty 24 pounds, 11 ounces, which was a significantly heavier weight than many had predicted for the cut this week. Before the tournament started, a number of pros said a 21-pound or so two-day total would make it. But the Red River has been surprisingly productive, and 21 pounds would have only mustered a 30th-place finish this week.

Back to the well ... Morehead said he should have caught even more fish than his five-bass stringer of 13 pounds, 12 ounces today. He lost his first seven bites of the day, but made up for it by landing the next six and edging into first place. He admitted that the fruitful fishing location that served him so well yesterday also saved him today. "It's a place where the water's falling and I think it's replenishing itself," he said.

Not-so-livewell ... Fishing in the same spot as Morehead was Kelly Jordan of Mineola, Texas, who was also able to mine it yesterday into a strong fifth-place showing. Today Jordan fished the spot well again and came in with five fish weighing a net 11 pounds, 15 ounces. His two-day total would have sent him into eighth place and into the semifinal round tomorrow. However, in a disappointing turn of events for Jordan, he incurred a disastrous 2-pound penalty when four of his fish didn't make it back alive due to livewell problems. He totaled out at 24 pounds, 9 ounces for the opening round and just missed the cut in 11th place.

One confident chap ... Perhaps one of the most confident pros advancing into the semifinal round is fifth-place Bill Chapman of Salt Rock, W.Va. He was able to catch 28 pounds, 4 ounces of fish over the first two days without even tapping into his reserves on the Red River. "I've got six (fishing) spots and I only hit two of them today," he said.

As only he can ... Speaking of confidence, is there any angler more confident than Ava, Missouri's Rick Clunn? Yesterday, for all intents and purposes, was an unmitigated disaster for the three-time FLW winner and perennial top-fiver. Because he came in this week with a mere half-day of practice (he was busy last week winning the Bassmaster Megabucks event in Tennessee), he placed 88th on day one with an unusually low weight of 7 pounds, 4 ounces. Tough to recover from that, right? Not for Clunn. Today he brought in the day's heaviest stringer at 16 pounds, 4 ounces that included the day's Big Bass, a 5-pound, 7-ounce largemouth. He leaped up to 17th place and missed the cut by a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces.

Look Hoot's back ... Don't look now, but W.D. "Hoot" Gibson of Bryant, Ark., is sitting pretty in second place going into tomorrow's co-angler finals. Hoot won the Co-Angler Division at last month's FLW contest at Beaver Lake, Ark., and it appears he's still firing on all cylinders and poised for a repeat. But don't ask him how he does it. The modest bass-tournament veteran gives his pro partners all the credit, especially his partners this week, Dale Teaney of Williamsburg, Ohio, and Jim Carnell of Muskogee, Okla. "I just get in the back of the boat and they bring me to the fish," said Hoot. As for the prospect of a repeat performance of last month's win, he's keeping it all in perspective. "I'm going to do the best I can for an old fella," he said. "If I don't win, I'll go home and my dog'll still love me - and so will my wife."

Bowman pads his opening-round-leading weight with this 5-pound, 4-ounce largemouth.Write on! ... Little Rock, Arkansas' Steve Bowman evidently figured out the Red River from the back of the boat as well this week. He led all co-anglers in the opening round with a two-day weight of 16 pounds, 7 ounces. In 1999, Bowman also placed third at Beaver Lake. And when he's not catching fish, he's writing about catching fish. A longtime Arkansas outdoor writer, Bowman is on staff at JM Associates, which produces the FLW Tour television show, and also contributes to Bass Fishing magazine and OperationBass.com from time to time.

Sssssmart move ... Speaking of writers, pro Daniel Keyes of Manchester, N.H., known by bass fishing fans for his "Life on Tour" online journal that outlines the day-to-day experiences of pro bass fishing, might want to add another profession to his resume: snake roping. The Red River is roiling with water serpents this time of year, and Keyes caught one of them today. A big one. "I think it was one of the poisonous ones, too," he said. He survived by simply recasting his line and flinging the slithery viper free.

Quick Number

11: Number of ounces that today's smallest fish weighed. Brought in by pro Robert Louthian of North Little Rock, Ark., it could possibly earn the dubious honor as the year's smallest legal bass weighed in at an FLW event.

Sound Bites

"There was a guy out there shooting snakes with a gun. I just about asked to borrow it."
- Pro David Smith of Del City, Okla., reacting to his disappointing three-fish, 4-pound, 12-ounce performance today. Yesterday he was in contention with a 12-pound-even catch weight, but finished the tourney in 57th place.

"No. I'm not going to have enough."
- Co-angler Frank Divis Sr. of Fayetteville, Ark., after weighing in, taking the glass-half-empty approach to his borderline two-day weight of 12 pounds, 5 ounces. Divis placed 10th and made the cut despite his own gloomy prediction.

"I believe these two fish actually felt sorry for me."
- Pro Sean Stickler of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who could only muster a two-fish weight of 4 pounds, 2 ounces today. He finished in 137th place.

Quick Links, Day 2:

Photos
Results
Day-two pairings
Press release
Morehead vaults atop FLW leaderboard

Tags: jeff-schroeder  quick-bites  2001-05-16-red-river 

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