UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Lake Lanier Day 3 Coverage

Lake Lanier Day 3 Coverage
Cody Meyer

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2:10 That’s a wrap on the blog

Most of our crew is headed off the lake now, and it’s time to get things headed toward weigh-in. The pros check-in at 3:15 p.m., and that’s plenty of time for things to change, but right now it looks like Bradley Hallman will take a reduced lead into the final day and some of the top five will have some serious momentum. There’s also a very good chance that Jeff Gustafson will make the top five and be on FLW Live come Sunday.  

Weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. ET, and if you like spotted bass it’s going to be one to watch!

 

1:55 Gussy and Meyer cull again

Jeff Gustafson has probably caught enough 13-pound limits for the entire field today, and he just swapped one 3-pounder out for another a minute ago. He’s crushing, and if he can keep the pace up tomorrow Bradley Hallman had better look sharp.

Cody Meyer also just culled, but he hasn’t really contacted anything like the two bigs he started the day with.

 

1:45 What does rain smell like?

Supposedly some of our on-the-water crew can smell rain coming. It’s definitely clouding up and cooling off a bit, but there’s no precipitation yet. That said, if you’re coming to weigh-in you should probably bring a rain coat.

Also, Carl Jocumsen has finally filled his limit. He’s got over 12 pounds and is going to be right on the bubble to fish day four.

 

1:35 Cobb has five!

Brandon Cobb has mastered the art of sliding into the top 30 cut with nothing left in the tank. It’s taken him all day, but he just filled out his limit for close to 10 pounds. He was one to watch pre-tournament for sure, and his finish won’t disappoint Fantasy Fishing owners, but scuffling on two straight cut days is a bit of a bummer.

 

1:30 Meninger limits and culls

Jason Meninger got off to a heck of a start on day one, but he’s trailed off since. Today he’s got a small limit in the boat and just made his first cull with a 2-pounder. There’s time, but the local-turned-Floridian probably had a lot more in mind than scrapping for the cut after weigh-in on day one.

 

1:14 Another cull for Birge

Zack Birge has fooled another good one with his swimbait. This time it’s about a 3-pounder and it’ll get him up over 13 pounds. He’s now essentially tied for second with Gussy.

 

 

1:04 JJ update

Jason Johnson looks poised to be the only local in the top 10 on the final day. He’s made about 35 stops or so on different offshore things and has just shy of 13 pounds at the moment. He probably needs one or two more culls this afternoon to do it, but boy would it mean a lot to him if he can swing it. JJ has never made the top 10 as a pro on the FLW Tour, and his home pond would be the perfect place to do it.

 

12:50 Meyer culls, weight speculation

Cody Meyer just culled up a smidge. He’s got almost 15 pounds now and seems like a lock to make the top 10. Meyer has a total weight of about 46 pounds at the moment, and judging by how the rest of the top anglers are stacked up, it looks like it’ll take a bit more than 44 pounds to make the top 10 cut.

 

12:40 Davis culls again

Alex Davis is working with some pretty good weight today. Starting the day back in 27th, Davis just made a 2-pound cull and is up to more than 15 pounds. It looks like his Lewis Smith expertise is paying off, and he’s got a good shot at fishing on the final day if he keeps it up.

 

12:22 Stefan limits, Thrift up to four

Starting the day back a ways in 28th, Matt Stefan finally finished out his limit. It’s not special, but he’s got plenty of time left to cull his way up.

Starting the day in fifth, Bryan Thrift has done pretty poorly today, but he just caught three more keepers to get up to four fish. None of them are that special, so unless he really turns it on in the afternoon (as he’s all too capable of doing), he might be well out of the top five after weigh-in.

 

12:18 Birge culls

Zack Birge just popper a 3-pounder on his swimbait and culled up to around 13 pounds. He’s going well today for sure.

 

12:08 Williams’ deal might be getting right

David Williams just saw a good fish and missed one, and he’s getting pretty excited. It’s warming up and getting a little breezier in places, and it might be prime time for him to catch a big largemouth.

 

12:04 Osborne gets a good one

Jordan Osborne just landed a 4-pounder on a swimbait to bring his total up to about 13 pounds. That’s a good place to be at, and he’s got a good chance to slide into the top 10 if he can rustle another good one or two.

 

11:55 Limits out the wazoo

It’s just about noon and we’ve got a ton of limits on the board now. Anglers with limits include: Bradley Hallman, Jeff Gustafson, Zack Birge, Cody Meyer, David Williams, Austin Felix, Joseph Webster, David Dudley, Jason Johnson, Braxton Setzer, Scott Martin, Jordan Osborne, Kyle Weisenburger, Allen Boyd and Rob Jordan.

 

11:45 Hallman limits

Hallman has a long way to go to make his lead truly unassailable, but his fifth keeper will for sure help the cause. It’s not big at all, but they all count, and now he can probably fish with a bit calmer mind.

 

11:38 Jocumsen report

Carl Jocumsen is one shy of a limit and has one big one and three mediums in the livewell now. He’s cranking a bunch, which is a pattern we thought we might see a little more of this week, though he’s the only one really making it work at the moment.

 

 

11:30 Hallman isn’t done yet

Bradley Hallman just boated a 3-pounder to get back in the lead and up to four keepers. Now he’s got one that is surely coming to weigh-in and the conditions seem to edging into his favor, with a little more wind and sun.

 

11:20 It seems to have toughened up

Despite the nice weather, the fishing seems to be a lot tougher for some today. The lack of wind is probably hurting the bite, but with Gussy catching them as well as he is and Zack Birge and others doing well too, it’s certainly possible to get something going.

 

 

 

11:15 Gussy culls again

Jeff Gustafson has rocketed up the leaderboard today. Though Bradley Hallman hasn’t completed his limit yet, Gussy is now basically tied with him and has about 17 pounds in the boat.

 

10:50 Williams upgrades, more weather

With Bradley Hallman still on three, David Williams just made a small upgrade a bit ago. He’s not on the big largemouth game he was hoping for, but there’s plenty of time left.

Also, it’s basically gone from sunny to overcast in the last 30 minutes or so. So, things are changing out on Lanier.

 

10:35 Gussy hits 15 pounds

Jeff Gustafson just worked up over 15 pounds with another 3-pounder. He’s video gaming down in the lower lake and doing it very successfully. Fishing for suspended bass is right in his wheelhouse, so he’s probably awfully happy today.

 

10:22 Gussy!

Jeff Gustafson just culled again – he’s on killer numbers so far today and has about 13 pounds in the boat at the moment.

 

10:20 Meyer and Davis

Starting the day out in 20th and 28th respectively, Cody Meyer and Alex Davis are lighting it up so far. Meyer just culled to get up to 15 pounds (the first to hit that mark). Davis has only four fish, but three of them are 3 pounds or better – he’s already got 12 pounds in the boat without a limit.

 

10:10 Felix limits out, weather report

Austin Felix has wrapped up a decent little limit now and it’s time to cull. He’s fishing painfully (or perhaps delightfully) slow with a Keitech in drains and ditches and is unofficially in second place now.

The weather is simply delightful on Lanier now. It’s not really warm enough to play on the lake, but it’s calm and the temperature is rising up into the high 50s now. Looking at the forecast, it seems like today might stay that way, with really nice conditions until weigh-in.

 

9:50 Birge and Williams

Zack Birge just finished off his limit with a 2-pounder. Everyone will have limits today, but the 4-pounder he caught early gives him a leg up for sure.

Meanwhile, David Williams hasn’t had a bite in a while. He’s targeting flatter shorelines with docks and some vegetation and was certainly pretty dialed in practice.

 

9:45 Gussy is cooking

After finishing out a decent limit a bit ago, Jeff Gustafson just roped a 4-pounder to get to around 12 pounds. Gussy started the day in 15th as the only member of Team Canada in the top 30, and his fan base would like nothing more than to see him surge up 10 spots or so for another FLW Live appearance tomorrow.

 

9:30 Hallman gets his third

Bradley Hallman just popped another 2-pounder in the boat on the shaky head. With that, he’s got a whopping 4-pound lead again after relinquishing it to Williams for a moment. He’s fishing in a marina now and going slow.

 

9:25 Hallman and Felix

Bradley Hallman just netted a solid 2+ keeper for his second. Austin Felix is winding a Keitech and just put his third in the boat – a decent one that’s close to 3 pounds.

 

9:05 Setzer and Gussy limit, Niggemeyer gets a good one

Braxton Setzer and Jeff Gustafson just wrapped up small start limits of spotted bass. Now they need some big bites.

James Niggemeyer seems to be only getting good bites today. Though he only has two, his first was a solid 2-pound largemouth and his second is a big 4-pound spotted bass.

 

9:00 Williams is fishing pockets, Weisenburger limits

Running to a pocket with docks near where the Chestatee and Chattahoochee intersect, David Williams has started fishing like he’s back in North Carolina. Slinging a jig and a vibrating jig, he’s moving fairly quickly through the docks and flooded dogfennel in search of a largemouth.

Starting the day in tenth place, Kyle Weisenburger just finished a small limit.

 

 

8:46 Felix gets on the board, Williams heads for the green ones

Austin Felix just caught a 2-pounder to get his day rolling. Meanwhile, David Williams has cranked up and headed for his largemouths.

Also, Alex Davis just caught a nice 3-pounder for his second keeper.

 

8:28 Williams and Birge

David Williams just finished out his limit and then picked up a jerkbait to cull slightly. He’s still got all spotted bass, but he’s got over 10 pounds now.

Zack Birge just landed his fourth as well, and now has four in the box for about 8 pounds.

 

8:20 Meyer with another

Cody Meyer started the day in 20th, but he’s turned on the charm for big spots this morning. He’s only got two in the boat, but one is a nudge under 4 pounds and the other is well over 4 pounds. He’s probably the best spotted bass angler in the world, so things could get exciting today if he can wrangle a few more big bites.

 

8:15 Webster is the first to a limit

Joseph Webster finished up a 10-pound limit a short while ago. He’s got one good one, so you can about book him for 13 pounds already – we’ll see if he can scrap up some more big bites to make a run at Bradley Hallman.

 

 

8:00 Hallman strikes

Fishing offshore and deep, Bradley Hallman just caught his first fish, a decent 2-pounder.

 

7:55 Williams and others with fish

David Williams is skipping a jig under walkways and just boxed up his third keeper spotted bass.

Other anglers that already have fish are Allen Boyd with four. Rob Jordan, Scott Martin, Kyle Weisenburger and James Watson all have two. Also, Jason Reyes, James Niggemeyer, Matt Stefan and Jeff Gustafson all have one.

 

7:43 More big bites, the leaders

Continuing to keep track of big fish for the most part, Cody Meyer just started his day with a 4-pounder. Joseph Webster started with a 1-pounder or so, but his second is a slammer 4-pound spotted bass.

Of note, Bradley Hallman doesn’t have a fish yet and Williams’ limit plan seems to have stalled a bit.

 

 

7:23 Birge catches a 3-pounder, Jocumsen catches a big one

Slinging a swimbait, Zack Birge started his day with a 3-pounder. That fish is probably going to make the trip back to weigh-in. Starting the day in ninth, Carl Jocumsen just boxed a 4-pound spotted bass on a crankbait to get rolling in a big way. 

 

 

7:22 Williams already on the board

Basically half the field has caught a fish already, but David Williams has two. He’s planning on fishing for largemouths later, but he pulled up to a marina early this morning to try and get a quick limit of spotted bass. So far so good.

 

 

 

 

7:00 The weekend begins

If it weren’t for Bradley Hallman, the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Lanier would be one of the most tightly contested tournaments in recent memory. As it is, the rest of the top 30 are smashed together as tight as can be, and Hallman is streaking ahead of the field. Fishing the same lake as everyone else (really!), the lanky Oklahoma pro sacked up 23-11 on day one and added 18-7 on day two for a massive 42-2 total. At the moment, he leads by over 7 pounds, which is reminiscent of the 8-pound, 8-ounce lead he carried into the weekend when he won on Okeechobee in 2016.

Behind him, the top 30 is stacked with great anglers and some exceptional locals, but none of them have really come close to Hallman yet. They’ve certainly proven that Lanier is an amazingly productive fishery in the spring, but none of them seem to be in striking range at the moment. Of course, Hallman had one fish in the boat around 11 o’clock on Friday, so it’s certainly not a given that he coasts through the weekend. If he does let up, you can bet a few from the pack will be doing the work on their side as well.

Hallman is dialed on spotted bass, as are most of the top 30 anglers, but largemouths have played a role. In particular, David Williams is targeting exclusively largemouths and is in second place, and Austin Felix caught a 5-pound largemouth on day two to put together his 19-pound bag. With warming weather and fewer anglers, largemouths could become even more of a factor this weekend, but it’s very unlikely that the spots will cease to be the majority.

Today’s weather shift could be extremely important. Days one and two were fought under cold and bright conditions, and it only really began to warm later in the afternoon on Friday. Though this morning looks fairly nice and overcast, it looks like the pros will have some warmish rain to deal with in the afternoon. Sunday looks downright nasty, with a 90 percent chance of rain all day. According to David Dudley, Lanier bass love crappy weather, so anyone who makes it to Sunday could have some very damp fun.

Finally, today will be the day to actually learn some patterns. A lot of the deeper spotted bass action is pretty self-explanatory, but we should explore that quite a bit today. We’ll also track Hallman closely – he’s worried about the ease with which other pros or locals could duplicate his pattern, but it’s going to fun to watch him run it.

 

Conditions

Temperature at takeoff: 41 degrees

Forecast high: 64 degrees

Sky: overcast

Precipitation: 70 percent chance of rain, mostly after noon

Wind: southwest at 9 mph

 

Tournament Details

Folgers Morning Takeoff: 7:00 a.m. ET at Laurel Park, 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville, Ga.

Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. ET at Laurel Park and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Laurel Park

FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Laurel Park

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET

Complete details

Tags: headline-story  2018-03-08-lake-lanier 

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