UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Fox Races to the Front

Fox Races to the Front
Travis Fox

On day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake, Travis Fox let one get away from him. Literally, he lost a football of a smallmouth that took a swipe at his topwater right in front of the trolling motor.

Luckily for Fox, he was able to take another crack at the spot today. Whether or not the 5-pound, 14-ounce smallmouth he brought to weigh-in on day two was the same fish that eluded him Thursday we’ll never know, but catching it felt like sweet redemption for the Arkansas pro anyway. Paired with a 6-10 largemouth and three more keepers, that fish helped boost his day-two limit to 24-14 for a two-day total of 40-12 and the lead going into Saturday’s final round of competition. Fox leads Kentucky Lake hammer Mark Rose of the Walmart pro-staff by 5 pounds, 12 ounces. He’s 10-12 ahead of 10th-place pro Christopher Jones of Oklahoma.

In addition to a lead change, day two of this tournament saw changes across the board. Yesterday was sunny with a high of 80 degrees and a westerly wind. Today was overcast and cool, with a north wind and afternoon rain showers. The optimism among offshore specialists is fading now. Yesterday’s warm conditions made it seem like the postspawn ledge bite was about to ignite. Today’s cooler conditions put the kibosh on that it seems.  

Some pros reported a good bite in the rain, while others were kicking themselves for not having a back-up plan for the shift. Most of the top 10 pros are flipping bushes or cranking main-lake gravel bars and drops.

For Fox, it was a day of highs and lows. He caught his kicker smallmouth and largemouth right away then suffered a long drought.

“I was freaking out and grabbing other rods,” he says. “At 1 o’clock I had those two. I thought they were a 6- and an 8-pounder. I thought I had two fish for 14 pounds. Plus I had a 15-incher.”

To fill his limit he hopped around and fished a mix of spawning areas and prespawn staging areas – though there are a few postspawn fish showing up in his spots too. He’s primarily fishing out – meaning not back in the creeks – though wouldn’t say much more than that.

The bedding area is one he found yesterday that produced a couple of his better fish on day one, and he thinks it’s still improving.

“I’ve been on an 11- to 12-pound bag through practice,” Fox says. “I only had one big fish the whole time [in practice]. I’ve gotten lucky for two days. I had seven keepers yesterday and seven keepers today. When you only catch seven fish, you have to get a little lucky. But it’s only going to get better.”

 

Top 10 Pros

1. Travis Fox – Rogers, Ark. – 40-12 (10)  

2. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 35-00 (10)            

3. Ramie Colson Jr. – Cadiz, Ky. – 33-11 (10)                   

4. Jeff Ritter – Prairie Du Chien, Wis. – 32-06 (10)                     

5. Kelly Readhimer – Beech Bluff, Tenn. – 31-15 (10)                

6. Steve Floyd – Leesburg, Ohio – 31-10 (10)                   

7. Daniel Kweekul – Bryant, Ark. – 31-08 (10)                

8. Chris Miranda – Russellville, Ark. – 31-03 (10)                       

9. Todd Schmitz – Goshen, Ind. – 30-04 (10)                   

10. Christopher Jones – Bokoshe, Okla. – 30-00 (10)

Complete results

 

Justin English

English Heads Co-angler Contingent

Justin English is consistent no matter what his pro partners give him. His limits of 13-07 yesterday and 14-15 today have him in first place among co-anglers going into the final day of competition. His two-day total of 28-06 is 2-04 ahead of day-one leader Gary Brookshear.

Yesterday, English caught his fish in shallow water. Paired with pro Ed Gettys today, English was presented with a mix of shallow and deep areas. The shallow pattern didn’t pan out, but once they went deep, he was able to peck away at a limit using a deep-diving crankbait and a 5-inch Ignite swimbait. The owner of Ignite Baits, English proved that he can not only pour swimbaits, he can catch ’em on swimbaits too.

“They’re starting to move out,” he says of the lake’s postspawn bass. “I’ve been here eight days, and it’s getting better.”

 

Top 10 Co-anglers

1. Justin English – Owensboro, Ky. – 28-06 (10)             

2. Gary Brookshear – Lavaca, Ark. – 26-02 (10)               

3. Dustin Roberts – Clarksville, Ark. – 23-15 (10)            

4. Steve Keller Jr. – Bethel, Ohio – 23-05 (10)                 

5. Carl Hemken – Walshville, Ill. – 22-13 (5)                    

6. Scott Parsons – Bentonville, Ark. – 22-09 (8)               

7. Frank Divis Sr. – Farmington, Ark. – 21-13 (8)             

8. Brandon Bridger – Jackson, Tenn. – 20-06 (9)            

9. Clint Long – Raymore, Mo. – 20-01 (9)             

10. Damian Dobrinich – Staunton, Ill. – 20-00 (7)

 

Details

The top 10 pros and co-anglers continue competition Saturday at 6:30 a.m. CT from Paris Landing State Park. Watch the final weigh-in via FLW Live at 3:30 p.m. CT or in-person at Walmart at 1210 Mineral Wells Ave., Paris, TN 38242.

Tags: kentucky-lake  flw-series  travis-fox  curtis-niedermier  headline-story  2016-04-28-kentucky-lake 

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