UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Wylie

The calm after the storm

The calm after the storm
Pro leader Phillip Nunnelley of Cullman, Ala., caught another 19 pounds, 4 ounces today for a two-day total of 40 pounds, 1 ounce.

Calm waters, sunny skies and limits of bass grace second half of opening-round action in Eastern EverStart

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - After horrendous weather Wednesday, Guntersville Lake returned to a state of normalcy Thursday. Despite a stormy forecast this morning, sunshine graced all 400 anglers this afternoon.

Sunshine is exactly what Phillip Nunnelley of Cullman, Ala., needed to take the lead with 40 pounds, 1 ounce.

"I told you I needed sunshine to make them bite," said Nunnelley, who weighed in 19 pounds, 4 ounces today. "Well, I got sunshine and they bit."

Nunnelley is hesitant to reveal his productive technique just yet, but he did say he was fishing grass in 2 to 9 feet water.

"Sunshine is the whole key to my pattern," he said. "I did not get a bite for a long while where I started this morning, then the sun peeked out and it was a whole different ballgame. They started biting. I have four places that can produce big stringers like that. If the sun keeps shining and the water does not come up, I can catch them again."

First-day leader Travis Adams of Danielsville, Ga., added another 13 pounds to his stringer on day two to hold down second place with 36 pounds.

"I went into my main area this morning and caught three real quick. Then I left it to go practicing the rest of the day," Adams said. "There is a wad of fish in there and I am going to fish them pretty hard tomorrow. I will not slow down until I get about 18 pounds."

Adams said his best spot consists of shallow, matted grass in 1 to 3 feet of water. He is particularly excited about it because nobody else has fished in his area during the tournament.

"I rode by it a couple of times today and nobody was there, so I look forward to what it will produce tomorrow," he added.

David Gray of Section, Ala., is in third after bringing in 21 pounds to the scales today for a two-day total of 36 pounds. Gray said he is fishing about 15 different spots during the day.

"I am alternating between shallow grass flats and a few deeper ledges in about 10 feet of water," he said. "I am fishing a jig and a worm on both kinds of water. If I am in the grass, I'll pitch. If I am on a ledge, I'll make long casts and hop it off the break."

Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., is in fourth place with 35 pounds, 14 ounces after weighing in 20 pounds, 7 ounces today.

"I had that kind of string on yesterday, but I lost them," he said. "Today I executed much better; I had that big string in the boat by 7 a.m."

Strader is fishing a top-water bait early and then using a jig in the grass later in the day.

"I have one spot that I have fished just a few minutes each day," he said. "I get a couple of big ones off it then I leave. I am really saving that spot. It's a current-related deal and the bass are feeding on threadfin shad. As long as the shad stay in there, the bass will, too."

Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., rounds out the top five with 34 pounds, 10 ounces.

"I had been saving a few places for the finals, but when I went to look at them today, I noticed there were boats already on them - boats that made the top 20," Morgan said. "So that plan is out the window. I'll just have to scramble around tomorrow."

Boatright fishes right for co-angler lead

In the co-angler division, A.K. Boatright of Cleveland, Ala., leads with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. Today he weighed in 17 pounds, 2 ounces.

Boatright, who fishes Guntersville often, has developed a one-two punch for bass from the back deck. He is throwing a top-water frog early in the morning and then flipping a jig later in the day.

"Yesterday, I caught my frog fish on the thick mats," he said. "Today, I discovered that I did not necessarily need to be around thick mats for the frog to work. I caught a couple of good fish on the frog in some sparse hydrilla, so I have even more confidence in it now."

Yesterday's co-angler leader Richard Angel of Surf City, N.C., is in second with 28 pounds. He added 8 pounds, 9 ounces to his string today.

"I have been pitching a Texas-rigged worm in the grass the last two days," Angel reported. "I have been keying on little holes and pockets in the grass. I just pitch it in there and shake it a little bit. If I don't get a bite, I do it again."

David Parks of Decatur, Ala., is in third place with 26 pounds, 5 ounces. He brought in the biggest stringer on the co-angler side today, 17 pounds, 14 ounces.

In fourth place is Earnest Diaz of Fayetteville, Ala., with 25 pounds, 2 ounces. On the first day he caught his fish by pitching a Zoom trick worm in the grass.

But today he had to switch tactics. "My boater took me almost clear to Tennessee," Diaz said. "When I got up in the river and saw the water - all laydowns and wood, no grass - I switched to a jig and caught my limit. I don't know what to expect tomorrow."

The top 20 pros and co-anglers fish Friday in the semifinals. Takeoff is at 6 a.m. at Guntersville State Park.

Click here for a preview of day three.

Day-two links:

Photos
Results
Friday's pairings
Press release

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2003-06-11-guntersville-lake 

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