Kindy Leads FLW Bass Fishing Tournament on Lake Norman
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 26, 2007) - Jeremiah Kindy of Benton, Ark., drew cheers from an appreciative crowd Thursday when he crossed the stage with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 6 ounces to lead day one of the FLW Tour Open bass fishing tournament on Lake Norman. Kindy now holds a slim 3-ounce lead in the tournament featuring 200 pros and 200 co-anglers from 37 states, Australia, Italy and Japan.
"I didn't really have a good practice," said Kindy, who has one career win, 17 top-10 finishes and more than $190,000 in winnings with FLW Outdoors. "So this morning, I just went fishing. I was looking for wind-blown docks and would fish every one of them in sight. I think the fish were up there in 2 to 4 feet of water spawning and guarding fry. I would make one or two casts into the areas that usually hold fish, and if I didn't get a bite, I would move on to the next dock. I caught a lot of fish knowing that there should be a ton of fish up shallow this time of year."
Kindy was throwing a combination of jigs and trick worms.
Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., trails Kindy in the No. 2 spot with five bass weighing 15-3.
Rounding out the top five pros are Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (five bass, 14-10); Mark Hardin of Jasper, Ga. (five bass, 14-7) and Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn. (five bass, 14-7).
Chris Malone of Ironton, Ohio, also earned the day's $1,000 Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass. If that weight holds up Friday as the biggest of the two-day opening round, the Malone will earn an additional $1,000.
Overall there were 958 bass weighing 2,013 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 198 pros Thursday. The catch included 178 five-bass limits.
Robert Horick of St. Petersburg, Fla., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 12-3 followed by Gain co-angler Jess Caraballo of Danbury, Conn., in second place with five bass weighing 11-5.
"Today was a good day," said Horick, who has racked up two career top-10 finishes and $18,145 in earnings with FLW Outdoors. "I threw a swimbait all day. We fished a little of everything, mainly keying in on creek channels with submerged brush. I could throw my weedless swimbait right up in the tops of the brush and slowly pull it out. As soon as it would come out of brush, it would usually get hit. I was really confident in this bait. I practiced with it all week. I think as long as my pro keeps me around fish, I can catch them. "
Horick caught his bass on a swimbait while fishing with Roger Crafton of Boca Grande, Fla., who is currently in 22nd place with five bass weighing 13-6.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Donnie Hannah of New Lexington, Ohio (five bass, 11-3); co-angler Sondra Rankin of Benton, Ky. (five bass, 11-2) and Sammy Orr of Maryville, Tenn. (five bass, 10-10).
Tied for the days Big Bass Award are Terry Chapman of Stanley, N.C., and Mark Weaver of Lexington, N.C., who both caught a 3-pound, 4-ounce bass that earned them $250 each.
Overall there were 558 bass weighing 989 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 183 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 46 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $40,000 this week.
Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from the Blythe Landing located at 15901 N.C. Hwy. 73 in Huntersville, N.C. Friday's weigh-in will be held at the Blythe Landing beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's weigh-ins will be held at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center located at 4751 Highway 49 North in Concord, N.C., beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center from noon to 4 p.m. each day. The Family Fun Zone is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other manufacturers while children are treated to fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. The first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone Saturday will also receive a free FLW Outdoors hat. On Sunday, the first 300 children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone will receive a free rod and reel combo. One lucky person attending the final weigh-in Sunday will even win a trip for two to the Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., where they could ultimately win a $53,000 Ranger Z20 powered by Yamaha. The drawing for a free vacation getaway to Hot Springs will be held immediately following Sunday's 4 p.m. weigh-in. Participants must be present to win.
Sunday's festivities will also include the FOX Charlotte Big Bass Challenge tournament featuring area residents fishing with FLW Tour pros to benefit Lake Norman conservation efforts. The winner of the FOX Charlotte Big Bass Challenge will receive $500 and have $5,000 donated in his or her name to the FishAmerica Foundation. Takeoff for the Big Bass Challenge is at 9 a.m. at Blythe Landing with the weigh-in taking place on the main stage at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center at 3 p.m.
The full field competes in the two-day opening round for 10 slots in Saturday's competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturday's weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers.