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Friday, March 28, 2014
2014 Walmart FLW Tour San Rayburn Day 1: Rick Cotton Top with 25 lbs!
Big Sam was wicked and many veteran suffered. by Curt Niedermier FLW Press Release
Big wind, big lakes, big bass – it’s a perfect storyline for the “everything’s-bigger-in-Texas” shootout that’s playing out at the Sam Rayburn Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Chevy.
Cotton's approach was good enough for first even with a lack luster practice. (Photo: FLW)
Pro Rick Cotten of Guntersville, Ala., slammed 25 pounds, 15 ounce to jump into the early lead over Blacksburg, S.C., pro Andy Montgomery, who weighed 24 pounds, 11 ounces.
Four of the top-10 anglers surpassed 20 pounds, and the 20th-place cut currently sits at 16 pounds, 13 ounces.
“This was a total surprise based on my practice,” Cotten said. “I had about 16 pounds in practice, and they just kind of moved in.”
Like many in the field, Cotten lamented the effects of south winds that began gusting across Sam Rayburn at 15 to 20 mph right from the start of competition. Rather than tear across the lake and hit the few spots he located in practice, Cotten camped out in one spot on what he called an “all-day deal.”
“I didn’t catch my last fish until 30 minutes before weigh-in,” he said. “I just kept fishing hard. They’re not really holding on anything, other than a little grass line. Who knows if they’ll be there tomorrow.”
Most of the top anglers fell into one of two camps today: cover water with reaction baits or thoroughly scour a few key spots with bottom baits. Cotten is among the slow-fishing group. He landed seven quality fish from a roughly 2-acre area with just two lures – the same two lures he’s been using since the start of practice.
“Honestly, I think these were mostly prespawn fish,” Cotten said. “Fishing slow was necessary to coax a bite. They haven’t really moved up in numbers yet, but I think they’ll move in more as the weekend goes on.”
Check back this evening for the patterns of the rest of the top five from stop No. 3 of the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour on Sam Rayburn.