Along with a strong limit on day two weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces, Coleman caught an impressive 7-pound, 5-ounce bass to earn $750 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division. Coleman, a veteran Stren Series and Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League angler, has two BFL top-10s but has never finished in the top 10 in a Stren Series event. Coleman, however, was the only angler in the tournament to catch a limit each day of the first round, and he appears primed for his first top-10.
"I'm fishing up the river in a sneaky little spot that I have to slip in to," Coleman said. The water is stained and shallow and the water temp is starting at 53 degrees in the morning and rising to 57 degrees in the afternoon. It's a few degrees warmer than the main lake, and I think that's a key to my pattern. I caught a keeper on my first four casts this morning, so I was basically done fishing in 10 minutes."
Rounding out the top five pros are Robert Lee of Angels Camp, Calif. (eight bass, 21 pounds, 13 ounces); Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, Calif. (eight bass, 20 pounds, 1 ounce); John Billheimer Jr. of Discovery Bay, Calif. (five bass, 19 pounds, 12 ounces); and Fred Ward of Phoenix, Ariz. (seven bass, 17 pounds, 15 ounces).
Travis Jarvis of Caldwell, Idaho, leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of five bass weighing 14 pounds, 1 ounce. Included in Jarvis' catch was a 4-pound, 3-ounce bass, which won the Co-angler Division Snickers Big Award and $250.
"I was drop-shotting man-made structure and grass beds in clear water with a Robo worm today," Jarvis said. "But yesterday I was up the river in stained water fishing a marina. I'm catching mostly largemouths."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Mike Iloski of Escondido, Calif. (five bass, 12 pounds, 4 ounces); Randy Bruno of Huntington Beach, Calif. (four bass, 11 pounds, 9 ounces); Terrence Rath of Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (six bass, 11 pounds, 5 ounces); and Jody Rice of Bethel Island, Calif. (four bass, 10 pounds, 15 ounces), who jumped into the top five from 32nd place.
Anglers caught a total of 278 bass Thursday weighing 648 pounds, 5 ounces. All bass were weighed alive.
Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. Mountain time at Lake Havasu State Park and are free to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of three rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday and Thursday, and the top 20 pros and co-anglers - based on two-day accumulated weights - advance to day three. Anglers start at zero Thursday and compete for 10 spots in each division in the final round. Winners are determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Stratos Owners Tournament Trail. These circuits offer combined purses of $36.9 million through 241 events in 2006.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.
Wal-Mart and many of America's largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world's leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Wal-Mart.com.