UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

All tied up

All tied up
Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., found himself with a share of the lead in the Pro Division after landing a 14-pound, 7-ounce catch.

Local angler Bohannon, FLW Tour pro Williams share lead at $3.6 million Ranger M1 tourney

MOBILE, Ala. - For the past three years, Jerry Bohannon has not had many chances to go fishing. Nor, for that matter, has he even had a chance to live a normal life. Diagnosed with a life-threatening form of liver cancer a few years back after receiving a tainted blood transfusion, Bohannon has been in and out of hospitals, wheelchairs, and clinics for longer than he'd care to remember. However, none of that was going to stop Bohannon from fishing the $3.6 million Ranger M1 tournament on the Mobile Delta. And somehow, as fate would have it, nothing was going to prevent Bohannon from grabbing a share of the day-one lead in the most prestigious bass-fishing tournament in the history of the sport.

Using a 14-pound, 7-ounce catch, Bohannon tied Keith Williams of Conway, Ark., for a share of the leaderboard heading into the second day of M1 competition. But in truth, it was an outcome that Bohannon couldn't even have dreamed of a few months earlier.

"It actually feels really good to be here because the last three years I've been battling cancer," said Bohannon, who spent more than six months in a wheelchair before recovering enough to get back into a boat and continue his fishing career. "The cancer is in remission now, but I've only been able to fish three tournaments over the last year. Before that, I could barely stand up."

While Bohannon may walk a little slowly and be confined to a special pair of orthopedic shoes, his love of fishing as well as his formidable knowledge of his native waters of the Mobile Delta appear to have reenergized the seven-year pro.

"Right now I feel very confident about winning this tournament," said Bohannon, who targeted deep banks and structure with tube baits and jigs on the first day of the tournament. "I'll be pumped up and ready to go tomorrow, that's for sure."

Williams joins Bohannon in lead

Williams, who concentrated on flipping tubes and jigs in shallow water during the first day of the tournament, said he was more than pleased with his performance so far.

"I've never fished the Mobile Delta before, so overall I'm pretty happy," he said. "My goal was to come here and look for water that I was familiar with. I'm used to fishing the Arkansas River and I just tried to find areas that I was comfortable fishing. I wasn't trying to do anything different technique wise."

With tomorrow's top-20 cut expected to hover around the 14-pound range, it appears that Williams might have already caught enough fish to advance to Friday's semifinals. Consequently, Williams said he is going to use tomorrow's competition as more of a reconnaissance mission.

"I'm not going to try and catch 10 pounds tomorrow," he said. "Hopefully, I'll be able to use tomorrow to find another fishing area, because I don't think the (fishing spot) I have now will hold up for too much longer."

Best of the rest

Randy Blaukat of Lamar, Mo., finished the day in third place after landing a 13-pound, 15-ounce catch. Blaukat said that the key to his performance was putting any thoughts of potential prize money out of his mind.

"You've got to take it one bite at a time and not focus on the money," he said. "Otherwise, you'll be in trouble."

Rounding out the top five were Greg Hackney (fourth) of Oak Ridge, La., with a catch of 13 pounds, 9 ounces; and David Fritts (fifth) of Lexington, N.C., with a catch of 13 pounds, 3 ounces.

The real Deal

Ryan Deal of Haubstadt, Ind., used a 10-pound, 7-ounce catch to grab first place in the Co-angler Division and all but assure himself a spot in Friday's semifinals.

"My performance today takes a lot of pressure off for tomorrow," said Deal, who expects the top-20 co-angler cut to come in somewhere between 6 and 7 pounds. "Everything seems to be working out so far. I feel really good about tomorrow."

Deal said the key to fishing the Mobile Delta this week is to slow down lure presentations whenever possible.

"With this type of weather - strong winds and cold water - you have to fish really slowly," said Deal, who is throwing a jig like most of the successful anglers in the tournament to date.

Although Deal is concentrating on fishing, he said it is hard not to think about the record payday of $150,000 to $250,000 awaiting the winner of the Co-angler Division.

"I fish a lot of tournaments, but fishing for this kind of money is just a great opportunity," said Deal, who landed one of the largest fish in the tournament so far at 6 pounds, 8 ounces. "I'd be really excited to be there on that final day."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top five contestants in the Co-angler Division were Ron Moake (second) of Columbia City, Ind., with a catch of 6 pounds, 3 ounces; Jerry Wade (third) of Indianapolis, Ind., with a catch of 5 pounds, 12 ounces; Jeff Hahn (fourth) of Atwater, Ohio, with a catch of 5 pounds, 4 ounces; and Dustin Clontz (fifth) of Albemarle, N.C., with a catch of 4 pounds, 9 ounces.

Both fields will be whittled down to the top-20 competitors after tomorrow's weigh-in.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Chocolotta Bay Marina, located 2 miles east of downtown Mobile, Ala., near Hwy 90/98 at the Causeway Crossing.

Related links:

Quick Bites: Ranger M1, Day 1
Photos
Results
Results of day-one pairings
Day-two pairings
Press release

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2002-02-27-ranger-m1 

College Championship Updates - Day 2

College Championship Updates - Day 2

Day two of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. The link to yesterday's top patterns is below, and we'll try to check in here about every hour with updates from around the field.  READ MORE »

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Sam Houston Leads with 24-11

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance on the Harris Chain certainly didn’t disappoint. The consensus from many of the teams during practice was that the chain was fishing tough, yet would kick up some solid bags on Tuesday. With 10 bags over 18 pounds and six over 20, it’s safe to say the Harris Chain is living up to it’s potential. READ MORE »

College Championship Updates - Day 1

College Championship Updates - Day 1

Day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI National Championship presented by Lowrance is underway on the Harris Chain. READ MORE »

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

Strickland Hangs Tough on Harris

The final day of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a bit tougher than expected. After putting over 30 pounds on the scale on day two of the weather-shortened derby, Laramy Strickland worked up 15 pounds, 4 ounces on the final day for a 61-4 total to earn the win. For the win, the Bushnell, Fla., rookie took home $100,000 and a big win over a stacked top 30 that included some of the best anglers in the country and some superstar Floridians. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 3 Coverage

The weather-shortened Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers at the Harris Chain wraps up today with the top 30 pros. Follow along all day to see who can take home the hardware and $100,000. READ MORE »

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Strickland Sticks 31-Pound Megabag

Florida cold fronts are supposed to shut the fishing down, but that wasn’t the case for many of the leaders through two days of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain. Rocketing into the lead from 35th place, Laramy Strickland popped a 31-pound, 6-ounce megabag to put his leading total at an even 46 pounds. In second, Jimmy Washam stayed steady, weighing 21-13 for second and a 41-13 total. In third, Hunter Freeman also made a big jump, hammering out 25-14 on day two to get up to 39-6. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 2 Coverage

The weather has made a 180 here in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day 2 at Harris Postponed

Day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain has been postponed due to high winds. With a lake wind advisory in effect from 10 a.m. ET until later this evening, many pros believe staying off the water today was the right call. READ MORE »

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Salewske Cracks 26 at Harris Chain

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event presented by Bab Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain was a catchfest, but it wasn’t quite the sight-fishing showdown that some hoped for. In the lead, Rusty Salewske weighed 26 pounds, 10 ounces. Just ounces behind him, Miles Burghoff wrangled 26-8. In third, Jared McMillan put 22-1 on the scale to kick things off. READ MORE »

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Harris Chain Day 1 Coverage

Anglers are enjoying near-perfect conditions for a day-one slugfest in Leesburg, Fla., for stop No. 2 of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers on the Harris Chain of Lakes. Follow along for updates on all the action. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Live Leaderboard - Harris Chain

FLW Marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the second stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes. READ MORE »

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Guyot Catches 23-8 for Murray Win

Boater Scott Guyot of Fayetteville, North Carolina, brought five bass to the scale Saturday totaling 23 pounds, 8 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Murray in Prosperity, South Carolina. For his victory, Guyot earned a total of $4,359. READ MORE »

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Flack Goes Finesse on Lewis Smith

Local boater Jackie Flack of Cullman, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lewis Smith Lake in Cullman. For his victory, Flack earned a total of $6,011. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Fitzgerald Finishes Strong at St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., moved ahead one spot in the standings on the final day of competition at the St. Johns River to earn his first Toyota Series victory. His three-day catch of 57 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a 6-pound margin. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 3

Day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River brought more fish, bigger fish and eight bags over 20 pounds – a marked improvement over what we saw on day one. Day three could go either direction, though, as a small cold front overnight left behind bluebird skies and abundant sunshine today. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 2

It’s been a question of when, not if: When is the first big wave of spawners going to move up on the St. Johns River? That question may have been answered on day two of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, as more and more anglers brought big fish across the weigh-in stage, with many of the bass coming from beds or shallow cover where fish are staging to make their big move. READ MORE »

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Big Day Puts Blair Ahead at St. Johns

Jason Blair caught 22 pounds, 3 ounces – the biggest limit of the tournament so far – to take over the lead at the Toyota Series Southern Division season opener on the St. Johns River. The West Palm Beach, Fla., pro has a two-day total of 39-15 and a 1-pound, 11-ounce lead over yesterday’s leader, Trevor Fitzgerald. READ MORE »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 2

After a warm but windy day to start the Toyota Series Southern Division opener on the St. Johns River, day two brought lower temperatures, rain and a shifting wind that blew right up the chute early this morning. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from the St. Johns River – Day 1

The St. Johns River is fishing tough, and while weights were down across the board on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, the top five found a way to get the job done with some impressive stringers of big Florida bass. READ MORE »

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Fitzgerald in Front on St. Johns

Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., took the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southern Division opener at the St. Johns River with a five-bass limit that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces. Fitzgerald has previously won a Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event on the St. Johns and is in contention to make his 12th top-10 finish with FLW. READ MORE »