UPCOMING EVENT: HIGH SCHOOL FISHING - 2020 - California Delta

Guidry goes to the top

Guidry goes to the top
Pro Jeremy Guidry leads all competitors after two days at the season-opening Stren Series Texas Division event.

ZAPATA, Texas - Morning cloud cover and a steady northerly breeze did its best to frustrate anglers and keep the giant females at bay. Still, Falcon Lake churned out another 4,600 pounds of bass on day two of the season-opening Stren Series Texas Division event. Leading the charge at the halfway point in the Rio Grande border battle was pro Jeremy Guidry.

This is what stingy on Falcon gets you: 198 five-bass limits among two divisions. The overall weights were down slightly, but day two saw more big fish cross the scale. Roughly a dozen neared or surpassed the 10-pound mark. Veteran pro Chris McCall caught the biggest fish of his tournament career, an 11-pound, 2-ounce giant, but it wasn't enough to hold up as the Snickers Big Bass. Pro Nicholas Albus took that honor with a giant female that went 11-3.

Guidry, the pro leader, had a successful opening-day, catching a limit that weighed 24 pounds, 13 ounces. But on day two he decided to completely change areas. Needless to say, the change worked. Chris McCall caught an 11-pound, 2-ounce bass Thursday, the biggest fish of his tournament career.Anchoring his 31-pound, 9-ounce stringer was a 10-pound, 9-ounce kicker.

"The bite was a lot slower, but the quality was definitely there," he said. "That's the biggest stringer I've ever weighed in a tournament."

Guidry starts his day by throwing a Chatterbait into pockets that are thick with trees. This is noteworthy because the Chatterbait is primarily known as a grass bait. As the day progresses, he switches to flipping a V&M creature bait. He has two primary areas - one south of the Beacon Lodge and one north. He says both are relatively close to the ramp.

"It seems like the flipping bite gets better later in the day. I feel like I can get another 18-20 pounds tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll get the big bite again."

Guidry's success is somewhat surprising considering that he never caught a bass over 5 pounds in practice. With a two-day total of 56 pounds, 6 ounces, he clearly has something figured out. It should be noted that his partner, Jerry Lee, caught an 11-pound, 3-ounce fish this morning that took Snickers Big Bass honors in the Co-angler Division.

"There's just a lot of fish in there. I think the bigger ones are moving up to spawn."

Haralson lurking in second

Charles Haralson of Laredo, Texas, moved up to second place in the Pro Division after two days of competition.Looming large in second place is local guide Charles Haralson of Laredo, Texas. Although the Texas Division is filled with talented fishermen, Haralson came into the tournament as one of the favorites. He guides or fishes local tournaments on this body of water nearly every day. Before the event began, he predicted the winner would need 110 pounds over four days to win. At the halfway point, Haralson has 55 pounds, 2 ounces - which means he is precisely on pace as he manages his fish for the long haul.

"I'm right where I want to be," he said. "I fished the same water as I did yesterday and was basically finished at 11 a.m. We tried some other stuff later but it didn't really work out."

Haralson estimates he caught 20 keepers fishing real slow around huisache trees. He's fishing south of the weigh-in site and claimed to have only burned 10 gallons of fuel on day two. At this point, he's in great position for the biggest victory of his career. He has but two wishes for the final two days.

"That wind and cloud cover really affects how I'm fishing. It's not supposed to blow tomorrow, so maybe I'll get lucky and get one of them really big ones. I haven't got one yet. I think my biggest fish so far is only 7 pounds. They've all been about the same size."

Ramsdell slips to third

Bob Ramsdell is third in the Pro Division after two days of fishing on Falcon Lake.Day-one leader Bob Ramsdell slipped to third today, but it could have been much worse had he not saved himself with an 8-pounder. Thanks in large part to that kicker, his five-fish limit weighed 19 pounds, 15 ounces. While 20 pounds is a great day on most lakes, Ramsdell wasn't pleased. He caught only five keepers and his spinnerbait bait essentially died on him.

"I'm just shooting to make the cut," said the Sour Lake, Texas, pro. "I caught five almost right away and then I broke off a good one that sawed my line off on a limb. After that, the wind really slowed things down.

"I had to fish a lot slower because the fish were hanging real tight to the wood, they wouldn't chase anything. It would take five or six pitches to every tree to get a bite."

With one day in the opening round remaining, Ramsdell's total weight sits at 54 pounds, 12 ounces.

"I'm going to have to catch them tomorrow."

Rookie fourth

Pro Nicky McNeely is fourth with a two-day total of 54 pounds, 9 ounces.Fishing in his first tournament as a professional, Nicky McNeely is fourth with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 54 pounds, 9 ounces.

"The fish were deep when we got here but they're up and moving around now," said the Natchitoches, La., native. "The big fish seem to be concentrated so that's good."

Coming into his first pro event, McNeeley said his goal was simply to make the top-20. After catching 25 pounds, 14 ounces on day one and 28 pounds, 11 ounces on day two, he's close to securing a berth in Saturday's final round.

"Today was the first day I caught a fish under 3 pounds. The opportunity is definitely there for a 33- or 35-pound bag. This is the greatest lake I've ever seen. The fight in these fish is unbelievable. They're mean."

Redington fifth

Lake Fork guide Thomas Redington of Royse City, Texas, rounded out the top five in the Pro Division with a two-day total weighing 53 pounds, 6 ounces. After day one, Redington sat in seventh place with 28 pounds, 6 ounces. His 25-pound day-two limit moved him up two places in the standings.

Rest of the bestNicholas Albus is in eighth place on the pro side and caught the Snickers Big Bass on day two.

Rounding out the top 10 pros after day two on Falcon Lake:

6th: Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas, 52-15
7th: Marty Sugg of Pattonville, Texas, 52-1
8th: Albus of Trinity, Texas, 51-13
9th: Andy Gaia of Tomball, Texas., 51-1
10th: Charlie King of Shreveport, La., 50-11

Each of the top 10 pros caught limits Thursday. In fact, 123 of the 150 pros caught limits.

Arnold dominating Co-angler Division

The cloudy, windy conditions didn't bother co-angler Robert Arnold one bit. The Little Rock, Ark., fisherman immediately tied on a spinnerbait and the action was fast and furious.

"I realized today that we had overcast skies, so I started using a spinnerbait," said Arnold, who fished in 5 feet of water. "When you have overcast skies with a little wind that usually means it's a spinnerbait Robert Arnold leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 53 pounds, 7 ounces.bite. Other anglers kept flipping bushes and not getting good bites. Later in the day, the sun came out and then that bite went away. But I had already caught the big fish. Tomorrow, I bet that I will go back to flipping, using worms and jigs."

Arnold's partner on day two was Michael Wohl of Burleson, Texas. While Wohl caught more than double the amount of fish Arnold did, the back of the boat received the quality bites. Arnold's two biggest bass were matching 7 1/2-pounders.

"I tell you what; he put me on them today. Man it feels great, but you have to catch them tomorrow, especially on a lake like this."

With one day remaining in the three-day opening round, Arnold has a two-day total of 53 pounds, 7 ounces and more than a 5-pound lead over second place.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas (10 bass, 48-04); Mannie Lackey of Kerrville, Texas (10 bass, 47-00); Mark Oakley of Davis, Okla. (10 bass, 46-00); and Ray Peace of Arlington, Texas (10 bass, 45-11).

As the tournament unfolds, Rogers will be one to watch. The veteran co-angler has 20 top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition to his name - nearly all in the state of Texas.

The final day of the opening round begins as the field of 150 boats takes off from the Beacon Lodge at 7 a.m. Central time Friday.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2008-01-09-falcon-lake 

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