UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Grand Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Melton takes Table Rock wire to wire

Melton takes Table Rock wire to wire
For winning the FLW Tour event on Table Rock, co-angler Shane Melton earned $25,000.

BRANSON, Mo. - Up until Wednesday, Shane Melton had never led an FLW Outdoors tournament. But after catching 13 pounds, 9 ounces on day one, that all changed. But even more impressive is how Melton stayed consistent the next two days on an ultra-tough Table Rock Lake. The fruit of his labor was a first-place check worth $25,000.

On day one, Melton fished Bryan Thrift, one of the most promising young anglers in the sport. Thrift had located a productive staging area up the White River and the two immediately went to work. The action was fast and furious early and Melton walked away with the lead. The second day he drew Mark Rose, an excellent Ozark fisherman. Again capitalizing on an early-morning bite, Melton caught three keeper bass that weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces.
Co-angler Shane Melton of Greentown, Ind., shows off the 6-2 kicker that sealed his Co-angler Division win on Table Rock.
On day three the Greentown, Ind., native was paired with pro Chad Morgenthaler. He was fishless at noon and that was concerning - especially considering he knew the best bite was over. Worse yet was that he accidentally broke his only spinning rod earlier in the day. Not having it precluded him from swimming his beloved Mann's Sting Ray grub. Instead he was forced to tie on a 7/16-ounce Eakins' jig with a Yamamoto twin-tail trailer.

"At about 12:30 something finally thumped it," said Melton. "I brought it up from about 20 feet of water and it was a giant. But that was the only bite I got all day."

That kicker largemouth weighed 6 pounds, 2 ounces and pushed his three-day total weight to 26 pounds, 10 ounces.

"The grub was absolutely the key. When you fish a grub, you're hoping to get bit on the fall. With the jig, you just drag it super slow back to the boat."

Melton tied the grub to 6-pound Berkley Vanish and the jig to 12-pound Vanish.

At weigh-in, he wasn't sure if his single catch was enough. Brad Roberts, the defending Forrest Wood Co-angler champion Shane Melton of Greentown, Ind., holds up his trophy. Cup champion, was in second place and had brought in 16 pounds, 9 ounces the previous day. And then he saw various people congratulating Roberts while he was in line to weigh in.

"For the last half hour I thought it was over. I thought Brad had it."

Melton then reflected on what was a nerve-wracking, yet satisfying week.

"In 2006 I was the state Federation champ. But to win on a national level is phenomenal. I don't know what to make of it just yet."

The win earned Melton, a police officer in Kokomo, Ind., a nice check. But fishing is about more than just the money to him.

"Fishing is my getaway. I get away from chasing bad guys and get to fish with these guys, who are my heroes. Fishing is truly my release; this is where I get my peace."

Roberts' rally comes up just shortNancy, Ky., co-angler Brad Roberts finished second with 26 pounds, 1 ounce.

Roberts, of Nancy, Ky., nearly pulled off an Iaconelli-esque last-minute victory. Without a single keeper at 3 p.m., he caught two nice largemouths and lost another in the last hour of the day. Those fish weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and pushed his total to 26-1. Ultimately, Roberts came 10 ounces from back-to-back victories.

"I thought maybe I had it," he said. "That last fish came with seven minutes left and it just felt like maybe it was meant to be."

Roberts used a Cumberland Pro 3/8-ounce casting jig in oops color (brown/orange/chartreuse mix). He tipped the jig with a Barren River craw.

"I lost that one fish and I'll never know. We were fishing some standing timber and I never got it good and tight. It could have been the one."

Roberts' consolation prize is a check worth $9,862. In addition, he earned an extra $2,500 for being the highest-finishing co-angler participating in the Cabela's Angler Cash program.

Rest of the best
Third-place co-angler Mark Myers holds up his biggest bass from day three on Table Rock Lake.
Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, launched up the leaderboard with a 14-pound, 14-ounce limit - the only limit of the day while paired with Chevy pro Larry Nixon. Fishing downlake most of the day, Myers caught his bass on a variety of reaction baits.

"I caught two on a Jackall Squad Minnow, one on a Bomber Flat A and two on a homemade crankbait that I weighted to get it to suspend. My big fish came in the last hour."

Van Roy Foster took fourth place in the Co-angler Division with 16 pounds, 5 ounces.He finished the tournament with 18 pounds, 13 ounces and earned $7,395.

Van Roy Foster Jr. of Dalton, Ga., caught four nice bass Friday weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces. Like Myers', Foster's sizeable catch sprung him up the leaderboard and into fourth place. Foster's total weight was 16 pounds, 5 ounces and he earned $4,928. Anchoring that catch was a kicker largemouth that weighed 5 pounds, 9 ounces.

"I was throwing a Megabass jerkbait and my partner (Chris Baumgardner) was using a crankbait. Whenever I could get the bait in exactly 8 feet of water I would get a bite. I practiced with Randall Tharp and that's how I figured this pattern out."

Sean Stepp of Stafford, Va., moved up to fifth place after catching three good fish weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Stepp finished the event with a total weight of 16 pounds, 4 ounces - earning $3,942.

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers at the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake:

6th: Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., 15-9, $2,955
7th: Teddy Bradley of Mishawaka, Ind., 15-6, $2,462
8th: Mike Foree of Osage Beach, Mo., 13-12, $1,968
9th: Jerry Willis of Atlanta, Ga., 13-4, $1,722
10th: Chad Parks of Olive Branch, Miss., 13-2, $1,475

Tags: brett-carlson  co-angler-headline  2010-03-03-table-rock-lake 

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