UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Seminole Stren: Cole heats up day one

Seminole Stren: Cole heats up day one
Pro Shane Cole of Empire, Ala., leads the Stren Series Southeastern Division event on Lake Seminole after day one with 15 pounds, 7 ounces.

BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - Anglers crossing the Stren Series stage on day one at the Southeastern Division opener on Lake Seminole were uttering words that had a similar ring to those spoken as last year's Seminole Stren event: "tough fishing," "flipping mats" and "trapping grass" were among the top phrases of the day.

Like last year, a two-pattern battle between the "trappers," those ripping lipless rattle traps through submerged grass, and the "punchers," those punching big weights through matted grass, is beginning to materialize and representatives from both camps are present in the top five.

Under clear skies and a cutting north wind, Seminole was not exactly kind to much of the tournament field today with just 12 five-bass limits recorded on the pro side.

Shane Cole of Empire, Ala., took the early lead in the event with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces.

In all, Cole boated six keepers and lost two or three other fish.

All Cole would reveal on day one was that he is fishing pre-spawn fish in 7 to 8 feet of water.

"I stayed in one general area," Cole said. "It's a popular pre-spawn area - I had boats all around me - and we're pretty much all doing the same thing."

Although Cole would not give up his exact bait this early in the game, he did reveal that he is throwing a "hard bait" and he believes the color of the bait is allowing him to garner more bites than others around him.

"It's a new color that not too many people have in this particular bait," he said. "I gave one to my co-angler and he immediately caught two keepers on it."

Cole caught most of his fish in the first hour and a half of the day and then laid off, allowing his co-angler to catch a couple of keepers.

"If it warms up the next couple of days, these fish are going to move up into spawning water," he added. "If that happens, hopefully I can follow this group right up into the shallows and keep catching them in a different way."

Bearden second

Ken Bearden of LaGrange, Ga., weighed in five bass for 13 pounds, 10 ounces for second Pro Ken Bearden of LaGrange, Ga., weighed in five bass for 13 pounds, 10 ounces for second place on day one.place on day one.

"It's just basic grass flipping," Bearden said of his pattern. "It's slow, meticulous fishing. I caught five and lost one other under a mat."

"There are more fish swimming around in the area, it's just a matter of getting your bait to drop in front of one," he added.

Defoe conks out for third

Unfamiliar waters yielded 12 pounds, 15 ounces, for Yamaha pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., putting him in third place. Sometimes fishing prayers are answered in strange ways as Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., found out today when his motor conked out and he was forced to fish an area he had never fished before.

The unfamiliar waters yielded 12 pounds, 15 ounces, putting him in third place.

"I'm using a friend's boat for this tournament and it has another brand of engine on it - not a Yamaha," the Yamaha pro clarified. "I think the lower unit went out on it, so I trolled over to the bank and started fishing a Rat-L-Trap. As it turned out, the area laid out almost exactly like some of the other water I found in practice and it had a few fish in it. Sometimes it's strange how things work out like that in this sport."

Brock fourth

Brandon Brock of Richmond, Ky., is in fourth place with five bass for Pro Brandon Brock of Richmond, Ky., is fourth place with five bass for 12 pounds, 12 ounces.12 pounds, 12 ounces.

Brock is flipping vegetation mats as his primary pattern and boated seven keepers today.

"I spent two weeks here in practice looking all over the lake for mats," he said. "I found enough to fish, but they're scattered far and wide along a 10-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River."

"There's not a whole bunch of mats to work with and some of the better ones I found got blown around with that north wind," he added. "So when I do find a good mat, I pick it apart and fish it extremely slow."

Klys fifth

Berkley pro Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., had every intention of flipping vegetationBerkley pro Ron Klys of Gainesville, Fla., switched from flipping to a Berkely Frenzy Rattler to catch two bass for 11 pounds, 12 ounces. this morning, but after his co-angler, Joseph Jenkins, who leads the Co-angler Division, boated three nice keepers on a rattling lipless crankbait, Klys quickly switched to a Berkley Frenzy Rattler and boated two big Seminole bass for 11 pounds, 12 ounces, putting him in fifth.

"I pulled in there this morning, started flipping and my co-angler kept calling for the net," Klys laughed. "So I tied on that Frenzy Rattler and caught the two big ones."

"It's a little tiny area, but it seems to be full of fish," he added. "I'm just glad my co-angler pointed me in the right direction and tipped me off on what to do in there."

Big bass

Currey Holley of Pulaski, Tenn., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 8 pounds, 14 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Stren Series Southeastern on Lake Seminole after day one:

6th: Gary Pace of Pewaukee, Wis., four bass, 11-10
7th: Darryl Stewart of Slocomb, Ala., three bass, 10-14
8th: Michael Maxfield of North Charleston, S.C., four bass, 10-12
9th: Frank Jordan of Bainbridge, Ga., three bass, 10-8
10th: Michael Conley of Bainbridge, Ga., three bass, 10-5

Jenkins leads co-anglers

Joseph Jenkins of Harrogate, Tenn., is the co-angler responsible for putting pro Co-angler Joseph Jenkins boated four bass behind pro Ron Klys for 14 pounds, 2 ounces for the Co-angler Division lead.Ron Klys on the right track with rattling lipless crankbaits.

In all, Jenkins boated four bass behind Klys for 14 pounds, 2 ounces for the Co-angler Division lead.

Jenkins lipless rattler of choice was an Excalibur model.

"I'm not much of flipper," Jenkins said. "So I just stuck with what I have confidence in and cast out the other side of the boat into open water. After I caught two or three, Ron switched up and caught two big ones, so it was a great day for both of us."

Co-angler Joseph Ellis of Cincinnati, Ohio, is in second place in the Co-angler Division with three bass for 12 pounds, 9 ounces, thanks to a 7-pound, 15-ounce Seminole lunker he landed on a Rat-L-Trap.Joseph Ellis of Cincinnati, Ohio, is in second place in the Co-angler Division with three bass for 12 pounds, 9 ounces, thanks to a 7-pound, 15-ounce Seminole lunker he landed on a Rat-L-Trap.

"I caught that big one in the first five minutes of the morning," Ellis said. "It got my heart pumping and warmed me up for the day."

Third place co-angler Gerrit Goins of Cleveland, Tenn., also got his day started right with a monster 9-pound, 4-ounce bass, which claimed the big bass in the Co-angler Division and anchored his three-bass catch of 12 pounds, 7 ounces.

"I caught her on a chartreuse colored crankbait in 5 or 6 feet of water," Goins said of the behemoth. "I was shaking like crazy when I got it in the boat."

Tom Ridley of Valdosta, Ga., holds down the fourth place position in Co-angler Division with five bass for 12 pounds, 5 ounces.

And Ken Crumpler of Marianna, Fla., is in fifth place with four bass for 10 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the Stren Series Southeastern event on Lake Seminole after day one:

6th: Angelo Koundourakis of Bainbridge Ga., three bass, 8-14
7th: Jimbo Deaton of Pike Road, Ala., three bass, 8-8
8th: David Iglesias of Crystal River, Fla., two bass, 7-8
9th: John Allen of Midland, Ga., two bass, 7-3
10th: Leo Reiter of Goshen, Ind., two bass, 7-1

Day two of the Stren Series Southeastern event on Lake Seminole will begin on Thursday at 7:15 a.m. at the Earl May Boat Basin in Bainbridge.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-01-30-seminole 

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