“Today wasn’t my ideal day,” Andrews said. “The wind didn’t blow and it was 105 degrees. With these conditions I couldn’t catch the fish on a crankbait or a Chatterbait. I tried for two hours this morning and didn’t get a bite.”
Andrews then turned to flipping a Senko and caught 20 fish. He said that the quality of the fish wasn’t what it was the last two days throwing reaction baits.
“I had a consistent bite after I changed baits. The reaction bite just wasn’t there,” Andrews added. “I fished the same area that I have fished all week. It is only a mile from the marina but I am covering a lot of water trying to find quality fish.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Jeremy Zipton of Discovery Bay, Calif. (15 bass, 73-12); Kyle Porter of Acampo, Calif. (15 bass, 69-01); Timothy Venkus of Wilton, Calif. (15 bass, 66-14); and Hunter Schlander of Modesto, Calif. (15 bass, 66-05).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 61 pounds, 15 ounces in the Pro Division are Zack Thompson of Orinda, Calif.; Chris Raza of Roseville, Calif.; Jeff Michels of Lakehead, Calif.; Beau Joudrey of Oakley, Calif.; and Sean Stafford of Fairfield, Calif.
“Right now the wind is blowing so I hope that it continues. The tide will be later so I will have higher water in the morning so I am banking on my reaction bite to pick up,” Andrews said. “I am hoping to catch a big bag. If not I will have to resort to flipping and take my chances using a Senko.”
Venkus earned $280 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 10-pound bass.
Overall there were 871 bass weighing 2,502 pounds caught by 179 pros Friday. The catch included 166 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for as much as $65,000, including a 198VX Ranger powered by Evinrude or Yamaha if contingency guidelines are met, and valuable points toward qualifying for the $1 million Stren Series Championship in Branson, Mo., Nov. 5-8 for a shot at $140,000. After four qualifying events are complete in each of the circuit’s five divisions, the top 40 pros from each division will advance to the championship. The highest-finishing pro from each division at the championship will also earn a spot in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where they will compete against top pros from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour®, Wal-Mart FLW Series®, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League® and TBF (The Bass Federation) for bass fishing’s biggest prize – $1 million.
Tournament pros aren’t the only ones winning big this season. With the introduction of FLW Fantasy Fishing™, FLW Outdoors® offers anyone the opportunity to enter for their chance to land the catch of a lifetime with the opportunity to win $7.3 million in cash and prizes. Players can become a virtual pro angler by signing up for Player’s Advantage, providing them with exclusive insider information that coul guide them to a $100,000 victory at every Wal-Mart FLW Tour® stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. Player’s Advantage will give them an edge over the competition and increase their shot for a $1 million cash grand prize that will be awarded to the FLW Fantasy Fishing cumulative points winner.
Those who visit FantasyFishing.com today can sign up for Player’s Advantage and FLW Outdoors will include a $15 Wal-Mart gift card.
Charles Peak of San Jose, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met, thanks to a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 54-02.
“This has been a long three days,” Peak said. “The name of the game is watching the pro and adjusting to what they are doing.”
Peak said that each day he has had to adjust with the pro he is paired with. He explained that each pro has used a different technique.
“The first day we were flipping, so I fished from the outside to keep my distance from the pro,” Peak said. “The second day I had to adjust to what my new partner was doing and we fished slow and deep throwing a crankbait.
“Today, the third day of competition, I fished tules and found fish in pockets that the pro didn’t find. I caught a total of 15 keepers today fishing three different key areas.
Peak said that if he can get at least 20 pounds tomorrow he will stay on top of the leader board.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Chris Hughes of Orangevale, Calif. (15 bass, 52-14); Aaron Reitz of Soda Springs, Calif. (15 bass, 48-02); Kyle Baker of Lancaster, Calif. (15 bass, 46-04); and Joseph Smink of Modesto, Calif. (15 bass, 45-12).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 43 pounds, 8 ounces in the Co-angler Division are Wayne Antoine of San Francisco, Calif.; Roy Desmangles Jr. of Lincoln, Calif.; Joseph Bricker of Pleasanton, Calif.; Paul Fontaine of Brentwood, Calif.; and Pat Leiser of Antioch, Calif.
Chuck Wood of Fairfield, Calif., earned $142 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 9-pound, 8-ounce bass.
Overall there were 756 bass weighing 1,861 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 173 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 122 five-bass limits.
The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 6:30 Saturday morning from Russo’s Marina located at 3995 Willow Road in Bethel Island. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. The takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday’s weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass. FLW Outdoors is also taking fishing mainstream with the largest cash awards in the history of fantasy sports, $7.3 million.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.