John Cox has a large history book of bass fishing memories on the Harris Chain of Lakes near his home in DeBary, Fla. Today, Cox had to leaf through many of the chapters in that book to come up with an 18-pound, 15-ounce catch to increase his lead at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger at the Harris Chain. After two days, his total is 44 pounds, 10 ounces, and his lead over Shane LeHew is nearly 6 pounds.
Cox catches them on very difficult day. (Photo: FLW)
Cox stayed committed to the looking game today, running far and wide across the Chain to assemble his catch. To give some idea of how much water he had to run to find bass still clinging to beds, several of his fish were caught up to 10 miles apart.
“I covered a lot of water today,” Cox says. “It’s not like I’m pulling into one secret canal or backwater and catching 19 pounds. I catch one, run, look, run, look, run…catch another and keep looking.”
Cox was headed for an average 12-pound bag today when he made a last-minute decision to check one main lake spawning spot where he found two four-pounders locked on beds.
“Those two fish were the only two I found all day that I felt were new,” he says. “They were still white and bit pretty quick. I caught them off a spot where I won a tournament here several years ago – I never even checked it in practice. And that’s a perfect example of what I’m doing: running down these lakes, filtering through memories of places where I caught a couple of big ones in the past and just pulling in and checking them out.”
Cox says he plans to continue the sight game through the weekend, but he was a little unnerved by not seeing more fish move in, especially with a full moon coming Sunday.
“I really thought I’d see a lot more new movement today,” he says. “I didn’t even see many new males. And that worries me a little bit. But I still have a lot of water I have not looked at yet and, just like today, I’m hoping there are a few more surprises left out there for me.”