Randall Tharp Leads FLW Major On Beaver Lake
Randall TharpBrett Carlson/FLW
Despite the multiple techniques bass fishing professionals employed at a $125,000 Walmart FLW Tour Major on Beaver Lake on April 26, the results were very similar ? just 2 pounds 3 ounces separated first place from 10th.
At the end of the day, EverStart pro Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., held the day one tournament lead with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. Tharp has a 12-ounce lead over Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., who caught five bass weighing 14-11.
?I?m pretty pleased with my weight today,? said Tharp, who has career winnings of more than $640,000. ?But I believe I can catch more fish tomorrow, especially if the wind is blowing. I don?t think anyone else is doing what I?m doing. I?m fishing a certain bait on certain banks and it?s real unique.?
Tharp said he fished areas that he had not targeted in practice. Although he chose to start his day near areas where he had found fish during practice, most of his fish came from areas that he had not fished before.
?I had a real good practice coming into this tournament,? Tharp continued. ?I?m known for practicing from daylight to dark, but for this event I was finishing up around 4 p.m. That was mostly because I did not want people to see where I was fishing. I made sure that I was real cautious today as well ? I tried not to stay in one spot for too long.
?I caught four today very early ? within the first 15 minutes. I had a limit by 8:15 a.m.?
Tharp went on to say. ?I ran pretty far up the river and I caught some up there, and I caught some in the clear water down in the lake. The lake is really unique right now due to the water conditions and the (water) level being down. Several of the bass that I weighed in today were pre-spawn, I saw two spawners and there were quite a few post-spawn fish as well. All five of my bass were largemouth today.?
Despite the odd conditions, Tharp is still extremely confident about the remainder of his tournament
?Beaver Lake is a real tough lake, but that?s when I seem to do my best. I believe that there is a bigger bag out there. I?m pretty confident in my pattern, and believe I?m going to be fishing all four days this week. I?m more confident right now than I was earlier this year when I won at Okeechobee.?
Rounding out the top 10 pros after day one on Beaver Lake are:
3rd: Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., five bass, 14-8
4th: Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., five bass, 14-6
5th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., five bass, 14-5
5th: Christian Romans, Carrollton, Ky., five bass, 14-5
7th: Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., five bass, 14-3
8th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 13-12
9th: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., five bass, 13-9
10th: Thanh Le, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., five bass, 13-4
Romans won $500 for the day's biggest bass, weighing 5 pounds 7 ounces.
Overall pros caught 625 bass weighing 1,144 pounds, 8 ounces. The catch included 92 five-bass limits.
Kettle Brand Chips pro Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., had his day one weight zeroed after inadvertently fishing in an area designated as off-limits for competition.
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, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Chad Pipkens of Holt, Mich., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 10-12 followed by Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas, in second place with five bass weighing 10-11.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:
3rd: Kenny Blackwood, Rogers, Ark., three bass, 9-6
4th: Maurice Cobb, Kuttawa, Ky., four bass, 7-14
5th: Rob Hicks, Lula, Ga., five bass, 7-8
6th: Greg O?Neal, Winchester, Tenn., four bass, 7-7
7th: Ralph Myhlhousen, Council Bluffs, Iowa, five bass, 7-4
8th: Steven Meador, Bella Vista, Ark., five bass, 7-3
9th: Clint Williams, Fayetteville, Ark., five bass, 7-0
10th:Sam Loveless, Somerset, Ky., three bass, 6-14
Pipkens caught Thursday?s big bass weighing 4-8 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 275 bass weighing 420 pounds, 12 ounces caught by co-anglers. The catch included 13 five-bass limits.
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 presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.