UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Tucker to top at West Point

Tucker to top at West Point
Terry Tucker of Gadsdsen, Ala., leads the Southeastern Stren Series on West Point Lake after day three with 14 pounds, 15 ounces.

LAGRANGE, Ga. - From the first hour of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on West Point Lake, Terry Tucker of Gadsden, Ala., has been carefully plotting a winning plan.

Friday, for the first time in the event, Tucker showed his true hand, and now his competition may be realizing they're not quite holding the right cards to answer his royal flush.

Tucker's flush came in the form of the day's only five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 15 ounces, which gives him a 6-pound, 5-ounce margin going into tomorrow's final day.

For the first two days of the event, Tucker carefully managed a group of quality fish in the back of a creek to make the cut.

"Four days is a long time to consistently catch fish on a tough old lake like this," Tucker said. "I purposely skirted around the primary sweet spots in this one creek, trying to catch just enough fish to get into the cut. Today, I put the hammer down on the good spots, and it worked out pretty well."

Tucker described his primary area as being about the size of a Wal-Mart parking lot with roughly 15 sweet spots within it.

"I'm cranking a little ditch in about 3 feet of water that winds back into a flat," he said. "When the sun comes out and the water warms up, the fish will pull up onto pieces of cover that are scattered down the lip of the ditch."

Considering how tough the fishing was on West Point today, Tucker has quite a lead going into tomorrow. But he's still concerned about his chances of winning.

"I've got to have sun to warm up that water and position the fish," he said. "If it's cloudy all day tomorrow, it could get tough on me as well."

Tucker fished his area until 1 p.m. today.

"I caught eight keepers, culled three times and figured that was enough damage for the day," he said. "I think there are still a few in there."

Isbell second

Barry Isbell of Trussville, Ala., is in second place with three bass weighing 8 pounds, Pro Barry Isbell of Trussville, Ala., is in second with three bass weighing 8 pounds, 11 ounces.11 ounces.

Isbell is working shallow crankbaits on points and has a hot pattern until about 9 a.m.; after that, his bite shuts down.

"I really don't know what's going on," he said. "Yesterday I caught 13 pounds off these little points pretty quick and then never got another bite. Today, I caught those three - bam, bam, bam - and then it shut down again. If I could figure out how to make them bite after 9 o' clock, I might do a little better.

Pearson third

Pro Charles Pearson of Auburn, Ala., is in third with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.Charles Pearson of Auburn, Ala., holds down the third position with four bass weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces.

Pearson squeaked into the finals in 19th place by fishing a finesse worm. But after seeing the better limits weighed in Thursday, he decided to put the worm down today and throw a shallow crankbait.

"After yesterday, I figured my finesse-worm fish probably wouldn't get me in the top 10," he reasoned. "I needed something that would generate bigger bites, so I started ripping a crankbait for a reaction strike, and it worked out well. I'll probably stay with the crankbait tomorrow."

Hailstones fourth

Patrick Hailstones of Cincinnati is in fourth place with three bass for 6 pounds,Pro Patrick Hailstones of Cincinatti, Ohio, is in fourth with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces. 10 ounces.

"I got lucky three times today," Hailstone said of his three keeper bites. "I'm in a good area, I just need them to open their mouths and eat."

Hailstones has been primarily fishing shallow but says he may try some deep water tomorrow.

"The first day of the tournament I caught a 3-pounder spooning in 40 feet of water," he added. "I haven't been there in the last two days, so I might give that a try."

Phillips fifth

Pro Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C., is in fifth with three bass that weigh 6 pounds, 9 ounces.Artie Phillips of Monroe, N.C., is in fifth place with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 9 ounces.

Phillips has been fishing deeper points most of the week, but at noon today he decided to make a move.

"I didn't have a fish at 12 o' clock and literally flipped a quarter to see if I should a make a big change," he said. "I headed to the back of a creek and started throwing a spinnerbait around stumps - that's how I caught my three bass."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Southeast event on West Point Lake:

6th: Jason Knapp of Uniontown, Pa., three bass, 5-11
7th: Ott Defoe of Dandridge, Tenn., four bass, 5-10
8th: Timothy Little of Acworth, Ga., three bass, 5-5
9th: Greg Barwick of East Dublin, Ga., three bass, 4-13
10: Kevin Stowers of Gainesville, Ga., three bass, 4-10

One-fish shootout in Co-angler Division

West Point Lake was particularly rough on the co-anglers today where nine ofNathan Fuller of Hillsboro, Ga., leads the Co-angler Division of the Southeastern Stren Series on West Point Lake after day three with this 7 pound, 13-ounce bass. them zeroed, and first place came down to a big fish shootout.

Nathan Fuller of Hillsboro, Ga., ended up on top of that shootout with one bass weighing 7 pounds, 13 ounces.

"We were fishing down a rip-rap bank, and I pitched a jig beside a log and she bit," Fuller reported.

Clinton McClure of Gosport, Ind., also had one big bass weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces for second place.

"I caught it on a white Diamond Shad lipless crankbait," McClure told the crowd.

Rodger Ray of Social Circle, Ga., boated the highest number of fish in the Co-angler Division: four bass weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces for third place.

Thomas Shafer of Pine City, N.Y., is in fourth place with one bass weighing 4 pounds, 11 ounces.

Richard Mitchell of Appling, Ga., is in fifth with two bass weighing 3 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Stren Series Southeast event on West Point Lake:

6th: Mark Denney of Somerset, Ky., one bass, 1-5
7th: Fred Hill of Roxboro, N.C., one bass, 1-4
8th: Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss., one bass, 1-1
9th: Melvin Pigue of Aiken, S.C., one bass, 1-1
10th: Kevin Roberts of West Chester, Ohio, one bass, 1-1

Final competition begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Highland Marina.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2006-02-15-west-point-lake 

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