(Mar 9, 2018 - GAINESVILLE, GA.)
Oklahoma pro Bradley Hallman weighed another solid limit of spotted bass – 18 pounds, 7 ounces – to extend his lead after Day Two of the FLW Tour at Lake Lanier presented by Ranger Boats. The field of 184 boats is now cut to 30, with Hallman bringing a 7-pound, 5-ounce lead into Day Three of the four-day event that features a field of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers competing for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the pro division and $25,000 cash in the co-angler division.
“I feel very fortunate to catch what I did,” said Hallman, a four-year veteran of the Tour who has one previous Tour win. “Around 1 o’clock I only had one little fish. But, it was a nice afternoon for me. I pulled up on a couple of spots and they were there. I caught a 3- and a 4-pounder on back-to-back casts and that really helped me to get right.”
Hallman said that his fishing this week has been “high-risk, high-reward” and he estimated that he ran 35 spots this morning before he switched patterns.
“I’ve got a couple of different deals working and they are two totally different patterns,” Hallman said. “The way that I caught them yesterday is not how I caught them today. I’ve got a little secondary deal that I’m starting to figure out through the week. I only did it for 30 minutes yesterday and I caught a big one. This afternoon I went and did it for the last 3 hours and I caught them.”
Though Hallman didn’t want to reveal any details of his patterns, he did hint that he was throwing reaction baits and of the dozen rods that he had on his deck, 10 were baitcasters and two were spinning rods.
“This lake has been really good to me for two days in a row and it has been a lot of fun to fish here,” Hallman went on to say. “There doesn’t seem to be that many fish pushing, but if you hit the right spot at the right time you can load the boat real quick.”
The top 30 pros that made the first cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Lanier are:
1st: Bradley Hallman, Norman, Okla., 10 bass, 42-2
2nd: David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 10 bass, 34-13
3rd: Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 34-9
4th: Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 10 bass, 34-6
5th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 33-5
6th: Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 10 bass, 32-13
7th: Braxton Setzer, Montgomery, Ala., 10 bass, 32-7
8th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 32-6
9th: Carl Jocumsen, Queensland, Australia, 10 bass, 32-5
10th: Kyle Weisenburger, Ottawa, Ohio, 10 bass, 32-4
11th: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-15
12th: Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 31-5
13th: Tim Cales, Sandstone, W. Va., 10 bass, 31-3
14th: Jason Meninger, Saint Augustine, Fla., 10 bass, 31-2
15th: Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 31-2
16th: David Nichol, Gainesville, Ga., 10 bass, 31-2
17th: Jason Johnson, Dawsonville, Ga., 10 bass, 30-15
18th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 30-14
19th: Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 30-14
20th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 30-8
21st: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 30-5
22nd: Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., 10 bass, 30-3
23rd: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 30-0
24th: Allen Boyd, Salem, Ind., 10 bass, 30-0
25th: James Niggemeyer, Van, Texas, 10 bass, 29-12
26th: General Tire pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 29-7
27th: Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-6
28th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 29-6
29th: Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 29-3
30th: Rob Jordan, Flowery Branch, Ga., 10 bass, 29-2
Felix earned Friday's $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 8-ounce largemouth.
Pro Aaron Britt of Yuba City, California, was disqualified from the tournament after he was found to be in violation of FLW Tour Rule No. 6. The rule states that tournament waters will go off-limits to pros 13 days prior to the first practice day in all tournaments. During the off-limits period, practice and competition days, pros may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except pros confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources.
Overall there were 830 bass weighing 2,048 pounds, 2 ounces, caught by 183 pros Friday. The catch included 139 five-bass limits.
Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 10 ounces, followed by Brad Wiley of Alto, Georgia, who finished in second place with 10 bass totaling 31-1, worth $7,550.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Joe Anders, Easley, S.C., 10 bass, 31-10, $20,000 + $5,000 Ranger Cup
2nd: Brad Wiley, Alto, Ga., 10 bass, 31-1, $7,550
3rd: Joe Eubanks, Marietta, Ga., 10 bass, 25-9, $5,000
4th: Stephen Crawley, Bush, La., 10 bass, 25-3, $4,000
5th: Joel Willert, Lakeville, Minn., 10 bass, 24-12, $3,000
6th: Mark Guhne, Hixson, Tenn., 10 bass, 24-8, $2,500
7th: Greg Ravitsky, Ashburn, Va., eight bass, 24-0, $2,000
8th: Douglas Colson, Cadiz, Ky., 10 bass, 23-13, $1,800
9th: Greg Glouse, Liberty, S.C., 10 bass, 23-7, $1,700
10th: Adam Beckum, Martinez, Ga., 10 bass, 23-6, $1,600
Jim Hippensteel of Rochester, Indiana, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Friday with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.
Overall there were 460 bass weighing 1,055 pounds, 2 ounces, caught by 149 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 40 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of 368 anglers competed in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Lanier presented by Ranger Boats is more than $930,000, including $10,000 through 60th place in the Pro division. The tournament is hosted by the Gainesville Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2018 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 10-12 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST, Saturday morning and at 7:45 a.m. DST Sunday morning (Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday) from Laurel Park, located at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, in Gainesville. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at the park and will begin at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at Laurel Park from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at Laurel Park on Saturday, March 10 from 9-11 a.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Lanier presented by Ranger Boats will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) April 18 from Noon-1 p.m. EST. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the sport’s top anglers on the FLW Tour on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2018 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW and their partners conduct 286 bass-fishing tournaments annually around the world, including the United States, Canada, China, Italy, South Korea, Mexico, Portugal, South Africa and Spain. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.