UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Minderman makes a move

Minderman makes a move
Sean Minderman of Post Falls, Idaho, proudly displays a 5-plus pound largemouth bass - the biggest fish caught in the tournament to date. Minderman recorded a total stringer of 10 pounds, 4 ounces to grab first place in the Pro Division heading into tomorrow's finals.

Hodge grabs first place in Co-angler Division, final pairings announced

HENDERSON, Nev. - Using a catch of 10 pounds, 4 ounces, Sean Minderman of Post Falls, Idaho, grabbed the top spot in today's competition and knocked Mike Folkestad out of first place for the first time all tournament. And to think, it only took a 5-plus pound largemouth bass to do it.

"I got that big fish today and that really helped me out," said Minderman. "Mike (Folkestad) is clearly the man to beat."

After finishing in 35th place at the EverStart Western Division tournament on Lake Pleasant last month, Minderman said he was pleased to finally make it to the elusive top 10 for the first time.

"I had a great day today," said Minderman. "I'm so excited to be fishing on the last day. It just feels awesome."

For Minderman, there was nothing more awesome today than landing a giant bass from a lake that so far had produced virtually no large fish to speak of.

"I only had one fish in the boat when I went to one of my best spots," he said. "I was fishing in about 6 feet of water and throwing my bait at this underwater foundation - it was either that or a submerged garage from an old house. The fish bit my lure twice. At first, I thought it was a perch. Then it came up and I could see that it was big. But I still couldn't tell if it was a bass or a carp. Then it jumped."

Once Minderman was able to land the biggest fish caught in the tournament to date, he knew he was in the proverbial driver's seat.

"Once I caught that fish, I knew I would make the cut," he said.

Minderman, who has been "mixing it up" with spinnerbaits, tube baits and Carolina rigs, said that he is eagerly anticipating tomorrow's competition.

"I really feel good about tomorrow," said Minderman. "There are two other guys in my area, but I feel like I have a better understanding of how to fish it than they do. We'll see what happens. I think it's going to take about 10 pounds to win tomorrow. And I'm basing that on what I think (Folkestad) is going to catch. I think I have enough fish, but Mike's going to be pretty tough to beat."

Folkestad unfazed by fall from top spot in Pro Division

Day-two pro leader Mike Folkestad registered a catch of 8 pounds, 13 ounces in today
"It was pretty slow fishing today, but truthfully, I couldn't have asked for this tournament to have gone much better," said Folkestad, who registered a catch of 8 pounds, 13 ounces in today's competition. "I just hope I haven't over-fished my spots."

As usual, Folkestad targeted deep water using his namesake bait - the Folkestad Special Robo worm.

"I pretty much did the same exact thing I did yesterday, except that I fished my good water today."

According to Folkestad, the key to tomorrow's finals will be the quantity of fish one is able to catch - particularly due to the fact that no one was able to land a full stringer in today's competition.

"If you can catch a limit tomorrow, you should be able to win," he said. "My goal is to come back with 8 to 12 pounds. Hopefully, that should be enough."

Scott Nielsen of Salt Lake City, Utah, continued his streak of moving up the leaderboard with each passing day. After landing a 13th-place finish on day one and a fifth-place finish after day two, Nielsen used a 5-pound catch to grab third place overall heading into the finals.

Fourth place belonged to Harry Jioras of Oak View, Calif., with a catch of 4 pounds, 3 ounces, while Clint Johanson of Benton City, Wash., grabbed the fifth qualifying spot with a 4-pound, 1-ounce catch.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 finalists were: Brent Ehrler (sixth) of Redlands, Calif., with a catch of 3 pounds, 3 ounces; Craig McCoy (seventh) of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with a catch of 3 pounds, 2 ounces; Phil Strader (eighth) of Glide, Ore., with a catch of 3 pounds, 2 ounces; James Soden (ninth) of Oakley, Calif., with a catch of 2 pounds, 1 ounce; and Art Berry (tenth) of Ramona, Calif., with a catch of 1 pound, 11 ounces.

Hodge nets top spot in Co-angler Division

Adam Hodge of Gilbert, Ariz., used a 4-pound, 14-ounce catch to land the top spot in the Co-angler Division heading into tomorrow
"I've been squeaking by all week, so it feels pretty good to be in the top 10," he said. "The past two days I was only able to catch one fish, so today was a very pleasant day of fishing. I caught a few fish early and stopped fishing by 12:30 p.m. because I pretty much figured out that I was in. I also wanted my (pro) partner to catch some more fish because I thought he needed them more than I did. After all, it was his water."

In the end, everything worked out perfectly. Hodge qualified for the finals, as did his pro partner, Phil Strader. Not surprisingly, Hodge hopes everything goes as well tomorrow as it did today.

"Tomorrow ought to be a good time," said Hodge. "I hope I win, but either way the worst I can do is 10th place. And that's not too bad."

Best of the rest

(Photo by Gary Mortenson)" BORDER="1" ALIGN="left">Tim Barrett of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., used a 3-pound, 1-ounce stringer to grab second place, while Nick Welton of Galt, Calif., recorded a 2-pound, 5-ounce stringer to take third.

Fourth place belonged to Ray Coleman (1 pound, 14 ounces) of Henderson, Nev., while Robert Brondyke of Las Vegas, Nev., grabbed the fifth qualifying spot with a 1-pound, 12-ounce catch.

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler finalists were: Chris Baldwin (sixth) of Mesa, Ariz., with a catch of 1 pound, 9 ounces; Jed Bozeman (seventh) of Peoria, Ariz., with a catch of 1 pound, 7 ounces; Rusty Rath (eighth) of Page, Ariz., with a catch of 1 pound, 7 ounces; Bernie Gaunt (ninth) of West Sacremento, Calif., with a catch of 1 pound, 6 ounces; and Jeff Dean (tenth) of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., with a catch of 1 pound, 4 ounces.

Tomorrow's final takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Callville Bay Resort marina, located at 100 Callville Marina Road, Las Vegas, Nev.

Related links:
Photos
Results
Results of day-three pairings
Press releases

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2003-03-05-lake-mead 

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