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

Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Fort Loudoun-Tellico, Day 2

Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Fort Loudoun-Tellico, Day 2
Second-place pro Brandon Coulter gets the royal birthday treatment from daughters Callie, left and Andie, right.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Fort Loudoun-Tellico Lakes, Knoxville, Tenn.
Second round, Friday

Docks hasten Hastings' success ... After a dismal practice, Middleton, Md., pro Aaron Hastings knew he had to come up with a solid game plan for the tournament, and that decision took him right to what he considers his bread-and-butter pattern - boat docks. "I had a really bad practice - I tried to fish shallow, I tried to fish deep, but couldn't get much going. Anytime it's like that, you need to fall back on what you do the best. What I do best is fish docks, and I pretty much stuck with that the whole time. I just fished my strength, and that really worked out for me." Needing at least a 35th-place finish to keep himself in position for Forest Wood Cup qualification, Hastings found that his strategy rewarded him with a 14-pound, 14-ounce stringer that boosted his two-day total to 25-4. He finished 17th overall, but his best dock fish, a 5-11, shared the Snickers Big Bass award with a replica caught by Bob Blosser. "My big fish ate a Berkley Pulse Worm on a 3/16-ounce shaky head as far back under a dock as I could get it. I was trying to hit places that (other anglers) couldn't reach or didn't want to take the time to do it. I had him under a boat lift, but I just took my time; I didn't horse him. I let him play himself out, and then I got him into open water, and we netted him with no problem." Notably, Hastings' co-angler, Brad Denton, also caught his division's top bass - a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass. Hastings gave up an hour of fishing time when he towed in fellow pro Woo Daves, who had broken down. Needing a final keeper for his limit, Hastings put the assist on temporary hold. "I told him I need to make one more stop to try and get my fifth fish. It worked out good - he watched me catch my fifth fish. I grew up watching him on TV, and now, he got to watch me fish. That was awesome."

Weather watchers ... Cloudy skies and cooler weather on day two gave hope to many anglers looking National Guard pro Scott Martin thanks Colonel Tim Dearing of the Air National Guard for allowing him to join a midair training mission aboard a KC-135 refueling plan a day before the tournament.for shallow-water action. However, with deep-water patterns on his mind, National Guard pro and day-one leader Scott Martin said he's hoping the clouds depart for day three. Martin worked deep on day two and got his limit early. He said he'll do best with the sun, but if cloudy weather persists on day three, he'll play the game accordingly. "I'd prefer to have it sunny and just miserably hot because that concentrates the fish on the deep points. The cloudy and cooler conditions make ledge fishing harder because the fish move shallow and spread out. If it stays cloudy, I'll throw topwaters and buzzbaits."

Lefebre goes big for smallies ... Having already qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup, Kellogg's pro Dave Lefebre decided to roll the dice and forego the big numbers of largemouths coming out of Fort Loudoun Lake in favor of brown bass in Tellico. "I was looking for smallmouth. In practice, it Kelloggseemed like it was actually easier to catch a keeper smallmouth than a keeper largemouth in Tellico." Leaving crowded Loudoun to the majority of the tournament field, Lefebre enjoyed plenty of room on Tellico, but watched opportunity vaporize when several big smallies came unbuttoned. "I lost about six or seven 4-plus-pounders today; one, I think, was over 6 (pounds). I had one jump off, one hit right next to the boat, and I broke him off on the hook set. Most of them were getting stuck in trees because I was fishing some pretty thick stuff. Sometimes, it's just a fine line, and today it just wasn't meant to be. This was the worst day I've ever had as far as breaking off big fish. I could have been the hero."

Birthday surprise ... Tournament stress can easily give anglers tunnel vision, but when local pro Brandon Coulter of Knoxville, Tenn., woke on day two, he was so focused he forgot that he had made his entrance into this world 38 years earlier. Not to worry, though, because his daughters Allie, 6, and Andie, 3, had Mylar balloons and big hugs waiting for him when he came to the weigh-in tent.

Quick numbers:

BP pro Shinichi Fukae follows a dietary regimen of two rice balls on the water and one after the weigh-ins.3: Number of rice balls (seasoned white rice wrapped in seaweed) that BP pro Shinichi Fukae consumes during an average day of fishing. According to his wife, Miyu, Shin eats two on the water and one after the weigh-ins.

16: Number of volunteers on the Berkley Release Team. Members of the Loudoun County Bass Club and the East Tennessee Bass Club shuttled fish from the weigh-in tent to the holding tanks on the FLW release boat.

5: Craig Powers fans lifted a quintet of creative signs when their favorite angler took to the stage. Powers' cheering section raised the roof when the local pro made the top-10 cut.

2: Number of pros catching 5-pound, 11-ounce bass. Hastings and Blosser of Lodi, Wis., shared Snickers Big Bass honors.

8: Weight, in ounces, of the smallest fish weighed on day two. The "whopper" bass belonged to Brandon Finney of the East Tennessee Bass Club, left, takes a bag of fish from Mike Cole of the Loudoun County Bass Club.Snickers pro Greg Pugh.

Sound bites:

"Thank the good Lord that I'm sponsored by Prilosec, because after this day, I'm going to need some medicine." - Okeechobee, Fla., pro Koby Kreiger, who followed his 15-pound, 5-ounce day-one weight with 1-4 on day two.

"I wish they would have opened their mouths a little more." - Local pro Powers, lamenting a less-than-aggressive topwater bite.

"I have three of the four. The other one couldn't make it up here because she's only 10 months old." Castrol pro David Dudley, referring to his youngest daughter, Nina, who watched her siblings Mason (4), Anna (3) and Vance (2) join their father and day-one leader on the weigh-in stage.

"It's in his genes." - FLW Outdoors host Charlie Evans, referring to 16-year-old Payden Hibdon, son of Chevy pro Dion Hibdon and grandson of bass legend and BP pro Guido Hibdon.

"I fished behind Mr. Hoover today, and I don't mean (Tournament Director Chris Hoover)." - Co-angler Pat Lay, joking about the vacuum-like efficiency of his pro, James Kemper, who left very few bass for the back of the boat.

Day three of FLW Tour action on Fort Loudoun-Tellico lakes continues at Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. EDT at Tellico Recreational Area Ramp east of Lenoir City, Tenn., at the junction of highways 321 and 444.

Tags: david-a-brown  quick-bites  2008-06-19-fort-loudoun-tellico-lakes 

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