Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 Walmart FLW Tour Lake Eufaula Day 3: Morrow and Thrift One and Two by Ounces!

The numbers game at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Quaker State on Lake Eufaula has turned into a game of musical brush piles. What started as a full field of pros running dozens of brush piles has turned into a handful of leaders running the same brush piles in the same area of the lake.
Now the game is to rotate through the brush piles in hopes of being on the right one when the fish start biting.
The pro who has been the most successful at mastering the musical brush pile mash-up is Troy Morrow, who toted 15 pounds, 4 ounces to the scale today to hold the lead with a slim margin of 4 ounces over a very threatening Bryan Thrift.
Morrow’s game has now turned from running as many brush piles as possible to fishing “around” the pressure being created by other competitors who are targeting the same piles.
“Yeah, I’ve now come to realize how many of us are running some of the same stuff,” Morrow says. “Some of my best piles I hoped no one would find are being fished by others, too. My plan was to sort of flip-flop my piles – hit one set one day, then hit another set another day so the first set could rest. Obviously, that’s all out the window now.”
As a result, Morrow says he now has to be extremely aware of who is fishing what piles at what times.
“It definitely throws you off rotation,” he explains. “The whole game here is to get a good rotation going. Catch one out of this pile; catch one out of the next pile. But if there is a boat on the next one, it sort of kicks you out of rotation and off your rhythm, and you have to adjust for that by avoiding the next two piles and picking up somewhere else farther down the line.”
To be clear, Morrow is not accusing anyone of hole-jumping his spots. He knows that a lot of these brush piles were found by his competitors in practice with the extremely powerful electronics being used these days.
“These fish are so wary of the pressure,” he continues. “It amazes me how ‘set up’ the fish were the first day for a crankbait. They were ready to eat the first thing that came by. But now, they are scattered out away from the piles. I think the pressure literally pushes them out. I caught several fish the last couple days on casts that completely missed the pile.”
Troy Morrow demonstrates his solo netting skills on this keeper.
In terms of lures, Morrow says he has had to move away from the crankbait that produced so well the first day to more inconspicuous lures.
“The main reason is that I just cannot afford to get hung up,” Morrow says. “If you get a bait hung in a pile, it’s over. There are too precious few piles now to screw one up with a hung-up bait.”
Next in line in the standings is day-one leader Clent Davis, who is 2-01 back of Morrow with 52-12. Jeff Gustafson is in fourth with 49-11. And after weighing in the biggest limit of the day – 21-01 – Wesley Strader moved up 11 spots in the standings to fifth place.
The top 10 pros begin tomorrow’s final day of competition at Lakepoint Resort at 6:30 a.m. CT. FLW Live from weigh-in begins at 4 p.m. CT, broadcasting from the Eufaula, Ala., Walmart.
Check back this evening for more details about Morrow’s tournament-leading pattern.
 Top 10 Pros
1. Troy Morrow – Eastanollee, Ga. – 54-13 (15)  
2. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 54-09 (15)
3. Clent Davis – Montevallo, Ala. – 52-12 (15)     
4. Jeff Gustafson – Keewatin, Ontario – 49-11 (15)        
5. Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn. – 49-08 (15)       
6. Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Texas – 47-12 (15)           
7. John Cox – Debary, Fla. – 47-10 (15)    
8. Adrian Avena – Vineland, N.J. – 45-14 (15)      
9. Randy Haynes – Counce, Tenn. – 44-11 (15)   
10. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 44-11 (15)

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