“It wasn’t an easy day out there today,” said Reynolds, who has 19 top-10 finishes in FLW Outdoors competition.
“I’m doing what I do best which is flipping. I learned from the best- Dee Thomas and I wouldn’t be here without him.”
Reynolds is flipping a Texas-rigged Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver to catch his quality bass. With winds reaching near 30 mph on day two of competition he managed to get nine bites.
“The wind really hurt me today but it hurt other anglers a lot worse,” he said. “I am in an area that is usually protected, but I fought the north wind hard today. I have a spot where I can catch a small limit in the morning and after that I slow down and concentrate on getting the bigger fish.”
Reynolds has been fishing the Delta for nearly 35 years and with his knowledge of his home water he hopes to stay close to the top of the leaderboard.
“I have fished this water in 30 mph winds plenty of times in tournaments,” Reynolds said. “It’s not easy but with my experience on the Delta I should be able to make the cut.”
Reynolds now holds a solid 7-pound lead over second place pro Ishama Monroe of Hughson, Calif., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 38-08 during the first two days of competition.
“I had over 50 bites today,” Monroe said. “I am catching the fish the way I like to catch them- big rods, big baits and big line.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Ken Schmitt of Livermore, Calif. (10 bass, 36-07); Gary Howell of Stockton, Calif. (10 bass, 35-00) and Richard Smith of Kelseyville, Calif. (10 bass, 34-01).
Reynolds earned the day’s $329 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 8-pound, 3-ounce bass he caught flipping a Sweet Beaver.
Overall there were 485 bass weighing 1,115 pounds, 4 ounces caught by116 pros Thursday. The catch included 76 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fish-Off and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
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Justin Lucas of Folsom, Calif., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of nine bass weighing 24-05 followed by Michael Bryant of Discovery Bay, Calif., in second place with 10 bass weighing 23-08.
“The wind really affects the bite,” said Lucas, who is currently fourth in the National Guard Western Division Co-Angler points race. “Yesterday I had six bites and today I had six bites. I was only able to put four in the boat which hurt.
“Tomorrow, I plan to through a small bait that my pro used today. Making that bait change was key to catching fish today.”
Lucas caught five bass weighing 15-10 while fishing with pro David Kromm of Kennewick, Wash., Wednesday and four bass weighing 8-11 while fishing with pro Hal Zimmerman of Boise, Idaho, Thursday.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Carl Limbrick Jr. of San Diego, Calif. (10 bass, 20-09); Greig Sniffen of Saratoga, Calif. (five bass, 19-15) and Dan Cranston of Visalia, Calif. (seven bass, 19-14).
Mike Hawkins of Logandale, Nev., earned $212 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 7-pound, 1-ounce bass while fishing with pro Michael Tuck of Antelope, Calif.
Overall there were 278 bass weighing 487 pounds, 4 ounces caught by 98 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 15 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000. Like the pros, the top 30 co-anglers from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fish-Off for a shot at qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7:15 each morning from Russo’s Marina located at 3995 Willow Rd. in Bethel Island, Calif. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 4893 Lone Tree Way in Antioch, Calif., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include a trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Series competition, the entire field competes for the first three days, and co-angler competition concludes on day three with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
Coverage of the California Delta FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program airing Dec. 14. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time in most markets. Check local listings for times in your area.
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. FLW Outdoors took 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.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.