McNeely Leads Stren Series Bass Fishing Tournament on Falcon LakeMcNeely Leads Stren Series Bass Fishing Tournament on Falcon Lake Pro Nicky McNeely of Natchitoches, La., caught a five-bass limit weighing 30 pounds, 5 ounces Friday to capture his lead in the Stren Series Texas Division bass fishing tournament on Falcon Lak
ZAPATA, Texas (Jan. 11, 2008) - Pro Nicky McNeely of Natchitoches, La., caught a five-bass limit weighing 30 pounds, 5 ounces Friday to capture his lead in the Stren Series Texas Division bass fishing tournament on Falcon Lake. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 84-14, he holds a 2-pound, 9-ounce lead over his closest competitor heading into the final day of competition.
"This is my first pro tournament and I am a nervous wreck," McNeely said. "This week I have been flipping. I located some fish in practice and they have held in the same area. I've been fishing four to five groups of fish back and forth. We had overcast skies early yesterday morning and the bite was better. I didn't have a fish on before 10:30 this morning. I was really nervous."
Rounding out the top five pros are Jeremy Guidry of Opelousas, La. (15 bass, 82-05); Charles Haralson of Laredo, Texas (15 bass, 79-09); Andy Gaia of Tomball, Texas (15 bass, 77-15); and Tim Reneau of Del Rio, Texas (14 bass, 74-12).
Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 70 pounds, 10 ounces in the Pro Division are David Truax of Beaumont, Texas; Russell Cecil of Willis, Texas; Stephen Johnston of Hemphill, Texas; Peter Daniels of Shreveport, La.; and Toby Hartsell of Livingston, Texas.
McNeely earned $243 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 12-pound, 13-ounce bass that ranks fourth on the FLW Outdoors all-time big bass list.
Bill Rogers of Jasper, Texas, leads the Co-angler Division in the chase for a top award of $35,000, including a 198VX Ranger if contingency guidelines are met, thanks to a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 78-02.
"Tomorrow is another day and I'm hoping for the best," Rogers said. "I have been flipping for the last two days and I plan to stick with that. It all depends on where your pro takes you and what they want to do."
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Ray Peace of Arlington, Texas (15 bass, 72-11); David Tierney of Fayetteville, Ark. (15 bass, 67-07); Eddie Stagg of Jasper, Texas (13 bass, 64-15); and Bo Middleton of Elgin, Okla. (15 bass, 64-14). Also clearing the top 10 cut weight of 60 pounds, 11 ounces in the Co-angler Division are Robert Arnold of Little Rock, Ark.; J.R. Howard of Sterling City, Texas; Mannie Lackey of Kerrville, Texas; Duke Gunnell of Mexia, Texas; and Mark Oakley of Davis, Okla.
Stagg earned $128 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to an 11-pound, 4-ounce bass. The top 40 co-anglers from each Stren Series division will also advance to the championship, where they will fish for as much as $70,000. The highest-finishing co-angler from each division at the championship will then advance to the 2009 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7:00 Saturday morning from Beacon Lodge located just off Farm Road 3074 in Zapata. Saturday's final weigh-in will be held at the Zapata County Community Center located on Highway 83 in Zapata beginning at 4 p.m. The takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Stren Series tournaments are four-day events consisting of two rounds. The entire field competes Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At the conclusion of Friday's weigh-in, the field is cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers based on the heaviest three-day accumulated weights. These anglers continue competition Saturday, with the winners determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
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