Marks Leads FLW Tour Open on Sam Rayburn Reservoir


LUFKIN, Texas (Oct. 13, 2012) – Sam Rayburn Reservoir got even tougher for the pros on day three of the FLW Tour Open bass fishing tournament as Phil Marks of Dallas, Texas, took the lead over Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, Saturday with a five-bass limit that weighed 18 pounds, 1 ounce. Marks’ three-day total of 49-4 gives him a mere 14-ounce lead going into the final day of competition.
Not surprised by how hard the lake is fishing, Marks’ plan of attack was to fish offshore for his large bites early and then head to the bank later in the day to try and fill his sack. The plan worked on days one and three, however, he was unable to catch any fish deep on day two, so he resorted to bank fishing for his entire limit and brought in just over 14 pounds — his lightest sack of the tournament — to keep him in the game.
“I’m fishing several patterns for this tournament,” Marks said. “I’m starting deep every morning looking for those large bites and then moving shallow to try and fill in my sack. On day one I was able to catch a 4- and 5-pound bass before I hit the bank. I only had seven keepers all day. On day two I wasn’t able to catch anything deep, so resorted to shallow fishing. I had about 40 keepers, but they were all small. Today I had both my 4- and 6-pounders by 10 a.m. before I moved shallow to catch the rest of my limit. I had about 15 keepers today.
“I still believe this tournament is going to be won offshore. The weather will determine how long I tough it out deep for the big bite. I am hoping for some wind and cloud cover, as long as it doesn’t get so windy I can’t fish.”
Marks said his fish are not holding, and he is targeting deep flats with hard bottoms. His predominant baits have been Strike King 6XDs and Strike King prototypes when fishing offshore and Strike King KVD 1.0 squarebill crankbaits when fishing shallow.
It will be a fight to the finish, as Combs fell to the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 48-6, only 14 ounces off the lead.
Top 10 pros that will fish Sunday on Sam Rayburn are:
            1st:        Phil Marks, Dallas, Texas, 15 bass, 49-4
            2nd:       Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas, 15 bass, 48-6
            3rd:        Jason Wells, Center, Texas, 14 bass, 40-4
            4th:        Landan Ware, Jewett, Texas, 15 bass, 39-8
            5th:        Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 15 bass, 39-1
            6th:        Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 15 bass, 38-15
            7th:        Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., 15 bass, 38-12
            8th:        Matt Herren, Trussville, Ala., 14 bass, 38-7
            9th:        Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 15 bass, 37-9
            10th:      Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 37-7
Overall there were 83 bass weighing 192 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 20 pros Saturday. The catch included 12 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Clint Farris of Joshua, Texas, won the co-angler division by 1 ounce with a three-day total of 13 bass weighing 33 pounds, 15 ounces to win $25,000 for his efforts. Jeff Gengler of Fort Collins, Colo., took second place with 13 bass weighing 33-14 to win $5,657.
Farris was fishing deep all week using worms. He said that the key to his success was fishing slow. “If you think you are fishing slow, fish even slower.”
The top-10 co-anglers are:
            1st:     Clint Farris, Joshua, Texas, 13 bass, 33-15, $25,000
            2nd:    Jeff Gengler, Fort Collins, Colo., 13 bass, 33-14 $5,407
            3rd:     Wilson Burton, Groves, Texas, 12 bass, 26-8, $3,574
            4th:     Kip Passant, Lake Charles, La., 13  bass, 24-12, $2,841
            5th:     Keith Honeycutt, Temple, Texas, 12 bass, 24-6, $2,107
            6th:     Ryan Edwards, Stuart, Fla., 13 bass, 24-3, $1,741
            7th:     Jeff Sprague, Edgewood, Texas, 13 bass, 24-1, $1,374
            8th:     Roy Cheaney, Grand Saline, Texas, 13 bass, 23-5, $1,227
            9th:     Darrell Denton, Georgetown, Texas, eight bass, 22-15, $1,154
            10th:   John Moon, Brookeland, Texas, 12 bass, 21-15, $1,081    
Overall there were 59 bass weighing 120 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 20 co-anglers Saturday. The catch included four five-bass limits.
Co-anglers were fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Anglers will take off from Cassels-Boykin County Park located at FM Road 3123 (Off State Hwy 147) in Zavalla, Texas, at 7:30 a.m. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2500 Daniel McCall Drive in Lufkin beginning at 4 p.m.

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