UPCOMING EVENT: TACKLE WAREHOUSE PRO CIRCUIT - 2020 - Lake Erie

Cox tops on Eufaula

Cox tops on Eufaula
Pro leader John Cox shows off the day's heaviest bass, a 7-pound, 8-ouncer.

EUFAULA, Ala. - For the most part, it was a solid day of fishing on Lake Eufaula, as the leading pro caught more than 18 pounds and the heaviest bass clocked in at 7-8. However, most anglers were quick to describe it as a tough day, and 41 pros and 88 co-anglers came up empty-handed.

The quandary was whether to fish shallow or deep. Many fish that were moving up to the banks in practice have retreated due to a recent cold front and a muddy-water issue caused by water rising several feet above normal pool. However, temperatures warmed today to nearly 80 degrees and the water is now back below normal pool, meaning there was still a shallow bite to be had. Most anglers followed that course.

A few, however, decided to hunt for deeper prespawn fish and were met with some success. Nonetheless, the pro leader, John Cox of Debary, Fla., stuck to water that was 4 feet deep or less and brought in a limit weighing 18 pounds, 11 ounces. That limit included the 7-pound, 8-ouncer that earned Cox $295 for the Snickers Big Bass award.

"I ran down to the (spot) where I was going to fish, and they weren't there," Cox said. "So I went to an area that was really dirty, and it had cleared up. I'm fishing in like 4 feet of water."

Cox's adjustment paid off well, as he took the lead on day one by just under a pound. Every ounce counts in this tournament, as Saturday's winner is based on the heaviest four-day weight. Cox, however, has some concerns as to whether his fish will hold out for four days.

"Oh yeah, it was tough," he said. "It's going to get better, but I don't know if my fishing is going to get any better. I think I can catch them tomorrow."

Cox is fishing his second season as a Stren Series pro after a successful 2005 season as a co-angler. He finished 15th on Eufaula last season and 15th the year before from the back of the boat.

No. 2 pro Shane Cole had a miserable practice but scored on day one with 17 pounds, 14 ounces.Cole turns bad practice into good tournament

In second place with a limit weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces is pro Shane Cole of Empire, Ala. Cole says he owes his solid day one to the drawing down of the water.

"Basically, I had probably one of the worst practices I've ever had," he said. "But they've (since) dropped the water."

Cole fished only three spots all day.

"I'm not running a lot; I'm just fishing a lot," he said. "The water has been higher than normal pool, but now that it's dropped down, it's brought the fish back out to where they belong."

This is Cole's first attempt to fish Eufaula in an FLW Outdoors event.

Williams catches hog to tie Cole for second

Timothy Williams caught a 7-pound, 1-ouncer and tied for second with 17-14.Tied with Cole with 17-14 is pro Timothy Williams of Auburn, Ala., whose five-bass limit contained a 7-pound, 1-ouncer. Williams obviously knows a thing or two about Lake Eufaula and could very well prove to be a threat this week.

"I left the spot early," he said. "I just started on some humps, throwing a crankbait in shallow water. Later in the morning I moved even shallower and threw a jig."

Williams, too, reported a tough day and blames it on the transition of the water levels. However, he expects to keep catching fish throughout the tournament.

"It'll drop off some tomorrow, but I look for it to come back Saturday," he said of the Eufaula bite.

Millirons, Worthington tied for fourth

Derrick Millirons is a former Stren Series winner on Lake Eufaula, and he ended day one tied for fourth.Two anglers - Derrick Millirons of Seale, Ala., and Ryan Worthington of Middleburg, Fla. - caught five-bass limits totaling 16 pounds, 15 ounces to tie for fourth. Millirons was one of the few pros who dared to fish deep today.

"I'm doing something different from most - I'm fishing deep," he said. "But I'm a little concerned about mud coming down the lake. I just can't get that big bite."

Millirons said he deliberately avoided the popular shallow-water bite.

"I tried to stay off the banks because I didn't want to contend with the crowd," he said. "In practice I tried to put together a pattern, and I've got three or four places, but as the lake warms up, it gets less and less. That happened to me two years ago. Those fish will leave, so I'm concerned about it being warm."

Indeed, all of Millirons' FLW Outdoors top-10 finishes have come on Lake Eufaula, including a 1999 Stren Series victory.

Worthington declined to be interviewed for this story.

Rest of the best

Chad Prough drove approximately 90 miles today to catch his bass. He caught 16-5 to land in seventh.Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one on Lake Eufaula:

6th: Allan Glasgow, Ashville, Ala., five bass, 16-13
7th: Chad Prough, Chipley, Fla., five bass, 16-5
8th: Bradley Enfinger, Colquitt, Ga., five bass, 15-12
9th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 15-10
10th: Scott Hamrick, Denver, N.C., five bass, 15-8

Four-bass Boyer claims co-angler lead

Former Marine Rob Boyer took the co-angler lead with only four bass. They weighed 14 pounds, 3 ounces.Leading the Co-angler Division is former U.S. Marine Rob Boyer of Lawrenceville, Ga., who caught only four bass today that were still plenty enough to put him at the top with 14 pounds, 3 ounces.

"We had a slow day," said Boyer, whose day-one pro partner, David Parsons, zeroed. "We started fishing shallow, throwing a spinnerbait and a crankbait, and since we didn't get any, we found prespawners in deep water."

The move may not have paid off for Parsons, but it certainly did for Boyer. The two were fishing on the south end of Eufaula.

"It was such a small spot that my partner will probably sit on it," Boyer said. "I'll take my chances with another partner. I was blessed to have good weather and a great partner."

Hults 10 ounces behind in second

In the No. 2 co-angler spot is Alan Hults with 13 pounds, 9 ounces.Behind Boyer in the No. 2 position is co-angler Alan Hults of Gautier, Miss. Hults caught a limit today weighing 13-9 that puts him 10 ounces behind Boyer.

"I caught the biggest one with 30 minutes to go," Hults said. "It was pretty tough. I caught five keepers and three shorts. The fish moved around a lot."

Hults said he caught all his fish shallow. He finished third at this tournament last year en route to a No. 2 ranking in the points standings.

Tight competition in co-angler top five

In third place after day one in the Co-angler Division is Aaron Fahnestock of Enterprise, Ala., with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 3 ounces. Just 2 ounces behind him is No. 4 Orville Cope of Treadway, Tenn., with a limit weighing 13-1.

Ben Broughton of Day, Fla., is behind them in fifth with four bass weighing 12 pounds, 8 ounces. Coincidentally, Broughton was paired with the same pro - Todd Tucker - that he prefished with for two days.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers after day one on Lake Eufaula:

6th (tie): Jim Barnick, Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Jon Stuckey, Midland City, Ala., four bass, 11-13
8th: John Crosby Jr., Macon, Ga., five bass, 11-10
9th: Chris Hults, Vancleave, Miss., five bass, 10-7
10th: David Dukes, Carrollton, Ga., two bass, 10-1

Competition will continue tomorrow with a 6:30 a.m. CST takeoff from Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula. Tomorrow's weigh-in will also be held at Lakepoint State Park beginning at 3 p.m.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2007-03-07-lake-eufaula 

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