Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 BASS Elite Wheeler Lake Day 3: Dave Lefebre Controls Wheeler!

Lefebre vs Omori Shoot Out.

By Thomas Allen
Championship Sunday in Decatur, Ala., will be a shootout as the top anglers battle for the coveted first-place title and the $100,000 that goes with it.
With one day of competition remaining, Dave Lefebre of Erie, Pa., remains in the lead after weighing five bass for 20 pounds, 10 ounces at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Wheeler Lake.
Fishing shallow kept him above the rest. (Photo: BASS)
Lefebre's success comes after a relatively unproductive three days of practice fishing.
"On the first day of the event, I wasn't sure if the pattern I had found was sustainable for more than one day," Lefebre said. "I mean, it was the only spot I found during practice that was producing any good bass at all, and I typically like to have several spots — each with back-up plans."
Lefebre was very pleased with his results on Thursday and Friday, but after weighing 20-10 during today's semi-final round, which pushed his three-day total to 60-9, he is confident that he can win the tournament from his location.
"As soon as I culled out my smallest fish, I backed off the spot around 11 a.m., hoping to save some fish for tomorrow," he said. "I had my limit early enough that I didn't even get a chance to fish the best brushpiles in that part of the lake. Each time I have fished those brushpiles over the past couple of days, I've caught a big one. Keeping those spots untouched for tomorrow is a bonus."
While Lefebre's best areas remain fresh for Sunday's championship round, Takahiro Omori of Emory, Texas, is chipping away at Lefebre's lead after weighing 22-9 for a total of 56-3 in three days of competition.
"In 2011, I fished in the same location that I have been fishing this week," Omori said. "I finished in 12th place at that event, but the last two days have been the best days of fishing I've ever had on Wheeler Lake; it's been a lot of fun. I don't know for sure if I will catch them as well as I did today, but I'd like to think that I will — there are a lot of fish there."
After weighing 19-1 for a total of 51-8, John Crews of Salem, Va., made up some ground after stumbling on Friday. He led on Day 1, but he only managed to catch 12 pounds on Friday and fell back in the standings. Crews made some fine-tuned adjustments on where he was fishing, and caught enough today to bump him back into third place.
"I've fished the same area for the past three days, but I just didn't get the big bites that I needed yesterday, "Crews said. "I did a lot of exploring today, really focusing on the details of the structure, and I found where the bigger fish are located. I left biting fish to make the weigh-in today, which should play to my favor tomorrow."
Also Saturday, Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., has been disqualified from the Wheeler Lake event for violation of Bassmaster Elite Series Rule C3. Clausen appealed the decision and, under Rule C23, is allowed to compete on Sunday. In addition, Rule C23 provides that the "next angler below the cut will be invited to compete on the cut day with the clear understanding that any prize money and points he might earn will be contingent upon the outcome of the appeal." The 13th-place angler, Cliff Crochet of Pierre Part, La., will compete on Sunday. The appeal hearing will be held shortly after the conclusion of the event Sunday.
In addition to the Top 3, competing on Championship Sunday are Casey Ashley (47-8), Bobby Lane (47-7), Greg Hackney (46-9), Clausen (45-10), Gerald Swindle (44-12), James Elam (44-1), Gary Klein (43-11), James Niggemeyer (43-5), Steve Kennedy (43-4) and Crochet (43-0).
Sunday's takeoff is scheduled for 6:15 a.m. CT at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur, Ala., with the final weigh-in.

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