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Gross Leads FLW Tournamet on Chickamauga

Gross Leads FLW Tournamet on Chickamauga LW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday, with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds
 

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (Feb. 9, 2019) – After an exciting day of movement atop the leaderboard at the FLW Tournament at Lake Toho, FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday, with a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 12 ounces. Gross’ three-day cumulative catch of 15 bass weighing 62 pounds even paces the final 10 pros as they head into Championship Sunday at the competition that features the world’s finest bass anglers casting for a top award of up to $125,000.

  

Right behind Gross (15 bass, 62-0) is hard-charging local angler Darrell Davis of Dover, Florida. Davis started the day in 13th place but moved into second after weighing a huge 25-pound, 12-ounce limit this afternoon – the largest of the day – bringing his three-day total to 15 bass weighing 60-15. Josh Douglas of Isle, Minnesota, (15 bass, 60-3) rounds out the top three, and was the only other pro to top the 60-pound mark after three days.

  

“I’ve got a good little spot – I think I’ve weighed in 14 of my 15 fish from it – but I’m really pushing it to its limits,” said Gross, who is seeking his second career FLW Tour win. “I keep looking for another spot, and I might have found one this afternoon. I caught one that culled – almost a 4-pounder – at the very last place I stopped on the way to weigh-in.”

  

Gross’ main area is an offshore stretch of hydrilla on Lake Toho. He said he’s been able to put a limit in the boat by 10 a.m. each day on the first two days of competition, but today it took until noon.

  

“The spot has both pre and postspawn bass. When the prespawners show up, they’re feeding, and when they feed I can see it and I can catch them – that’s my little flurry,” said Gross. “Tomorrow I’m going to catch what I can catch there and then start looking. I had some giant fish, but I still haven’t gotten a kicker. I haven’t had anything over 5½ [pounds] in three days and there’s a lot of stretches where I’ve caught some 7s, 8s and 9s in practice, so I’m going to have to move around a little more.”

  

Gross said he’s mostly relied on a swimbait and a pair of swimjigs, citing a natural light-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait, black and blue-colored swimjig with a green-pumpkin Zoom Z-Craw trailer and a white swimjig with the Scottsboro swimbait as a trailer. He’s also utilized a Nichols spinnerbait this week.

  

“The swimjig probably caught more weight than the swimbait today, but every other day it’s been the swimbait. I’m using a little underspin-type blade on the hook – an Owner Flashy Swimmer. It’s got a little extra flash and I think that’s what’s triggering the fish.”

  

The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Lake Toho are:                                                                                                            

               1st:          Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 15 bass, 62-0           

               2nd:         Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 15 bass, 60-15       

               3rd:          Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., 15 bass, 60-3          

               4th:          John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 57-8

               5th:          Aaron Britt, Yuba City, Calif., 15 bass, 57-7     

               6th:          Wade Strelic, Alpine, Calif., 15 bass, 57-3       

               7th:          Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 54-12   

               8th:          Tommy Dickerson, Orange, Texas, 15 bass, 54-3         

               9th:          Tyler Woolcott, Port Orange, Fla., 15 bass, 53-1            

               10th:        Joseph Webster, Winfield, Ala., 15 bass, 51-6

 

Finishing 11th through 30th are:

 

               11th:        Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 15 bass, 50-5, $12,000

               12th:        Casey Scanlon, Lake Ozark, Mo., 15 bass, 49-12, $12,000

               13th:        Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 48-14, $12,000

               14th:        J. Todd Tucker, Moultrie, Ga., 15 bass, 47-11, $12,000

               15th:        John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., 15 bass, 47-10, $12,000

               16th:        Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., 15 bass, 47-10, $11,500

               17th:        Braxton Setzer, Montgomery, Ala., 14 bass, 46-15, $11,500

               18th:        David Williams, Maiden, N.C., 15 bass, 46-15, $11,500

               19th:        Terry Bolton, Benton, Ky., 15 bass, 45-9, $11,500

               20th:        Brian Latimer, Belton, S.C., 15 bass, 45-9, $11,500

               21st:        David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 44-5, $10,500

               22nd:       Jamie Horton, Centerville, Ala., 15 bass, 43-14, $11,000

               23rd:        Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 43-3, $10,500

               24th:        Austin Wilson, Citrus Heights, Calif., 15 bass, 43-1, $10,500

               25th:        Billy McCaghren, Mayflower, Ark., 15 bass, 42-9, $10,500

               26th:        Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 42-1, $10,500

               27th:        Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 14 bass, 41-9, $10,500

               28th:        Chad Warren, Sand Springs, Okla., 15 bass, 41-0, $10,500

               29th:        Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., 15 bass, 40-6, $10,500

               30th:        Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 13 bass, 39-12, $10,500

 

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Overall there were 146 bass weighing 401 pounds, 8 ounces caught by the 30 pros Saturday. The catch included 27 five-bass limits.

  

In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 170 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to Saturday. Now, only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

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