Rookie Birge takes lead at Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake

Category: press release

 Mar 27th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Mar 27th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Fishing in just his second event as a professional, FLW Tour rookie Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 17 pounds, 14 ounces to take the lead at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude. With less than six pounds separating first place from 10th place, the tournament is still very much up for grabs as we enter day three of the four-day event, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, that features 154 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Birge’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 13 ounces gives him a scant 1-pound lead over day one leader Drew Benton of Panama City, Florida, who brought five bass to the scale Friday totaling 15-1, for a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35-13.
“I didn’t get my first good bite until around 11 a.m. today,” said Birge, who is the reigning Rayovac FLW Series champion. “The sun came out around noon and the water temperature rose about three degrees. Then the fishing gradually got better.

Day 2 leader Zack Birge (FLW Fishing)

“I caught my first fish in about a foot of water on a frog, way back in the bushes,” Birge continued. “That’s Oklahoma fishing, and that’s what I’m comfortable doing. I’m fishing shallow, flat pockets and flooded bushes.
“I’m throwing a Santone Lures buzzbait and a frog and bouncing back and forth between them. Yesterday they were tearing up the frog, but today they wouldn’t really touch it. I stopped at a creek today where I had caught some fish yesterday on the frog, but I didn’t get bit. Something didn’t feel right, so I went back through with a buzzbait and ended up catching eight keepers.”
Birge said that he caught around 10 keepers Friday, and his five-bass limit that he brought to the scale consisted entirely of largemouth.
“Tomorrow I’m going to go and try to catch five spotted bass in the morning and try to take some of the pressure off,” Birge went on to say. “Then, hopefully the sun will come back up and warm the water up a little bit. I’m going to have three rods on my deck tomorrow – a buzzbait, a frog and a drop-shot rig. I hope I can get a few largemouth bites later in the day.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Lewis Smith Lake are:
               1st:          Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 36-13
               2nd:         Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla., 10 bass, 35-13
               3rd:          Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 33-8
               4th:          Tracy Adams, Wilkesboro, N.C., 10 bass, 31-12
               5th:          Scott Wiley, Bay Minette, Ala., 10 bass, 31-10
               6th:          Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 10 bass, 31-7
               7th:          Clayton Batts, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 31-6
               8th:          Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 10 bass, 31-6
               9th:          Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 30-15
               10th:        Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 30-14
               11th:        Jayme Rampey, Liberty, S.C., 10 bass, 30-6
               12th:        Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa., 10 bass, 30-6
               13th:        Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 10 bass, 29-12
               14th:        Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 10 bass, 29-11
               15th:        Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 29-10
               16th:        Walmart pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 29-9
               17th:        Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 29-9
               18th:        Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-5
               19th”        Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 29-5
               20th:        John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 29-4
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

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