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Johnston Leads FLW Tournament at Harris Chain of Lakes

Johnston Leads FLW Tournament at Harris Chain of Lakes Chris Johnston leads Day Two of the FLW Tournament at the Harris Chain of Lakes
 

LEESBURG, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2018) – Canadian pro Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario, brought a five-bass limit weighing 25 pounds, 7 ounces, to the scale Friday to top the pro standings after Day Two of the FLW Tournament at the Harris Chain of Lakes. Johnston will lead the final 30 pros into Day Three of the four-day tournament event that featured 368 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for top awards of up to $125,000 cash in the Pro Division and up to $25,000 cash in the Co-angler Division.

 

Johnston, who vaulted into the lead after starting the day in 12th place, spent his Friday fishing on Lake Harris. He said he targeted bass along a stretch of main-lake hydrilla in 12 feet of water, and caught the majority of his weight by 10 a.m.

 

“I fished a weed edge with a 300-yard-long indentation in it,” said Johnston, the 2016 Tour Rookie of the Year who is nearing $300,000 in FLW career earnings. “The wind was blowing in and I think shad kind of got grouped up. I hit Spot Lock on my Minn Kota Ultrex and didn’t move for 2 hours or so. That’s where four of the five that I weighed in came from.”

 

Around 9:30 a.m., Johnston caught an 8-pound, 6-ounce kicker with a Rat-L-Trap to anchor his limit. He said he worked through the area for another hour before moving on to old water, where he caught a 4-pounder as the day came to a close.

 

“It’s definitely key to get them early in the hydrilla,” said Johnston. “In the afternoon they shut down. Hopefully they’re there again tomorrow.”

 

The top 30 pros that made first cut and will fish Saturday at the Harris Chain of Lakes are:                 

               1st:          Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 45-4   

               2nd:         Tony Dumitras, Winston, Ga., 10 bass, 42-5   

               3rd:          Matt Greenblatt, Port St. Lucie, Fla., 10 bass, 41-12  

               4th:          Glenn Browne, Ocala, Fla., 10 bass, 41-11     

               5th:          Ronald Young, Lake Wales, Fla., 10 bass, 40-4             

               6th:          Zack Birge, Blanchard, Okla., 10 bass, 38-6   

               7th:          Koby Kreiger, Bokeelia, Fla., 10 bass, 38-1     

               8th:          Jamie Horton, Centreville, Ala., 10 bass, 36-14              

               9th:          John Devere, Berea, Ky., 10 bass, 36-9

               10th:        Shawn Murphy, Nicholasville, Ky., 10 bass, 36-0           

               11th:        Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-14             

               12th:        Bob Morin, Seymour, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-13   

               13th:        Jordan Osborne, Longview, Texas, 10 bass, 35-10        

               14th:        Kurt Dove, Del Rio, Texas, 10 bass, 35-9        

               15th:        Boo Woods, London, Ky., 10 bass, 35-8          

               16th:        Jeff Gustafson, Keewatin, Ontario, Canada, 35-8          

               17th:        Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 35-2        

               18th:        John Hunter, Shelbyville, Ky., 10 bass, 34-15 

               19th:        Jared McMillan, Belle Glade, Fla., 10 bass, 34-9            

               20th:        Harry Moore, Valley, Ala., 10 bass, 33-5         

               21st:        Yamamoto Baits pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 10 bass, 33-4            

               22nd:       Anthony  Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 33-0        

               23rd:        Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 32-4            

               24th:        Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 10 bass, 31-13         

               25th:        Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 31-11  

               26th:        Johnny McCombs, Morris, Ala., 10 bass, 31-4

               27th:        Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 10 bass, 31-2              

               28th:        Josh Douglas, Isle, Minn., 10 bass, 30-14        

               29th:        Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., 10 bass, 30-13         

               30th:        Braxton Setzer, Montgomery, Ala., 10 bass, 30-12

 

Jimmy Reese of Witter Springs, California, earned Friday's $500 Simms Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 9-pound, 1-ounce largemouth.

 

Overall there were 873 bass weighing 2,147 pounds, 1 ounce, caught by 183 pros Friday. The catch included 160 five-bass limits.

 

Ryan Eckman of Okeechobee, Florida, won the Co-angler Division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 35 pounds even, followed by Robert Kimbrough of Vero Beach, Florida, who finished in second place with 10 bass totaling 34-14, worth $7,600.

 

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

               1st:          Ryan Eckman, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 35-0, $20,000

               2nd:         Robert Kimbrough, Vero Beach, Fla., 10 bass, 34-14, $7,600

               3rd:          Daniel Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 34-7, $5,050

               4th:          Mark Howard, Mesquite, Texas, 10 bass, 33-4, $4,000

               5th:          George Kapiton, Inverness, Fla., 10 bass, 32-5, $3,000

               6th:          Fred Rigdon, Belleview, Fla., nine bass, 29-9, $2,500

               7th:          Kevin Medine, Port Allen, La., 10 bass, 27-5, $2,000

               8th:          J.P. Sims, Cookeville, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-2, $1,800

               9th:          Glenn Day, Cumming, Ga., 10 bass, 27-0, $1,700

               10th:        Brian Campbell, Oxford, Ohio, 10 bass, 26-11, $1,600

 

Rex Jaeger of Hamilton, Ohio, earned $250 for the Simms Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Friday with an 8-pound, 11-ounce largemouth.

Overall there were 678 bass weighing 1,332 pounds, 7 ounces, caught by 169 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 99 five-bass limits.

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