UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

A-Mize-ing

A-Mize-ing
Matthew Mize leads the pack of pros on the Columbus Pool.

COLUMBUS, Miss. - The sun peeped through at last Friday in Columbus, but the anglers wish the weather would get back to miserable. Out of the 20 anglers who competed today, five zeroed and four caught only one, and all of them blamed one thing: the sunshine.

The top three pros - Matthew Mize, Dick Shaffer and Sam Newby - still managed to fare well, with all three bringing in sacks that weighed more than 10 pounds. Nevertheless, Mize, the leader from Ben Lomond, Ark., was the only angler to bring in a limit on day three.

The words "it was tough out there today" and "I hope it clouds back up" were heard various times and in various ways at today's weigh-in, but Mize - as well as co-angler leader Michael Herron - had little to complain about.

"(The weather) hurt me a little bit, but I can't complain," said Mize, whose five-bass limit weighed 13 pounds, 10 ounces. Mize's biggest bass of the day weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces. That fish alone would have landed him in sixth place on the pro side today.

Changing places

Mize attributed his success to a change in venue, but says he plans to change yet again tomorrow, despite his leading limit.

"I went to different water today, locked up," he said. "I'm going to stay here (in the Columbus Pool) tomorrow and see what happens."

The Columbus Pool is just one part of the winding Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, and many anglers have made a long run south to Alabama this week to catch their bass. However, there have been a few to find success by locking north and a few more who have fared well by staying in Columbus.

"I'm fishing shallow, and I've fished a different way each day," Mize said. "Today I was flipping, and I hadn't flipped all week."

Mize said he went to a different area because he ran out of fish in the spot that sent him to the top 10.

"I think if my area from days one and two has replenished, I can do it tomorrow," he said, noting that the area he fished today is one he found Sunday in practice.

Shaffer Aberdeen bound

Dick Shaffer enters the final day on the Columbus Pool in the No. 2 spot.Dick Shaffer's four-bass catch weighing 12 pounds, 9 ounces was caught in the Aberdeen area of the Tenn-Tom, and while it was good enough for second place, he never did get the fifth bite today.

"I got lucky," said Shaffer, a former EverStart Series Championship winner from Rockford, Ohio. "I'm locking up to Aberdeen and fishing real slow. The fish are not very active or aggressive, and they want it really slow. It's killing me."

Indeed, many anglers reported today that they're fishing slowly to catch the sluggish Tenn-Tom bass. Shaffer caught his bass today in a backup area.

"My backup spot worked for me today," he said. "I didn't get a bite in my primary spot."

Newby taking the tough road

Sam Newby finished third on day three with the help of these two bass.Sam Newby of Pocola, Okla., landed in third with a four-bass catch weighing 10 pounds, 7 ounces, but he had a rough boat ride to take in order to find them.

"I had an all right day, but I had a real tough time getting in my spot," he said. "I'm going across a bunch of shallow-water stuff to get to my fish."

Like Shaffer, Newby is also traveling to Aberdeen to land his bass and has milked the same spot for the last three days, although it gave out on him today after he caught his first two.

"The last three days I've been fishing a lake that I had to go through stumps and lay-downs to get to," he said. "I caught two out of that spot and left. It was almost too pretty to leave it."

Newby said he is catching his bass on a spinnerbait.

Colson falls to fourth

Opening-round leader Ramie Colson Jr. of Cadiz, Ky., also caught four bass today, but his weighed in at only 6 pounds, 2 ounces, far less than his catches from days one and two but still solid enough for fourth. Colson is making perhaps the longest run of all, going through two locks down south.

Behind him in fifth is Bobby Harrell of Biloxi, Miss., with four bass weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

Best of the rest

The rest of the top 10 pros on the Columbus Pool:

6th: Chris Bowers of Pearl, Miss., three bass, 4-14
7th: Will Dupler of Columbus, Miss., two bass, 3-6
8th: Tommy Hudnall of Prattville, Ala., two bass, 3-5
9th: Greg Ingram of Owasso, Okla., zero bass
10th: Scott Hoing of Diana, Texas, zero bass

Herron outfishes pro, takes co-angler lead

Michael Herron opened up a 3-pound, 6-ounce lead on the co-angler side heading into day four.Michael Herron of Paris, Texas, caught four bass Friday that weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces to lead the co-angler field. He fished behind Tommy Hudnall of Prattville, Ala., today and claims his bait of choice made the difference.

"My partner was throwing a spinnerbait, and I was coming behind him with a Brush Hog," he said. "They just liked the Brush Hog better."

Luckily for Herron, he says he's undeterred by the changing weather conditions, as evidenced by his leading catch. "It hasn't fazed me," he said. "I'm still getting the same kind of bites and the same number of bites."

Herron and Hudnall locked north today to catch their bass.

Graf, Gift still in the hunt

Though Herron opened up a considerable 3-pound, 6-ounce lead, co-angler Steve Graf of Natchitoches, La., landed in second with only one bass weighing 4 pounds, 3 ounces, proving that only one cast can change a tournament.

In third is Alix, Ark., angler Bill Gift, who caught one bass today that weighed 3 pounds, 13 ounces. Mark Guin of Crossett, Ark., caught two bass for 2-8 on day three, good for fourth, and Tom Medlock of Licking, Mo., rounds out the top five co-anglers with a two-bass catch Friday that weighed 2 pounds, 7 ounces.

The rest of the top 10 co-anglers on the Columbus Pool:

6th: David Kendrick of Altus, Ark., one bass, 1-10
7th: Mark Taylor of Mansfield, Mo., one bass, 1-6
8th: Michi Oba of Tokyo, zero bass
9th: Mike Shaw of Hemphill, Texas, zero bass
10th: Brett Turner of Eros, La., zero bass

The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers will compete again Saturday with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weight. Anglers will take off tomorrow at 6 a.m. from Columbus Marina, located at 295 Marina Drive in Columbus.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2005-03-16-columbus-pool 

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