Kennedy Leads FLW Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Okeechobee
CLEWISTON, Fla. (Jan. 20, 2005) - Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds, 14 ounces to lead round one of the FLW Tour bass fishing tournament on Lake Okeechobee. The full field was cut to 10 pros and 10 co-anglers for Friday's semifinal round where weights will be zeroed. Pros fish Friday and Saturday, and the pro with the heaviest two-day cumulative weight wins $100,000. The co-angler title, and a $20,000 first-place prize, will be awarded at the conclusion of Friday's competition.
Conditions - weather, water and fishing - were nearly identical to those seen on day one. The weather was not ideal but not bad - mostly clear skies, a stiff breeze, a very chilly morning and mild afternoon. The lake was very murky with isolated, heavily pressured areas of clear water. Most of the 200 boats were packed into a half-dozen spots, with the Monkey Box being the most popular area. Effective techniques on Thursday included Texas-rigged plastics, Senkos/Flashes, spinnerbaits and lipless crankbaits. Largemouths are in all phases of the spawn.
"This is just awesome," said Kennedy, who jumped from 39th place with a day-two weight of 25 pounds, 15 ounces. "I caught an 8-pounder, a 7-pounder and a 6-pounder by flipping.
"I fished the Monkey Box area and I'll be there all day tomorrow. It was crowded today like it was yesterday, but there won't be near as many people there tomorrow."
Kennedy finished fourth in the EverStart Series event on Lake Okeechobee two weeks ago. He also had a big day two at that event, bringing 27 pounds, 5 ounces to the scales.
Rounding out the top-five pros are Kelly Jordan of Mineola, Texas (10 bass, 30 pounds, 8 ounces); Chad Grigsby of Colon, Mich. (10 bass, 30 pounds, 8 ounces); Dean Rojas of Grand Saline, Texas (10 bass, 30 pounds); and Toshinari Namiki of Mineola, Texas (10 bass, 29 pounds, 7 ounces).
Bobby Curtis of Siloam Springs, Ark., caught an 11-pound monster largemouth Thursday - tied for the second largest bass ever recorded in FLW Tour history - to earn Big Bass honors in the Pro Division. He earned $750 for his big bass.
Bob Bjorklund of Aurora, Col., leads the Co-angler Division thanks to his two-day catch of six bass that weighed 21 pounds, 8 ounces. Bjorklund caught 20 pounds, 7 ounces Thursday - anchored by an 8-pound, 14-ounce lunker - to jump an incredible 133 places to take the lead. He only weighed one bass Wednesday that weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce.
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers are Nick Hamra of Chesterfield, Mo. (nine bass, 21 pounds, 2 ounces); Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas (six bass, 20 pounds, 2 ounces); William Bridges of Tallapoosa, Ga. (three bass, 18 pounds, 5 ounces); and Jimmey Shelton of Wellington, Fla. (seven bass, 17 pounds, 10 ounces).
Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., claimed the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Wednesday thanks to a 10-pound, 2-ounce bass that earned him $375.
Anglers will take off from Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina in Clewiston each morning at 7. Friday and Saturday's weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 1005 W. Sugarland Highway in Clewiston beginning at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.