UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Kentucky pro cranks his way into lead at $185,000 tourney

Kentucky pro cranks his way into lead at $185,000 tourney
Arlie Napier of Middlesboro, Ky., took the Pro Division lead by almost 4 pounds in the opening round. His two-day weight total was 33 pounds, 7 ounces.

As weather warms up, so does Napier

HENDERSON, N.C. - Arlie Napier loves summer bass fishing. Some anglers prefer the spring bass bite when the targets are within easy reach, and sight, up on the bank. Not Napier. The warmer it gets, the deeper the fish go, and that means they move into the Kentucky pro angler's favorite strike zone.

Napier capitalized on a deeper school of fish to take the Pro Division lead in today's second half of the opening round of the EverStart Eastern Division tournament on Kerr Lake. He weighed in 33 pounds, 7 ounces of bass over the first two days - including a five-fish, 17-pound, 5-ounce catch today - to establish a commanding lead in the opening round. His two-day weight was nearly 4 pounds more than second-place pro Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., who weighed in 29 pounds, 10 ounces over two days.

How did Napier pull off such heavy stringers two days in a row, especially today when the bass bite fell off considerably for many anglers due to the arrival of a cold front? The Middlesboro, Ky., native likens this tournament to the Wal-Mart FLW Tour event at Pickwick Lake, Ala., last June where he placed second by successfully using a deepwater crankbait pattern to target smallmouth.

"It's getting late in the year," he said. "This bite's getting better every day. The fish are just moving out more and more."

And that's where he wants them. The fishing spot he has keyed on both days runs about 12- to 15-feet deep. It's full of fish, he says, fish that can't resist his crankbait lures.

"It's a big old area, a place where I've caught fish before," Napier said. "It's a big school of fish."

And hungry. Today Napier caught his limit by no later than 7:30 a.m. In what he says was his second-best day of tournament fishing ever, he caught all of his keepers in just eight casts.

Not surprisingly, Napier's confidence is high heading into tomorrow's semifinals. He says there are plenty of bass left in his prime area, not to mention two other locations he has yet to utilize this week.

"It's just about finding the right spot," he said. "I have two more holes I haven't even fished. My second-best spot I haven't even looked at."

Tucker moves up

Tucker pulled in five fish weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces today and managed to slide up to second place thanks a strong 16-pound, 4-ounce performance on day one. But, unlike Napier, Tucker's fish tested his patience when they didn't decide to bite until afternoon.

"I had a tough time today," he said, adding that the changing weather caused the delayed bite. "I had a bite that turned on late."

Tucker is focusing on what he calls a "semi-shallow" area where he is using mainly a spinnerbait. He's not sure if the spot will hold out over the next two days, however, since he and his co-angler partners have caught over 50 pounds of bass from it during the first two days.

Rounding out the rest of top five in the Pro Division were Pat Fisher (third place) of Stone Mountain, Ga., who's competing in his first EverStart tournament, with 10 bass weighing 29 pounds, 2 ounces; Jay Kendrick (fourth) of Kingston, Ga., with 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 14 ounces; and Shaun Hunter (fifth) of Pilot Mountain, N.C., with 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces.

Also having a big day in the Pro Division was Sean Stickler (11th) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He not only caught the second-heaviest five-fish stringer of the day at 18 pounds, 7 ounces, he landed the $750 Big Bass award with a hefty 6-pound, 7-ounce largemouth.

Kreiger bows out of points race

Eastern Division pro standings leader Koby Kreiger (576 points) of Osceola, Ind., had his hopes of a points title dashed when motor troubles put an end to his day of fishing. In contention yesterday, he could only manage two bass for 5 pounds, 3 ounces today and finished the tournament in 60th place.

The breakdown was untimely for Kreiger because several pros chasing him in the standings made the cut. Mark Rogers of Naples, Fla., second in the standings with 571 points and yesterday's tournament leader, placed seventh today. Frank Poirier of Hopewell, Va., fifth in the standings with 560 points, also made the cut in ninth place. With Kreiger's early exit this week, both Rogers and Poirier will inevitably move in front of him in points at tournament's end.

Co-angler points leader Lineberry takes over first place

While points contender Rogers took over the Pro Division on day one, the points leader took over the Co-Angler Division on day two. Greg Lineberry of Galax, Va., who is tied for the Eastern Division co-angler standings lead with 559 points, weighed in 12 pounds, 7 ounces of bass today to push his two-day total to 21 pounds, 1 ounce.

Lineberry, who used a Carolina rig to catch 8 pounds, 10 ounces on day one, switched to a flipping technique with a Gambler crawdad to land his five bass on day two. He took advantage of a slightly higher water level today to target shallow bass in the bushes.

"I had a real good (pro partner) draw both days," he said. "I had a limit by 10 o'clock. (The fish) pulled up really good today and just started biting."

Rounding out the top five co-anglers were Asa Godsey of Mechanicsville, Va., with 10 bass weighing 20 pounds, 6 ounces; Arthur Partin of Petersburg, Va., with 10 bass weighing 19 pounds, 14 ounces; Jeff Gurr of Culpepper, Va., with seven bass weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces; and Randy Buchanan of Bullock, N.C., with eight bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces.

The winner of the day-two $250 co-angler Big Bass award was Paul Kaptis of Boynton Beach, Fla., who hauled in a 5-pound, 3-ounce largemouth.

The top 30 pros and co-anglers will start from zero Friday and fish for one day to determine the top 10 anglers who will advance to Saturday's final round. The winning pro will receive $15,000 cash and a new Ranger boat, and the winning co-angler will collect $6,000 cash.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 5:30 a.m. at Satterwhite Point Marina located at 6254 Satterwhite Point Road outside of Henderson. Friday's weigh-in begins at 2:30 p.m. at Satterwhite Point, and Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart Supercenter located at 200 North Cooper Road in Henderson at 3:30 p.m.

Day-two related links:

Photos
Results
Tomorrow's pairings
Press release


Tags: jeff-schroeder  headline-story  2001-05-30-kerr-lake 

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