Sunday, August 13, 2017

2017 FLW CUP Championship Lake Murray Day 2: Brandon Cobb Leads with 39lbs!

Schoolers key to best limits. 
By Jody White
Cracking another 19-pound bag on day two of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, Brandon Cobb moved into the lead with a total of 39 pounds even. Staying steadier than anyone else in the top group has helped the young South Carolina pro make his third straight Forrest Wood Cup top 10, and he is now driving hard for his first FLW win above the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League level. In second place, Cobb’s roommate Justin Atkins fell off the lead and is 1 pound, 13 ounces behind.
Cobb and roommate Atkins are 1,2 in standings.
(Photo: FLW)
Growing up on Clarks Hill and Lake Hartwell, Cobb has plenty of experience fishing for bass that chow down on blueback herring. That experience, along with his love of August fishing and a surprising ability to deal with the high pressure of the Cup, has Cobb on the hunt in a big way this week.
“Today actually seemed bad. I know 19 pounds doesn’t seem bad, but I kinda got in a bad rotation today,” says Cobb. “I got behind Justin [Atkins], and I got behind somebody else, and I felt like I was fishing spots right after they left. I felt like I was in the right place at the wrong time all day today.”
After an early morning change to his routine, Cobb started to get going, and though he only caught about seven keepers on the day (with one lost 4-pounder), he caught plenty of quality.
Throwing three different topwater baits and a Zoom Fluke, Cobb says he hit about 40 different places, 20 of which he counts as his “prime” spots. Mostly, Cobb is running from one cane pile to the next on the lower end of Murray, but he’s also fishing some more subtle drops and rock features where he’s located schools of herring-eating bass.

Though most of his stops involve pulling up to a waypoint for a few dozen casts, Cobb slowed down a little today in some of his places. Instead of just casting to the target, he caught two of his better fish nearly 100 yards from the spot, simply prospecting around the area.
“This is exactly what you do on Hartwell and the lakes I fish more, like Clarks Hill,” he says. “It’s the same offshore, schooling-type bite. I haven’t done this type of fishing in a long, long time. I knew after practice this was probably what I was gonna do, and I used to love this kind of fishing on Hartwell in college, but I haven’t done it much since I’ve been on Tour. I actually don’t like it that much. It’s aggravating, it’s a lot of work and a lot of times I feel like I’m fishing community holes, and I hate fishing community holes, but it’s just something you’ve got to do.”
Despite a sore foot still on the mend from a broken bone he suffered in May, Cobb is working the herring bite to a T, blazing from hole to hole with a trail of 30-plus spectators eager to see the local kid make it big.
“It’s pretty crazy,” says Cobb. “I had no idea I had that much weight today. I knew that Justin had 15-ish, and I thought I’d still be in third. I didn’t think I’d be ahead.”
 Top 10 pros
1. Brandon Cobb – Greenwood, S.C. – 39-0
2. Justin Atkins – Florence, Ala. – 37-3
3. Anthony Gagliardi – Prosperity, S.C. – 36-1
4. Travis Fox – Rogers, Ark. – 35-0
5. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 33-13
6. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 31-14
7. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 30-14
8. Aaron Britt – Yuba City, Calif. – 29-10
9. Scott Suggs – Alexander, Ark. – 28-8
10. Wesley Strader – Spring City, Tenn. – 28-4­­­­­­­­­­­

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