UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

RCL semifinal answers

RCL semifinal answers
Pro Randy Carroll (right) of Oswego, Ill., hauled in a two-day total of 10 walleyes weighing 31 pounds, 11 ounces to lead the 12 pros who advanced to Friday’s semifinal round of the four-day, $1.4 million Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River. He fished with co-angler Darrell Archey of Great Falls, Mont., Thursday.

RED WING, Minn. - Multiple choice question: How do you make the demanding top-12 cut out of 220 pro-and-co teams in the Wal-Mart RCL Walleye Championship on the Mississippi River? Answers: A) with consistency over two days; B) with a big first day followed by a zero the next; C) with a monstrous second-day performance after a few pounds the first; and D) all of the above.

The final answer is D, all of the above, with a mix of two-day performances deciding the semifinalists who go on to fish Thursday. Besting the rest of the top 12 before starting over with zero on day three is pro Randy Carroll of Oswego, Ill., who delivered his second consecutive five-fish limit, weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces for a two-day total of 31 pounds, 11 ounces.

Shad here, trolling there

Even after a two-hour fog delay, Carroll benefited from a key spot not far from the launch in Pool 3, where the cold weather and record low overnight temperatures of 19 degrees might have turned the tide for Carroll when they punished everyone else.

"One of the hard things is that you have shad all through the system," Carroll says. "The fish are moving in, moving out. The cold weather might be funneling the shad into the backwaters."

Carroll says such a funnel area near a backwater might be a secret to his success.

Likewise keying on consistency is Ranger pro Scott Allar of Welch, Minn., about five miles from the river. Allar has been trolling crankbaits on leadcore line to come up with 12 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15 pounds, 4 ounces on day two, putting him in second place with 28 pounds, 1 ounce.

In the funky, difficult bite on the river, Allar says he trolled in order to pick off scattered walleyes on key depth contours.

"My idea is to cover a lot of water," Allar says. "I'm pulling crankbaits, and it seems to me the crankbaits are working better than bait."

Grand slam

Meanwhile, after a disappointing first day of 4 pounds, 13 ounces, Ranger pro Sam Anderson of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., swung for the fences and slugged a grand slam - 22 pounds, 2 ounces, the biggest bag of the day, with just three fish. Anderson concentrated on key rocks, casting crankbaits there after abandoning the backwaters that failed to deliver a day earlier.

"The fish are there and have been there," Anderson says. "Getting them to hit is a matter of patience."

After getting a 5-pounder right off the bat, Anderson left for a spell before returning later in the afternoon, stroking two fish, one of them a 29-incher.

"I decided I needed big fish," Anderson says. "Small fish weren't going to make the cut."

The big fish not only made the cut for Anderson's co-angler, Richard Volkman of St. Paul, Minn., but also propelled him into first with 31 pounds, 11 ounces. Volkman, an electrician by trade, out of necessity is cutting work on Thursday.

"Tomorrow the boys at work are going to wonder why I'm not there," Volkman says.

Two straight days vs. two big day-two zeros

Finishing in fourth place after day two was an angler without the drastic highs and lows, jigging maestro Mike Lacher of Bismarck, N.D., a proficient river fisherman who put together two straight days of limits: 11 pounds, 1 ounce and 15 pounds, 2 ounces.

"I was done yesterday at 11:30 because I didn't want to burn the fish," Lacher says. "Today, within seven minutes, I had a 7-pounder in the boat. Eight minutes later we had two in the boat. Then we went two hours without a bite."

Lacher jigged with patience and precision to come up with consistency in a treacherous bite, watching fish on his electronics in 17 feet of water he couldn't get to bite - but he knew they would if he could do it right and got some wind to compensate for the lack of current.

"With all the cold fronts coming through, the fish want the jig moving slow," Lacher says. "What gets the spot going is that I have to have wind to create some current. Without current, I'm looking for the wind to come up and move some water. That seems to be the key."

So, too, is Lacher's deft and dexterous jigging, which impressed his second-day co-angler, John Tennessen of Monticello, Minn., who netted Lacher's fish instead of catching any of his own.

"He is a great finesse jigger," Tennessen says. "He's hot. He told me the whole program and what he was doing. He said, `I jig fish, and that's it.'"

Despite second-day zeros, Douglas Vandersteen of Lundar, Manitoba, and Steve Lamb of Nashville, Tenn., made the cut by dint of their first-day performances - 22 pounds, 6 ounces and sixth place for Vandersteen; 19 pounds, 1 ounce and 12th place for Lamb.

Now, in a change from the first two days, all of the top 12 will need a measure of consistency to fish again in the finals, which, of course, is easier said than done when the Mississippi so often foils best-laid plans.

Thursday's takeoff starts at 7 a.m. Central time at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.

Click here for a preview of day three.

Day-two links:

Photos
Pro results
Co-angler results
Day-three pairings
'Quick Bites: RCL Championship, Day 2'
Press release

Tags: dave-scroppo  headline-story  2003-10-01-mississippi-river 

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 »

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

St. Johns River Midday Update – Day 1

As expected, the St. Johns River is still fishing pretty tough in the Toyota Series Southern Division opener, which kicked off this morning. The St. Johns holds plenty of good fish, but she’s not all that willing to give them up. READ MORE »

Littich Nets Big O Title

Littich Nets Big O Title

Boater Thomas Littich of Cape Coral, Florida, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 14 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Okeechobee in Clewiston, Florida. For his victory, Littich earned a total of $7,220, including a $2,500 FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency award. READ MORE »

Dover Wins on Keowee

Dover Wins on Keowee

Boater Randy Dover of Buford, Georgia, brought five to the scale Saturday totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. For his victory, Dover earned a total of $5,627. READ MORE »

Robinson Slings a Blade on Martin

Robinson Slings a Blade on Martin

Boater Dusty Robinson of Eclectic, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Martin in Alexander City, Alabama. For his victory, Robinson earned a total of $5,686, including a $1,000 Mercury contingency award. READ MORE »

Bethel Wins on Seminole

Bethel Wins on Seminole

The Bethel University duo of Brad Ableman of Latham, New York, and Wilson Smith of Southaven, Mississippi, won the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI event at Lake Seminole Friday with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce. READ MORE »

South Forsyth Wins on Seminole

South Forsyth Wins on Seminole

The South Forsyth High School duo of Brett Morlanne and Michael Landernaeu, both of Cumming, Georgia, brought four bass to the scale Saturday weighing 12 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

Johnson Gets No. 1 on Lanier

Johnson Gets No. 1 on Lanier

Boater Jason Johnson of Dawsonville, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 19 pounds, 1 ounce to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine at Lake Lanier in Gainesville, Georgia. For his victory, Johnson earned a total of $13,596, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. The victory was the first win of Johnson’s FLW career. READ MORE »

Huff Wins it on Toledo

Huff Wins it on Toledo

Cody Huff has had a heck of a run these last few weeks on Toledo Bend. It started when he and Dakota Pierce of Bethel University won the Bassmaster College Series event last week. This week, Huff went solo and loaded up a 61-pound, 11-ounce total for a $35,395  payday in the opening event of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 2

Cody Huff has been red hot on Toledo Bend for the last week and with one more day to go it’s his tournament to lose. That being said, there is a laundry list of local pros looking to take full advantage of any slip he may have in the final round of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division season opener. READ MORE »

Huff Hauls Ahead at Toledo Bend 

Huff Hauls Ahead at Toledo Bend 

Cody Huff appears to be unstoppable on Toledo Bend. Last week, the Bethel University angler won the Bassmaster College Series event on Toledo with his partner Dakota Peirce. This week, he's weighed 43 pounds, 12 ounces through two days and appears to be cruising toward the win in the first Toyota Series Southwestern Division event of the year. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Toledo Bend – Day 1

Everyone knew this tournament wouldn’t be the slugfest Toledo Bend is known for, but that didn’t stop the top pros from assembling some decent catches on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division opener. READ MORE »