UPCOMING EVENT: FLW SERIES - 2020 - Toledo Bend Lake

Russell rules

Russell rules
Getting a big fish early on topwater put Neil Russell on track to take over the lead.

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Well, it was nice while it lasted, but the light clouds that greeted anglers on day two of the Walmart FLW Series National Guard Western Division event on the Columbia River didn't stick around - nor did hopes of relief from the grueling conditions.

Day two saw some white puffs and streaks building early ahead of the rising sun, but bright sunny conditions and minimal breezes compounded by nearly still water plagued anglers most of the day. Early-morning hours have seen good topwater action, but the game moves deeper once the sun rises and the fish move deeper.

Some are running downriver and locking through at the McNary Dam, while a few are fishing up the Several competitors reported catching bass with deep presentations like a Texas-rigged Brush Hog.Columbia River or branching over to the Snake River. Those running to the latter have found some current and rising water near the Ice Harbor Dam.

Neil Russell of Nampa, Idaho, bolstered his day-one score of 13 pounds, 14 ounces with 15-12 - the day's second-heaviest stringer - and rose five spots to take the Pro Division lead. Remaining near Columbia Point, he fished over rocks in 12 to 25 feet and wasted no time in catching what he needed.

Rod Rinta used a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait to tempt this 5-pound, 4-ounce smallie - the biggest bass on the pro side."By 10 or 10:30, I had what I weighed," Russell said.

Starting out with a shallow spot, Russell secured one of his largest fish on top early. He actually fished a Zoom Super Fluke, but worked it at the surface. The rest of the day, Russell worked a Carolina rig, a jig and a drop-shot. The latter, he said, was the day-saver.

"Today, I had to go to a drop-shot for fish that were eating the jig yesterday," he said. "They just would not eat the jig or the Carolina rig. I felt like they were there, and I got three of the best I weighed by changing up and being patient."

Kromm strikes early, secures second

David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash., intended to lock down past the McNary Dam, but when boat Boat problems kept local pro David Kromm from making the run he wanted to make, but he caught enough for second place.problems limited his range, he resigned himself to fishing closer to the Columbia Point launch site. Things worked out well regardless, as Kromm delivered a 14-pound, 4-ounce performance that raised his total to 28-5 and lifted him three spots to second place.

Krom started his day shallow and secured a limit in 8-10 feet of water and culled up to his best weight by midday. He fished jerkbaits and Rat-L-Traps in shad colors for his shallow action and switched to green pumpkin lizards and tubes for the deep stuff.

Kromm said that challenging conditions make a strong start essential to success: "If you don't get them early, you're out fishing deep and trying to get them. If you don't get a couple early, you're not going to contend in this tournament."

Big bag gives Hawk big push to third

A 17-pound, 3-ounce stringer vaulted Roy Hawk 22 places to third.Finishing third with 28 pounds, Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, Utah, caught the heaviest stringer of the event - 17-3 - and jumped 22 places in the standings. He caught his fish on topwaters, jigs and drop-shots.

"The key today was making the right decisions on what to throw and when to throw it," Hawk said. "I mixed it up throughout the day, and it just happened to work out to where I just picked up the topwater at the right time, got bit, put it down, pick up a jig and catch one and then move back to a topwater. Things just kind of flowed right today."

Hawk caught most of his fish in 4 to 20 feet of water, but he fished spots as deep as 45 feet.

Bennett, Hall round out top five

R.J. Bennett of Roseville, Calif., remained in fourth place with 26-5, and Paul Hall of Soap Lake, Wash., finished fifth at 25-5.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top 10 pro leaders at the FLW Series Columbia River event:
Ranger pro RJ Bennett caugth another limit and held on to his fourth place spot.
6th: Ronald Hobbs Jr., Graham, Wash., 25-0
7th: Eric McFarland, Meridian, Idaho, 24-9
8th: Brent Lyon, Reno, Nev., 24-8
9th: Wade Headrick, Draper, Utah, 23-2
10th: Kazuki Kodama, Torrance, Calif., 23-1

Eleventh-place pro Rodney Rinta of Chehalis, Wash., earned Big Bass honors with his 5-pound, 3-ounce smallie. Rinta caught the big brown fish on a 1/2-ounce spinnerbait with willow blades and a translucent blue skirt. He was fishing shallow drop-offs behind the Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River.

FLW Series anglers recovering after boating accident

Following a day-one boating accident involving FLW Series competitors, FLW Outdoors issued this statement:

Carlene Harwood adds water to David Kromm"We are grateful that Gabe Bolivar, an experienced boater with years of professional experience, and co-angler Kirk Beardsley were not seriously injured in a single-boat accident on the Columbia River Wednesday," said Charlie Evans, president and CEO of FLW Outdoors. "We are still looking into the cause of the accident."

Bolivar and Beardsley were transported to Prosser Memorial Hospital, where they were subsequently treated for minor injuries and released Wednesday afternoon. Beardsley resumed competition on the Columbia River Thursday morning.

Bolivar said: "I'm just sitting here in my hotel taking it easy. I'm a little sore, but I'm getting through it. If I get my equipment repaired, I'll be fishing at the next event at the Cal Delta."

Flowers blooms with co-angler lead

He caught just 1 ounce more than he did on day one, but Roy, Wash., co-angler Robert Flowers gained six notches on his way to the top spot in his division. In the first round of competition, Flowers weighed 9 pounds, 13 ounces. He followed today with 9-14 and holds the lead with 19-11.

Best of the rest

Day-one leader James Cadell of Escalon, Calif., placed second with 19-4, while J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif., took third with 18-15. Brody Bramlett of Kelseyville, Calif., finished fourth at 17-7, and Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif., was fifth with 17-2

Rounding out the top 10 co-angler leaders at the FLW Series Columbia River event:

6th: Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif., 17-0
7th: Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif., 16-6
8th: Tom Nieto of Salinas, Calif., 16-4
9th: Chad LeBlanc of Sutter, Calif., 16-0
10th: Bob Brown of Meridian, Idaho, 15-14

David Bush of Sonoma, Calif., took Big Bass honors with his 4-pound, 10-ounce smallie.

Day three of FLW Series action on the Columbia River continues at Friday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6:30 a.m. PDT at Columbia Point Marina located at 660 Columbia Point Drive.

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2008-09-17-columbia-river 

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