UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

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Weather is cold, Walker is hot

Weather is cold, Walker is hot
It's cold at Table Rock but BP pro David Walker is bringing the heat with a day-one lead of 26-11.

BRANSON, Mo. - The Walmart FLW Tour endured the coldest day in its history on day one of the Table Rock Lake event Thursday.

Temperatures hovered in the mid-30s all day, while light snow flurries came and went. And as predicted, Table Rock bass went berserk with the inclement weather - especially the big largemouths.

In all, six 20-pound-plus limits crossed the stage, and most of those 20-pound limits were made up of largemouths - big largemouths that were somehow "inspired" by the raw weather.

And it seems that BP pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., is much like a Table Rock largemouth bass in that the colder it is, the hotter he gets.

Walker now leads the Table Rock event with a five-bass limit weighing 26 pounds, 11 ounces.

This is familiar territory for Walker, as he also led the FLW Tour season-opening day on Lake Guntersville back in February with 29 pounds, 3 ounces. He eventually finished eighth, but the sparks of a hot streak were ignited, and Walker is now red hot in the ice cold.

"When I woke up this morning and saw the winter weather advisory calling for snow, I got giddy inside because I knew I was going to blast them," Walker said. "And that feeling never stopped all day. When I put my trolling motor down this morning, it was probably 30 degrees outside, the snow was blowing around me, but inside I was just burning up with excitement - and the first fish I caught was a 7-7."

That kicker bass ended up landing Walker the Folgers Big Bass award for the day worth $750.

"By 1 o'clock I was culling 4-pounders," he continued. "And I honestly did not know what to do - I mean how do you improve on 25 pounds at Table Rock? It's not like you go fishing for spotted bass to upgrade!"

As for his tremendous start to the 2009 season, Walker says he began to get an inkling of a good year coming his way the minute he saw the 2009 FLW Tour schedule.

"Man, with the lakes we are going to this season and the 150-man field, this is like a brand new FLW Tour," Walker said. "It's so old school. You have to remember, I began my fishing career in the BFLs in Kentucky when we went to places like Lake Cumberland and Kentucky Lake when it was freezing cold. That was before the days of shaky heads.

"Today I caught my fish in a way that I have not fished in years - all pure power-fishing, a take-it-to-the-fish kind of game - and that's the style of fishing I love. I'm just really in my element right now, and it feels good. It's been freezing cold all day, and all I want to do is go back out there right now and fish."

Fukae powers for second

For FLW Fantasy Fishing fans who think BP pro Shin Fukae of Mineola, Texas, is just a finesse-Shinichi Fukae caught 22 pounds, 5 ounces Thursday and is in second place in the Pro Division. fisherman, take note of his 22-pound, 5-ounce catch today that currently puts him in second place.

Fukae caught a purebred bag of big largemouths cranking a Mimic crankbait up shallow.

"When it's very cold on this type of lake, big largemouth bite up shallow," explained Fukae in broken English. "I fished about 15 different areas, but all were very shallow. I fished each area about 20 minutes before going to the next area. I tried to cover a lot of water instead of staying in one place."

Romans third

Pro Christian Romans of Carrollton, Ky., weighed in five bass for 21 pounds, 4 ounces to begin the event in third place.Adding to the shallow-water, all-largemouth theme starting to take shape on Table Rock is Christian Romans of Carrollton, Ky., who weighed in five bass for 21 pounds, 4 ounces to begin the event in third place.

Romans, too, is cranking shallow.

"In practice I found the warmest, dirtiest water I could find," Romans said. "I found some water that had reached 61 degrees and decided that would be the warmest water to fish. I was really worried that this supercold weather was going to hurt it, but it's almost like it helped the bite in my area.

"I've heard that cold weather does that to these Ozark largemouths - well, I believe it now. It's a pretty remarkable phenomenon. I started the day with my two biggest fish and ended up catching 12 keepers for the day."

McManaway fourth

Land O'Lakes pro Aaron McManaway of Altamont, Ill., caught an Ozarks slam of all three Aaron McManaway of Altamont, Ill., gets a little help from his son showing off his 20-13 catch on day one for fourth place.species weighing 20 pounds, 13 ounces for the fourth-place spot after day one.

McManaway is "burning up the banks," cranking water in the 8- to 10-foot zone. But today he got a bonus largemouth bite.

"In practice I've mostly been catching nice spots and smallmouths, but today a couple of nice largemouths showed up on my water," he said. "My two biggest bass were largemouths, and I guess that's a function of the weather - it really seems to make those largemouths more aggressive."

Instead of focusing in one area, McManaway covered new water all day.

"I did repeat some water, but I will not do that again tomorrow," he added. "I'm running a specific pattern, and it seems to work best when I'm on water that I have not already fished."

Bennett fifth

Michael Bennett caught 20 pounds, 2 ounces on day one and sits fifth in the Pro Division. Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif., rounds out the top five at Table Rock after day one with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces.

Bennett's bag included all largemouths as well.

"I made a long run to an area where I found a little something in practice, but I had no idea it was going to be that good," Bennett said. "I don't know if it's the weather or what, but it was crazy - the big largemouths just started biting in there."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros in the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake after day one:

6th: Luke Clausen of Mount Juliet, Tenn., five bass, 20-1
7th: Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., five bass, 18-10
8th: Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., five bass, 18-6
8th: Chris Elliott of Morehead City, N.C., five bass, 18-6
10th: Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., five bass, 18-5

Cassill leads co-anglers

Co-angler Zac Cassill of Fairfax, Iowa, was looking for a little revenge on Table Rock Lake this week, and he is getting it now.Co-angler Zac Cassill of Fairfax, Iowa, leads after day one with 17-6.

Cassill fished the Stren Series Championship on the Rock in the fall and was in 10th place after the first day. But he blanked on the second day and fell out of the top 10.

"I came looking for redemption," said Cassill, who bagged 17 pounds, 6 ounces for the co-angler lead today. "And I think I finally made some progress in that direction today. I fished a jerkbait behind pro Brent Crow, and the key to getting that reaction bite was fishing the bait on 10-pound-test Berkley 100% Fluorocarbon line."

Lauer leverages Big Bass for second

Co-angler David Lauer of South Bend, Ind., bagged the Folgers Big Bass in the Co-angler Division today weighing 7 pounds, 6 ounces, which anchored his second-place weight of 16 pounds, 4 ounces.

Lauer caught his fish on a Norman Deep Little N in a green color.

Rest of the best

PTSI co-angler Spencer Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., is in third place with a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds.

BP co-angler Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark., is in fourth place with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 13 ounces.

James Watson of Waynesville, Mo., rounds out the top five co-anglers with five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers in the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake after day one:

6th: Fred Martin of North Little Rock, Ark., four bass, 12-2
6th: Wayne Pomeroy of Wellington, Fla., four bass, 12-2
8th: John Kite of Festus, Mo., four bass, 11-14
9th: Frank Divis of Fayetteville, Ark., two bass, 11-9
10th: Shane Melton of Kokomo, Ind., four bass, 11-0

Day two of the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake will begin Friday a 7 a.m. at Table Rock State Park Marina located at 380 State Park Marina Road in Branson.

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2009-03-12-table-rock-lake 

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