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Quick Bites: FLW Series Eastern, Pickwick Lake, Day 2

Quick Bites: FLW Series Eastern, Pickwick Lake, Day 2
David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn. holds two bass for 4-year-old Lilly, who will soon have a baby sister.

Wal-Mart FLW Series BP Eastern
Pickwick Lake, Florence, Ala.
Second round, Thursday

Site-specific strategy ... Kyle Mabrey of McCalla, Ala., got off to a strong start on day one by placing seventh with a 14-pound, 8-ounce limit. He managed just one keeper weighing 1-13 on day two. The difference? He was unable to reach his day-one hot spot due to a later flight on day two. "I was in the sixth flight today, and when I got to my spot, another fellow had also found it. That's fishing - it's first come, first served." Mabrey tried to fish around the area, but he could not reach the sweet spot. However, the day-three launch order will work in his favor. "I'm in the first flight Friday, so I guarantee you I'll be where I want to be tomorrow. I might even have an anchor in the boat."

On the comeback ... At the conclusion of day one, Lexington, Ky., pro David Fritts sat in 98th place with a meager 4 pounds, 12 ounces, but day two saw the venerable veteran rocket up the standings to 16th place on the strength of his 18-pound, 3-ounce stringer - the second heaviest of the event. "I wish I had the heaviest, but I had a couple that got away from me. I'll get them tomorrow. I feel really good because I figured out a little more today." Noting that he did not capitalize on his day-one opportunities, Fritts said that fine-tuning his approach made the difference today. "I was around them all day yesterday, but I just wasn't doing something exactly right. I figured out how to do this exactly right today."

Dion dejected but undaunted ... Demonstrating fortune's fickle nature, Stover, Mo., pro Dion Hibdon fell victim to a mechanical malfunction and slid from his day-one third-place finish to 12th on day two. "My trolling motor went out on me around 10 o'clock. I couldn't move around, and I was too far away to come back and get it fixed. So it was one of those deals." Nevertheless, in true professional form, Hibdon made the most of what limited ability he had by manually pulling his boat around docks. Hibdon squeaked out 7 pounds, 12 ounces - less than half of what he weighed Wednesday, but enough to keep him in contention for the top-10 cut.

Hold your ground ...Early elation turned to second-guessed frustration for Alex Ormand of Bessemer City, N.C., who enjoyed a first-spot rally that included a 4-pound, 13-ounce bass. "I caught three fish in 20 minutes. I caught the big fish in the first five minutes, but like a dummy, I locked through to the other lake, and that's all I caught for the rest of the day. I had practiced (upriver), so I went with my game plan." Lesson: Don't leave fish to find other fish.

Bolton and his betrothed ... Maintaining his consistent performance (second place days one and two) Yamaha pro Terry Bolton, who maintained his second-place spot will soon wed National Guard co-angler Pam Wood.and reaching Saturday's top-10 finale may be foremost on his mind, but just a few weeks after the tournament, Terry Bolton will reel in the catch of his life. In early November, the Paducah, Ky., pro will wed National Guard co-angler Pam Wood. Bolton said he's even more motivated than ever to finish well in this tournament. "I'm getting married in three weeks, and I found out how much catering costs, so I'm really fishing hard." Noting the benefit of marrying someone with mutual interests, Bolton joked: "I can't make her mad by going fishing - I can just do all the other male things that'll make her mad."

Quick numbers:

2: Number of FLW staffers collecting boat ID floats and handing out fish bags in the Wal-Mart FLW Series check-in boat at the mouth of McFarland Park Marina.

10: Age, in weeks, of the youngest spectator in Thursday's audience - Ranch Lannom, At 10 weeks old, Ranch Lannom - joined here by mother Mesha and brother Isom - was the daywho joined mom Mesha and 6-year-old brother Isom to cheer (and occasionally gurgle) for Mount Juliet, Tenn., pro Frank Lannom.

3: Number of ounces between co-angler Jim Smith's day-two Snickers Big Bass (6-15) and that of Brad Wilemon, who caught the big bass on the pro side (6-12).

26: Total number of limits caught by the pros in today's competition.

23: Total number of pros with at least 20 pounds after two days of fishing.

10: Margin, in pounds, between first and 10th places on the pro and co-angler side.

Sound bites:

"I figured I had nothing to lose."
- Nathan Weber, who set the bar early for co-angler big fish with a 4-14, said that he caught the hefty largemouth 20 minutes from the marina when he decided to finish out his day with the same topwater plug that had produced for him first thing in the morning.

"I'm not going to dwell on what I don't have - I'm thankful for what I do have."
- Pro Tim Johnson, putting behind him the pain of losing two big fish today.

"I'm never not known for having a good time."
- Co-angler Bud Strader, moments after goosing tournament director Chris Jones, who tried to weigh Strader's fish without laughing.

"Oh, nothin'.'"
- Eight-year-old Colby Beck, when asked what he's up to as he joined his dad, pro Donny Beck, onstage.

"Isabella didn't do her job today."
- Pro Gary Yamamoto, on the absence of good luck normally brought by his long-haired Chihuahua, which joins him during tournaments.

"Add more bathrooms."
- Ninth-place pro David Walker, asked what he intends to do when his wife, Misty, gives birth to their second daughter in February 2008 and leaves him with a house full of women.

Todd Raspberry, who manages the local Wal-Mart in Florence brought in a nice limit for his wife Callie and 5-year-old Austin."I was born for Mario."
- Five-year-old Austin Raspberry, son of Florence, Ala., Wal-Mart manager and pro angler Todd Raspberry, explaining that his affinity for video games often interrupts what he claims to be an angling aptitude superior to that of his father.

Day three of FLW Series action on Pickwick Lake continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. CDT at McFarland Park Marina, located at James M. Spain Drive in Florence, Ala.

Tags: david-a-brown  quick-bites  2007-10-10-pickwick-lake 

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