Friday, March 9, 2012

Walmart FLW Lake Hartwell Day 2: Dan Morehead in Control for Second Day

Kentucky veteran maintains lead at FLW Tour Lake Hartwell event, Lauer surges into co-angler lead, top-20 cut announced
09.Mar.2012 by Gary Mortenson

ANDERSON, S.C. – Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., is clearly feeling a lot better these days. After battling a terrible 24-hour virus that greatly curtailed his pre-fishing schedule and left him scrambling to come up with any sort of game plan for this week’s FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell, Morehead now finds himself atop the leaderboard for the second day in a row.
Morehead in control for in Day 2!
(Photos: Gary Mortenson FLW)
Morehead’s unlikely ascent to the top is a testament to his continued perseverance as well as his veteran fishing savvy accumulated after years of hard work. But obviously, at least so far, this has been one of the harder challenges of his career.
“When I launched my boat on the first day of the tournament, I was just hoping to get a check,” said Morehead. “So this is truly a blessing from God. But man, it was a grind just to generate a bite today. It was pretty tough out there.”
Morehead said that he’s using a combination of Alabama Rigs and soft plastics to target staging bass relating to blueback herring.
“My boat is sitting in about 30 feet of water and I’m concentrating on narrow cuts where the bass are suspended,” he said. “They’re staging right now but they’re hanging around those narrow cuts trying to ambush those herring. But today was definitely a grind for me. I probably only had nine keeper bites all day.

“I’m basically running and gunning and hitting a lot of different spots that look right,” Morehead continued. “But there were definitely times when I felt like I was grasping for straws out there.”
As far as tomorrow is concerned, Morehead said he has no idea what to expect.
“This lake is really unpredictable right now,” he said. “But you know what? Sometimes that’s when I fish the best. I’ve made the cut right now and I’ve qualified for the (2012 Forrest Wood) Cup so I don’t have any pressure on me at all. I’m just going to go out there and go fishing tomorrow.”
Ehrler continues his climb
After finishing the day in third place overall at the end of yesterday’s competition, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., now finds himself a mere 9 ounces off the overall lead in second place.
Brent trailing but just by a bit. One good bite can
make a huge change
“I feel great,” said Ehrler of today’s finish. “I actually don’t like leading the tournament until the final day. So I’m fine with second place right now.”
Ehrler said he’s continuing to pick apart Lake Hartwell, targeting fish in anywhere from 2 to 50 feet of water with a combination of drop-shots and reaction baits.
“I’m really bouncing around a lot but I do have a couple of key spots I really like,” he said. “The key is really just to be around the fish because once you find them, you can catch them a lot of different ways. Today I used about six to eight different rods. I used a drop-shot and several different reaction baits and wound up with about 15 keepers. It’s definitely a fun lake to fish.”
Ehrler said that timing is equally important.
“Being at the right spot at the right time is important,” he said. “It’s really a timing issue. You could be at the right spot but if they’re not feeding, you’re not going to catch them. The fish are definitely staging right now and they want to move up. So they will feed, stop feeding and then start up again. And you have hit them at the right time.”
As for tomorrow, Ehrler says that the reduced field – as a result of the top-20 cut – will make the lake even more wide open.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow,” said Ehler, who now boasts a two-day catch of 36 pounds, 6 ounces. “They’re will be a lot less people on the water and I won’t have to worry about fishing behind somebody. It’s really going to spread things out nicely.”
Frazier makes his move
Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., leapfrogged from fifth place to third on the strength of a two-day catch totaling 36 pounds, 5 ounces.
“This is the first time I’ve done well two days in a row so I’m pretty excited about it,” said Frazier. “I had an awful time at (the first FLW Tour event) at Lake Okeechobee and was feeling pretty down about that. So it’s nice to be where I’m at. I’m finally making the right decisions.”
Frazier said that he has been targeting one particular creek this entire tournament and that’s exactly where he plans to spend the rest of the event as well.
“I’m fishing quarter-mile stretches of this one creek. I’ve caught everything so far on one crankbait,” he said. “But I’m having to move around a ton. I’ll start out my day in deeper water closer to the lake and then, later in the day, I’ll move shallower. It’s a pretty obvious pattern. But it’s not easy. It’s a grind. And a limit, at least for me, is really hard to come by.”
Today, Frazier said his fortunes were greatly bolstered after he landed a 5-pounder at 2:30 p.m. with time literally winding down in the day.
“That really helped,” he said. “I’m only 23 years old. And one of my main goals I set this year was just to make a cut. And I’ve already done that. So I’m pretty happy right now.”
And what about Saturday’s competition?
“I’ll be back in that same area,” he said. “That’s all I’ve got at this point.”
Best of the rest
Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., finished the day in fourth place overall with a total catch of 35 pounds, 5 ounces. Meanwhile, Marty Stone of Fayetteville, N.C., landed in fifth place with a catch of 33 pounds, 15 ounces.
Rounding out the top-10 pros:
6th: Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., 33-6
7th: Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., 33-6
8th: Tom Monsoor of Lacrosse, Wisc., 32-15
9th: Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz., 32-7
10th: Clifford Pirch of Payson, Ariz., 32-0
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., took home the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division after landing a 7-pound largemouth. Christie won $500 for his catch.
For a complete list of the day’s results, click here.
Lauer takes advantage of incredible day
Heading into today’s competition, David Lauer of Loxahatchee, Fla., was in 61st place and in desperate need of a major haul into order to qualify for today’s top-20 cut. And that’s exactly what he got. After boating an eye-popping limit of 20 pounds in Friday’s competition, Lauer soared up the leaderboard and grabbed the top spot heading into Saturday’s co-angler finals.
And he could not have been happier.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Lauer, who boasts a total catch of 26 pounds, 15 ounces. “I’ve had a lot of top-10 finishes before but I’ve never won one. Hopefully this time I will finally get that first win. But no matter what, it’s a great way to start the year.”
So how exactly did Lauer engineer the greatest comeback of the tournament to date?
“At about 1 p.m. I had two little fish in the boat,” he said. “And then I landed that 6-pounder. At that point, I was thinking, ‘At least now I’ll get a check.’ But then my partner pulled into a pocket and for the next 30 minutes it was game-on. It was clearly a timing deal.”
Lauer said that he rounded out his limit fishing a combination of All-Terrain jigs and Shaky Heads equipped with Zoom Trick worms.
Amazingly enough, Lauer said that everything he learned in practice hasn’t helped him in the slightest so far in the tournament.
“It’s funny, in practice, all I did was fish in shallow water,” he said. “And in the tournament, with the way my partners were fishing, everything I caught was out deep. As far as tomorrow goes, I’ll just have to see what (Dan) Morehead is doing. Hopefully I’ll be able to get that elusive win.”
Best of the rest
Kevin Gordon of Aiken, S.C., used a total catch of 25 pounds, 2 ounces to grab the runner-up position heading into Saturday’s all-important co-angler finals.
Meanwhile, Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., qualified in third place with a catch of 24 pounds, 14 ounces.
“Anytime you make a top-20 or top-10 cut it’s awesome,” said Peek. “I really mixed it up out there today. I probably used about 10 to 12 different lures. Fishing as a co-angler, especially on this lake, you really have to be versatile.”
Rich Dalbey of Greenville, Texas, used a total catch of 24 pounds, 8 ounces to grab fourth place overall.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Dalbey. “I really didn’t expect this. I’m just looking forward to tomorrow. Then we’ll see what happens.”
Dalbey said that he’s thankful that he has been able to land some big bites on each day of the competition.
“It’s actually pretty tough out there,” he said. “You really have to stay focused. For me the key has been getting those big bites in the boat. Yesterday, I caught a 6-pounder and today, I caught a 5-pounder on my last cast.”
Dalbey said that he used a combination of crankbaits and Shaky Heads to land the majority of his catch.
Alex Posey of Roswell, Ga., finished the day in fifth place with a total catch of 23 pounds, 6 ounces.
Rounding out the top-10 co-angler qualifiers:
6th: David Kuykendall of Fletcher, N.C., 23-4
7th: Doug Caldwell of Kane, Pa., 23-0
8th: Jim Jeff Townsend of Philadelphia, Pa., 22-12
9th: Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., 22-9
10th: Allen Murray of Reidsville, Ga., 22-3
For a complete list of the day’s results, click here.
Bass-fishing fans take note
FLW Tour action continues during Saturday’s takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. at Portman Shoals Marina, located at 1629 Marina Road in Anderson, S.C.
Daily on-the-water coverage will also be available online at beginning at takeoff. To see up-to-the-minute tournament updates, click here.
In addition to takeoff and weigh-in action, fans in the Greenville, S.C., area will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the TD Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo courtesy of The Greenville News. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV courtesy of WESC 92.5. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Want to watch the weigh in live but can’t make it in person? Then tune into FLW Live on shortly before 4 p.m. Eastern Time to watch live streaming video and audio of Saturday’s weigh in.
Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs April 15 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide.

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