UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

A kinder, gentler Erie

A kinder, gentler Erie
Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, leads the EverStart Series Northeastern with a two-day total of 39 pounds, 2 ounces.

CLEVELAND - Lake Erie dealt anglers a much softer blow at the EverStart Series Northeastern Thursday. Brilliant sunshine and calmer winds allowed anglers to get to where they wanted to fish. However, the anglers that established a solid lead yesterday stayed on top.

Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, moved from second to first today with a two-day total of 39 pounds, 2 ounces.

Coates added another 19 pounds, 6 ounces of smallmouths to his total today by revisiting the same water he fished yesterday.

"The fishing was easier, but the bites were a little harder to come by," he said. "It was not as fast and furious as it was yesterday. I had to slow down and really work the area over to get bites."

Coates says he plans to fish the same area again tomorrow.

"I'm not holding out on an area, nor do I have anything saved up," he said. "I'm going right back to this one area tomorrow and hope that it produces again."

King second

Christopher King of South Amherst, Ohio, in second with a two-day total of 36 pounds,Pro Christopher King of South Amherst, Ohio, is in second with a two-day total of 36 pounds, 1 ounce. 1 ounce, did go to different water today.

"I went to where I wanted to go yesterday," King said. "It wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be, but it worked out."

Despite sacking 19 pounds, 9 ounces today, King said his bite was tough, too.

"It probably looks like I caught them all day long, but I really didn't get many bites," he said. "It takes a lot of time to fish the way I'm fishing. I'm targeting really isolated stuff, and it takes a while to dial it in."

King said he has opted for dragging tubes instead of drop-shotting.

"I don't really have a lot of confidence in that drop-shot rig yet, so I'm sticking with what works for me," he added.

Smith third

Pro David Smith of Del City, Okla., in third with a two-day total of 35 pounds, 15 ounces, poses with Tournament Director Chris Jones.David Smith of Del City, Okla., held his ground in third place with a two-day total of 35 pounds, 15 ounces.

Smith also noted that his bite slowed down a bit today.

"Fishing was much easier - it was nice not to fool around with drift socks all day," Smith said. "I could really get out there and fish the stuff right. I'm fishing anywhere from 27 to 34 feet, and bottom contact is critical. But for some reason the bite was a little off - I only caught six keepers."

Clapper lurking in fourth

Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, hung onto his fourth place position from Wednesday with a Pro Steve Clapper of Lima, Ohio, is in fourth with a two-day total of 35 pounds, 1 ounce.two-day total of 35 pounds, 1 ounce.

Clapper has survived the elimination rounds without going to his preferred water in the Pelee Island neck of the woods, but he is eyeing that run tomorrow.

"I could have gone today, but I had a place about 30 miles from here that I didn't hit yesterday, and I wanted to give it a try," Clapper said. "I figured nobody made it there yesterday."

After reaching the area, Clapper caught four fish immediately, but it took a while to boat his fifth keeper.

Homemades produce for Wyman

Pro Warren Wyman of Calera, Ala., is in fifth with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 2 ounces.Warren Wyman of Calera, Ala., is having a blast at Lake Erie. Being in fifth place with a two-day total of 31 pounds, 2 ounces is certainly a reason to be excited, but for Wyman it's particularly special because he is catching his fish with his own hand-poured gobies.

Last year, Wyman visited Erie for the EverStart Northern and went to school on the whole goby phenomenon.

"There are some good goby imitations on the market, but I wanted one that looked and felt more realistic," he said. "I wanted something softer and more buoyant so it would float up better on a drop-shot and Carolina rig. I went home and played with molds, plastics and colors all winter and came up with an awesome combination. It's so exciting to catch these big smallmouth on something I created."

Wyman is so pleased with his goby creation that he is thinking about marketing them this fall under the name "Phat Goby."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros that will be fishing Friday:

6th: Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., 30-12
7th: Joe Balog of Harrison Township, Mich., 30-6
8th: Jack Dalzell of Amherst, Ohio, 29-14
9th: Aaron Hastings of Middletown, Md., 28-2
10th: Jason Carleton of Rochester, N.Y., 27-9

Russell Lane of Prattville, Ala., caught a whopper smallmouth today weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces for the Pro Division big bass.

Wilson still leads co-anglers

John Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C., brought in 15 pounds of smallmouths today to hold hisJohn Wilson of Hazelwood, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division of the EverStart Series Northeastern with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces. lead with a two-day total of 33 pounds, 14 ounces.

Wilson, who is fishing his first season in the EverStart Series, prefers the drop-shot technique, and it has produced for him the last two days.

"I've had two great partners," Wilson said. "David Smith and Jack Gadladge - both were on fish big time, and I was just fortunate to draw them."

Rick Horner of Bridgewater, Conn., also has a penchant for the drop-shot rig, and he has put it to good use for a two-day total of 31 pounds, 10 ounces for second place.

Teddy Bradley of Mishawaka, Ind., is in third with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 5 ounces. Bradley also tied for the Co-angler Division big bass of the day with a 5-pound smallmouth.

Dale Fisher of Watsontown, Pa., is in fourth with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 11 ounces.

Wayne Wininger of Waynesboro, Pa., is in fifth place with a two-day total of 22 pounds, 4 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers that will be fishing tomorrow:

6th: Mark Myers of Minneapolis, 22-0
7th: Ron Jackups of Fairfield, Ohio, 19-4
8th: Bill Gift of Alix, Ark., 18-10
9th: Jason Allison of Washington, Pa., 18-9
10th: Alan Hench of Lititz, Pa., 18-7

Mike Orbell of Silver Springs, Md., tied for the big-bass award in the Co-angler Division with a smallmouth weighing 5 pounds.

The top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers will start from zero tomorrow and blastoff at 6:30 a.m. from Gordon State Park near downtown Cleveland.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2005-07-27-lake-erie 

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