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

Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Lake Guntersville, Day 3

Quick Bites: FLW Tour, Lake Guntersville, Day 3
Judy Israel reaches for her last fish while Justin Lucas nervously looks on. That final bass weighed over 4 pounds and earned Israel her second FLW Tour victory.

Walmart FLW Tour
Lake Guntersville, Huntsville, Ala.
Final round, Saturday

J Lu loses a heartbreaker to Judy ... It was a clash of titans in the Co-angler Division on day three of the Chevy Open. In one corner was National Guard co-angler Justin Lucas, a young stick from the West with four FLW Series wins and two Angler of the Year titles. In the other corner was BP co-angler Judy Israel, a Florida retiree who became the first woman to win an FLW Tour event in 2004. After weighing in a stout 16 pounds, 4 ounces, Lucas, or J Lu as the kids call him, had only Israel to defeat. Israel placed four fish into the scale and needed roughly a 3-pounder from No. 5 to take home her second FLW Tour title. After hesitating and toying with the crowd, Israel reached in and Pro leader Scott Canterbury holds one of his five Lake Guntersville bass. Canterburydelivered a 4-pound largemouth. "Abbie (husband) had the truck packed after the first day," said the co-angler champion. "After weigh-in the second day, Abbie unpacked the truck."

Canterbury continues to crush ... At the start of the 2008 FLW Tour season, there was little known about a rookie pro named Scott Canterbury. That all changed at the second event of the season on Lewis Smith Lake when he burst onto the scene with a second-place finish. At the next tournament on Lake Norman, he held the lead on opening day before slipping back to third-place overall. At season's end, he was named Rookie of the Year. Fast forward to the present and he's only one day away from taking home $200,000 as the Chevy Open pro champion. "There's going to be struggles, but I did know that I was capable of competing at this level," Canterbury said. "I didn't know if the success would come as quickly as it has, but I knew eventually it would come. I've been tournament fishing for 16 years and I'm just out there doing what I love - living my dream."

Co-anglers baffling pros ... The fishing has been good on Lake Guntersville this week - especially for big bass. Because this is a prespawn tournament dominated by grass, the co-angler catches have been especially impressive. Oftentimes during spawning events co-anglers are limited in what they can do because pros are casting at specific targets such as a bedding bass or a shade spot under a dock. But Lake Guntersville's grass beds are expansive and have proved to be an equal opportunity employer. In other words, with the right Rat-L-Trap, a co-angler has just as good of a chance at catching them as a pro. Carl Svebek is one pro who took the worse of it yesterday as Israel over 26 pounds from the Castrol boat while Svebek managed only three keepers for 11 pounds. But Svebek wasn't alone. Larry Hostetler caught 19-14 from the back of Jim Tutt's boat while the Kellogg's pro only caught two for 4 pounds. Longtime co-angler Aaron McManaway, Texas pro John Tanner relaxes in the Chevy boat with his children after weighing in a 15-pound limit. who recently turned pro, took a beating from his partner Phillip Little. Little caught 16-7 while McManaway put one keeper in the livewell. "It sure felt good to beat my pro back when I was a co," said McManaway. "But let me tell you, it doesn't feel so good as the pro."

Wind and grind ... Prespawn on Lake Guntersville usually means one thing - reaction baits. And relentlessly casting lipless crankbaits and jerkbaits for eight consecutive hours will bring even the most determined anglers to their knees. "I guide on Lake Fork and we've been throwing Rat-L-Traps all winter long," - said John Tanner. "I'm used to it but it's hard and believe me I'm tired. For us, it takes a couple weeks to get conditioned. These other guys are experiencing some major pain between the shoulder blades."

Valentine's Day wishes ... It isn't always easy being the wife or girlfriend of a professional angler. From the long trips away from home to the mood swings when pros perform poorly, these ladies put up with a lot. It didn't help that Valentine's Day and the Chevy Open fell on the same day. To stay in good graces with the Ms., several anglers delivered their Valentine's Day messages on stage. "I want to take advantage of this opportunity and say happy Valentine's Day to my wife and happy birthday to my son who is sleeping over there in the stroller," said David Dudley.

Quick numbersBP co-angler Judy Israel reacts after learning she won the Chevy Open on Lake Guntersville.

0: Number of keeper bass caught by Israel during the first three days of practice.

44: Pounds of bass caught by Israel the final two days of competition.

4-5: Average weight, in pounds and ounces, of Sam Newby's four keeper bass.

7: Number of FLW Tour events entered by Canterbury.

3: Number of FLW Tour top-10 finishes by Canterbury.

Sound bites

"I lost one today that could've eaten those four," - Newby.

BP co-angler Kevin Koone holds up a nice Lake Guntersville largemouth. Koone finished the Chevy Open in fourth place."My confidence is increasing and I think I'm fishing the best area I've ever been around in my entire life," - Canterbury.

"I've learned a bunch this week about burning a Rat-L-Trap," - Canterbury.

"I had a good run out West as a co-angler, but I've got a lot learn about these lakes out east before I turn pro," - Lucas.

"Charlie, I was listening to you interview Justin and oh to be young again," - Veteran co-angler Terry Chapman.

"I want to tell all the guys that picked me in fantasy fishing that I practiced everyday from sunup to sundown. There was great effort put into it, I promise you that," - Pretournament favorite Andy Morgan, who was ranked third overall according to the Fantasy Trend. Morgan finished 19th.

The final takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. Central time from the Lake Guntersville Resort State Park Resort in Guntersville, Ala., located at 1155 Lodge Dr.

Tags: brett-carlson  quick-bites  2009-02-12-lake-guntersville 

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