UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Jordan’s giants

Jordan’s giants
Frank Jordan, Jr. of Bainbridge, Ga., leads the Stren Series event on Lake Eufaula after day one with five bass for 24 pounds, 14 ounces.

EUFAULA, Ala. - Plenty of bass crossed the stage on day one of the Stren Series Southeast Division event on Lake Eufaula; however, the gigantic five-bass limits many were anticipating failed to materialize.

Over half of the Pro Division caught five-bass limits and 21 co-anglers managed limits as well, but there was only one bag of bass over 20 pounds.

Several pros are attributing the sheer numbers of fish to plenty of aggressive buck bass being up shallow ready to spawn, while the lack of big bass is being blamed on reluctant females, which are still holding out in deeper haunts for more stable water conditions.

Many pros cited falling water as their No. 1 culprit for not bagging better bass today. They believe that as long as the water levels are falling, the females will be wary about coming up and laying eggs in the shallows.

One pro who did tap the big bite Wednesday was Frank Jordan Jr. of Bainbridge, Ga., who weighed in five bass for 24 pounds, 14 ounces. Jordan's leading limit was anchored by the Snickers Big Bass in the Pro Division weighing 8 pounds, 8 ounces.

Jordan describes his fish as classic staging prespawn fish.

"The third cast of the morning I hung one that I never turned," Jordan recounted. "That fish ran me all the way to the back of the boat and over the motor and never slowed up when she pulled off. About 20 casts later I caught the 8-8."

Jordan collected about 20 pounds of bass from one general two-acre area by about 10:30 a.m. when he switched tactics and moved to the bank to sample the shallows.

"A lot of the males are up on the bank," he said. "I did catch one good one shallow that helped me cull up 3 or 4 pounds. But I think the better fish are still out. I hope they keep pulling the water because that will keep the big fish out deeper. If they stop the lake up, those big girls are subject to go to the bank, and then everyone is going to catch them."

Stewart second

Steve Stewart of Donalsonville, Ga., brought in five bass for 19 pounds, Steve Stewart of Donalsonville, Ga., brought in five bass for 19 pounds, 9 ounces to start the Eufaula event in second place.9 ounces to start the event in second place.

Stewart, too, is fishing offshore for better-quality staging females.

"I'm a deep-water fisherman," Stewart confirmed. "I'm sitting out in about 46 feet of water, casting to about 16 feet of water in a staging ditch. These are mostly prespawn fish, but I did catch one big skinny female today that might have been on her way out, so there might be a mix of fish in there."

Stewart caught four quality fish in his deep-water spot and then had to retreat to the bank to catch a couple of buck bass to fill his limit.

"These females are real close to moving up," he added. "I'd prefer for them to stay out deeper, where I'm more comfortable fishing. But if they do make a big move in the next couple of days, I'll just have to follow them up to the bank and fish the bushes like everyone else."

Ingram third

Local favorite Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala., who already has one Eufaula Stren win to his credit, is also focusing on offshore ledge fish for his day-one start of 18 pounds, 7 ounces.Local favorite Ryan Ingram of Phenix City, Ala., who already has one Eufaula Stren win to his credit, is also focusing on offshore ledge fish for his day-one start of 18 pounds, 7 ounces.

Similar to when he won in 2006, Ingram is fishing secondary drops in 3 to 5 feet of water off the bank to catch females moving up off the main river. But he feels the tournament is not timed right for him to win again. In essence, his bigger fish are headed to the bank.

"My only hope of winning this thing is for them to keep pulling the water down," Ingram said. "I have not found any concentrations of big fish - it was a one-here-one-there kind of deal for me today. I probably could have caught more fish today, but I'm really trying to pace myself so I have some left to catch in the coming days."

McCracken fourth

Lee McCracken of Ocala, Fla., sits in fourth place after day one with five bass for 18 pounds, Pro Lee McCracken of Ocala, Fla., sits in fourth place after day one with five bass for 18 pounds, 5 ounces.5 ounces.

Add McCracken's name to the list of leaders who describe their fishing as being "off the bank on the first ledge."

"With the water dropping hard yesterday, I noticed that the fish seemed to be backing off the bank," he said. "That was even more the case today, so I started running to where I caught them shallow and backing off to that first drop to find them again."

Browne fifth

Berkley pro Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., holds down the fifth place position with five bass for 17 pounds, 2 ounces.Glenn Browne of Ocala, Fla., holds down the fifth-place position with five bass for 17 pounds, 2 ounces.

Browne was one of the only true bank runners to break into the top five today.

"I'm just turning and burning," Browne said. "I'm keeping the trolling motor on high, fishing down the bank and keeping my lures wet. The first place I started this morning was just north of the takeoff, and I ended up down near the dam this afternoon. I probably caught 15 keepers along the way."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Southeast after day one:

6th: Michael Brown of Rocky Face, Ga., five bass, 16-13
7th: Erwin Cole of Murfreesboro, Tenn., four bass, 16-12
8th: Dearal Rodgers of Camden S.C., five bass, 16-10
8th: Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., five bass, 16-10
10th: Keith Buterbaugh of Douglasville, Ga., five bass, 16-7

Bladow leads co-anglers

Jamie Bladow of Houston, Ala., took the early lead in the Co-angler Division Jamie Bladow of Houston, Ala., took the early lead in the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces.with five bass weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces.

Bladow noted that he came to Eufaula a few days early to practice on his own and developed some solid patterns up shallow with spinnerbaits and swimming jigs.

When he drew pro Taylor Leathers of Florence, Ala., and learned he would be fishing shallow all day, it was music to his ears.

"It always helps when you draw a pro who is doing what you have confidence in," Bladow said. "And that's pretty much what happened today."

Rest of the best

Jason Waddell of Louisville, Ala., fished a Carolina rig and a shaky head in 4 to 6 feet of water behind pro Mitch Seruya to catch five bass weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces for second place.

Steve McKnabb of Pell City, Ala., fished a spinnerbait and flipped behind pro Craig Taylor to catch five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces for third place.

Larry Mathers of Englewood, Fla., caught the Big Bass in the Co-angler Division weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces, which helped push his four-bass total to 12 pounds, 14 ounces for fourth place.

Butch Zadlo of Boone, N.C., is in fifth place with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the Stren Series Southeast on Lake Eufaula after day one:

6th: Roger Mason of Heflin, Ala., five bass, 12-8
7th: Bill Logsdon of Ozark, Ala., five bass, 11-14
8th: Joe Parker of Tallahassee, Fla., five bass, 11-12
9th: Gill Bristow of Columbia, Ala., five bass, 11-10
10th: Ralph Moseley of Panama City, Fla., five bass, 11-1

Day two of the Stren Series Southeast on Lake Eufaula will begin at 7 a.m. at Lakepoint State Park on Thursday.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2008-03-12-lake-eufaula 

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