Elias Dominating Lake Guntersville

Elias Dominating Lake Guntersville
Pro leader Paul Elias holds up his two biggest bass from day two on Lake Guntersville.
Photo by Brett Carlson

Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., caught a massive five-bass limit weighing 29 pounds, 3 ounces Friday to widen his lead on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Guntersville presented by Mercury. His two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 55 pounds, 3 ounces gives him a commanding lead heading into the third day of the tournament. Of all of the pros and co-anglers from across the United States that started the tournament, only the top 20 will fish day three and the top 10 will compete for the title on day four.

?I guess the word?s out on what I?m doing,? Elias said. ?I?m throwing an Alabama rig. It?s a new-type rig that some guy from around near Pickwick came up with. It?s just an amazing deal.?

The Alabama rig consists of a hard-bait body that trails four or five wires that have a swivel attached to the end of each wire. Fishermen then tie a variety of baits ? swimbaits, grubs or a variety of other artificial baits ? to the swivels. The baits fan out and are retrieved and mimic a school of baitfish.

?It?s kind of like a crankbait sometimes,? Elias said. ?You can?t always catch them on it unless you?re doing it right.

?I?ve been very fortunate this week,? Elias added. ?When I got on that pattern I just stayed on it and found as many places to fish it that I could find. Today I fished the same three places I fished yesterday. I feel like if I don?t get too crowded out there I can catch them.?

Elias said current plays a major factor in his pattern and the presence of current until about 2 p.m. helped him with his catch. He?s fishing his Alabama rig on a 7-foot, 11-inch Pinnacle flipping rod, a Pinnacle reel and 65-pound-test Spiderwire Ultracast FluoroBraid line.

?That rig is very hard to throw,? Elias said. ?I can manhandle the fish when they bite it. And man, they just really annihilate it when they get it.

?I?m having one of those tournaments where you just say, ?Thank you, Lord,?? Elias added. ?I?m just going to keep going. I?m going to be chunking and winding for two more days. I?ve thrown that (rig) since about noon Sunday and my 60-year-old butt is worn out.?

Robert Behrle of Hoover, Ala., is in the No. 2 spot with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 40-12.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 26 pounds, 13 ounces, followed by Cory Leonard of Castalia, N.C., in second place with seven bass weighing 21-12.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

Anglers will take off from Lake Guntersville State Park located at 7966 Alabama Highway 227 in Guntersville, Ala., at 7 each morning. Saturday and Sunday?s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 11697 Hwy. 431 S. in Guntersville beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo provides the opportunity for fans to interact with professional anglers, ride Ranger boat simulators, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook and on Twitter.

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