Fritts Still Leads Walmart FLW Series Event on Clarks Hill Lake
Category: press release
Oct 25th, 2008 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 25th, 2008 at 12:00 AM
APPLING, Ga. – Chevy pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 4 ounces Friday to widen his lead in the $1 million Walmart FLW Series® BP Eastern Division tournament on Clarks Hill Lake. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 52-14, he holds a 15-pound, 9-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Thanh Le of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., heading into the final day of competition.
“I went to a totally new spot today,” said Fritts, who has four first place finishes on the FLW Tour. “I still have five areas that I haven’t fished.
“Obviously, I am fishing something that no other angler is fishing. I still haven’t seen anyone fishing the way I am and that’s where the big fish are.”
Fritts said that most of the fish that he caught today were in 25 to 30 feet of water. He said that he lost count of how many keepers he had on day three of competition.
“It was really easy today, I left them biting,” Fritts said. “I plan on fishing the same areas that I have been fishing and work some of the other areas in.”
Le caught a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 37-05 to advance to the final round as the No. 2 seed.
Rounding out the top five pros are National Guard angler Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala. (15 bass, 37-02); Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La. (15 bass, 36-01) and National Guard angler Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. (15 bass, 35-01).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces in the Pro Division are Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C.; Terry Bolton of Jonesboro, Ark.; Jim Dillard of Bauxite, Ark.; Jimmy McMillan of Belle Glade, Fla.; and Koby Kreiger of Okeechobee, Fla.
Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Mount Juliet, Tenn., earned the day’s $392 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 1-ounce bass.
Overall there were 527 bass weighing 870 pounds, 1 ounce caught by 125 pros Friday. The catch included 80 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fish-Off and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2009 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
Robert Rikard of Lexington, S.C., won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Friday with a three-day total of 14 bass weighing 26 pounds, 3 ounces followed by Ron Fabiszak of South Bend, Ind., in second place with 13 bass weighing 25-09 worth $8,403.
Rikard opened the tournament in third place Wednesday with five bass weighing 7-11 while fishing with pro Mark Shepard of Clewiston, Fla. On Thursday he jumped to first place on the strength of four bass weighing 10-06 while fishing with pro Tommy Biffle of Wagnor, Okla. He wrapped up the win Friday with a five-bass catch weighing 8-02 while fishing with Folgers pro Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark.
“I had three great days and three great partners,” said Rikard, who now has his first FLW Series win under his belt. “I have always wanted to win one. It is just an awesome feeling.”
Rikard’s bait of choice this week was a black and silver Zoom Dead Ringer.
“This is only my second FLW Series tournament to fish,” he said. “I am trying to get started in tournament fishing and this is going to help.”
Rikard plans to spend his $20,000 payday customizing his new Ranger boat that he bought right before the Clarks Hill tournament.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ben Kurth of West Saint Paul, Minn. (10 bass, 21-11, $7,562); Mike Helton of Jeffersonville, Ind. (10 bass, 21-01, $6,722) and Derrick Snavely of Rogersville, Tenn. (13 bass, 19-04, $5,881).
Mike Helton of Jeffersonville, Ind., earned $253 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 4-pound, 11-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Brad Hallman of Norman, Okla.
Overall there were 293 bass weighing 421 pounds, caught by 117 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 21 five-bass limits.
The 10 remaining pros will take off at 8 Saturday morning from Wildwood Park located at 6212 Holloway Rd. in Appling. Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 4471 Washington Rd. in Evans, Ga., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include the Land O’ Lakes trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.