UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Closing time

Closing time
Pro leader Sean Hoernke gets to work on the fourth and final day of FLW Series competition on Lewis Smith Lake.

JASPER, Ala. – While the weather may be a cool, the action at the fifth and final Wal-Mart FLW Series event is sweltering. Not because the bite is hot, but because young pro Sean Hoernke is trying to hold off a field of veterans for his first tour-level victory.

A much lighter version of yesterday’s fog quickly lifted as the top 10 pros were held back until 7:56 a.m. Day four looks like a beautiful day to go fishing, especially knowing $100,000 is on the line for first place.

Once the vivid sun burned off any remaining fog, the pro finalists headed out to the seemingly unpatternable Lewis Smith Lake. Despite only catching two bass yesterday, Hoernke holds roughly a 1 and 1/2-pound lead over No. 2 pro David Fritts. The Magnolia, Texas, native’s final day started perfectly, as he landed a 2-pound spot on his first cast.

“Today is the day I close the deal,” he said. “I made a decision last night that I’m going for the win. I’m Pro leader Sean Hoernke shows the jighead-worm combination he plans on using during day four.going to start the day by finesse fishing. I found some deep-water fish late in the afternoon yesterday that I really like.”

Hoernke said that deep-water area consists of both spotted bass as well as largemouths. His bait of choice is a 1/8-ounce Porky’s Revenge jighead with a little finesse worm. It’s a jig he pours himself and he specifically redesigned it for instances such as this. At the Lake Cumberland FLW Series event earlier this year, Hoernke used a similar bait but had problems keeping fish buttoned up and keeping his worm attached to his jig. The redesigned jighead has a screw-in nose that securely binds the finesse worm. Hoernke almost won that event – hence the name Revenge.

Fritts’ tournament has resembled a rollercoaster. He had a great opening day only to struggle mightily on day two. He rebounded yesterday with a giant limit weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces. If today plays out like yesterday, the Lexington, N.C., veteran could be in line for a fifth tour-level victory, an FLW Outdoors record. Sitting in third is pro Gary Yamamoto, only 3 ounces behind Fritts.

Alabama big stick Matt Herren is also in contention. This is Herren’s third consecutive top-10 finish in FLW Series competition. With such low weights, anybody who busts a 15-pound bag has a realistic chance to win. Magnolia, Texas, pro Sean Hoernke sets the hook on a spotted bass.

Hoernke stated his goal for the day is 10 pounds. He also said a win would be a milestone in his young career, but that he has other objectives as well.

“For me, I’m a very competitive person. I eat, sleep and breathe competition. The main thing is that they’re behind me. They have to catch up. I have to have 10 pounds to have a chance. Your first major win is a huge step, but that’s not my main goal. My biggest goal is Angler of the Year. But this would be a start.”

Today’s winner will be determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.

Saturday’s conditions

Sunrise: 6:24 a.m.

Temperature at takeoff: 39 degrees

Expected high temperature: 62 degrees

Water temperature: 55-58 degrees and dropping

Wind: WNW at 8 mph

Maximum humidity: 57 percent

Day’s outlook: sunny

The final weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. Central time at the Wal-Mart store located at 1801 Highway 78 E. in Jasper. At the final weigh-in, children will be treated to the Fujifilm trout pond and rides in the Kellogg’s Ranger boat simulator beginning at noon at Wal-Mart. All events are free and open to the public. For those who cannot make the weigh-in in person, FLWOutdoors.com offers FLW Live daily, an online application that brings fans real-time weigh-in results, streaming video and audio.

Tags: lewis-smith-lake  finesse-worm  brett-carlson  morning-story  2006-11-15-lewis-smith 

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