UPCOMING EVENT: ABU GARCIA COLLEGE FISHING - 2020 - Harris Chain of Lakes

Kromm leads Walmart FLW Series event on Columbia River

Kromm leads Walmart FLW Series event on Columbia River

TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Pro David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 8 ounces Friday to capture the lead in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Series National Guard Western Division tournament on the Columbia River. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 44-13, he holds a 3-pound, 3-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Day 2 leader Neil Russell of Nampa, Idaho, heading into the final day of competition.

"I did the same thing as yesterday," said Kromm, who is currently fifth in the Land O'Lakes Angler of the Year standings in the FLW Series National Guard Western Division. "They were pumping some current and it made the fish bite a little bit better.

"I start out shallow and catch what I can shallow, and when that dies, I go deep," Kromm added. "The deep fish are really tough to catch right now. They're not where they're supposed to be."

For the second consecutive day, Kromm employed a variety of baits to scratch out his limit, including shad-colored jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits for the shallow bites and green pumpkin lizards and tubes deep.

"The moving current positions the fish on the leading edge of the structure, and that's what I fished," Kromm said. "I fished the leading edge and then went to the next piece of structure. I probably fished 20 spots today."

Rounding out the top five pros are R.J. Bennett of Roseville, Calif. (15 bass, 39-11); Paul Hall of Soap Lake, Wash. (15 bass, 39-8) and Ronald Hobbs Jr. of Graham, Wash. (15 bass, 39-5).

Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 34 pounds, 0 ounces in the Pro Division are Clint Johanson of Benton City, Wash.; Ken Wick of Star, Idaho; Cameron Smith of Dana Point, Calif.; Wade Headrick of Draper, Utah; and Roy Hawk of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif., earned the day's $329 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass he caught.

Overall there were 482 bass weighing 879 pounds, 5 ounces caught by 116 pros Friday. The catch included 72 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fish-Off and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million - the sport's biggest award.

Team National Guard co-angler Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 27 pounds, 13 ounces followed by Robert Flowers of Roy, Wash., in second place with 14 bass weighing 26-13 worth $7,030.

Lucas opened the tournament in fifth place Wednesday with five bass weighing 18-08 while fishing with pro Duane Dunstone of Reno, Nev. On Thursday he slipped to sixth place with a five-bass catch weighing 6-08 while fishing with pro Ken Mah of Elk Grove, Calif. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 10-13 while fishing with pro William Gibbs of John Day, Ore.

"I never thought I would win today," said Lucas, who now has four career victories as a co-angler. "I had a bad morning and caught some 12-inchers, but I just tried to fish hard. Every day I tried to make as many good casts as I could."

On the first two days of competition, Lucas threw a Carolina rig to land his limits. On the final day of competition, Lucas said he switched to a green pumpkin finesse worm on a drop-shot rig and enhanced it with Berkley Gulp! Alive! spray attractant.

"The Gulp! makes a difference on the smallmouth," Lucas said. "When you fish for smallmouth up here or anywhere else, it works."

Lucas, the Land O'Lakes Co-angler of the Year points leader, also won the Columbia River event in 2007.

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Jason Bryan of Spokane, Wash. (12 bass, 26-02, $6,325); Gary Haraguchi of Brentwood, Calif. (13 bass, 25-06, $5,624) and J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif. (15 bass, 24-03, $4,920).

Marvin Hawkes of Mesa, Ariz., earned $212 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 5-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Johanson.

Overall there were 327 bass weighing 488 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 105 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 27 five-bass limits.

The 10 remaining pros will take off at 6:30 Saturday morning from Columbia Point Marina located at 660 Columbia Point Drive in Richland, Wash. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 2801 Duportail Street in Richland beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday's weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Columbia River FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the "FLW Outdoors" television program airing Nov. 23. "FLW Outdoors" is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.

Tournament anglers aren't the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offered anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players could become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player's Advantage, which provided them with exclusive insider information that could have guided them to a $100,000 victory at every Walmart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player's Advantage gave them an edge over the competition and increased their shot for the $1 million cash grand prize awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner. Visit FantasyFishing.com today to find out more information and to register for next season.

FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.

For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player's Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.

Total awards are based on a full field of 200 boats in every tournament.

Tags: press-release  2008-09-17-columbia-river 

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