Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday to retain the lead on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour at Beaver Lake presented by Rayovac. Morgan’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 39 pounds, 2 ounces gives him a 1-pound, 9-ounce lead as competitors enter the fourth and final day of competition in the event that featured 154 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
“Today was extraordinarily tough,” said Morgan, whose numerous career accolades include only one previous win on the FLW Tour, which came on Beaver Lake in 2007. “I caught my first fish around 9:30 a.m., then my second around noon. I caught my third keeper just five minutes later, and then in the last 30 minutes of the day I caught my last two. Just like yesterday I only caught five fish all day long and it was a grind.”
Morgan said that he is all out of the bed fish after catching them on the first two days of competition and that Saturday was all about junk fishing. Sunday will be more of the same.
“I’ve used a hodge podge of baits all week,” Morgan said. “I’ve caught them on a Zoom Finesse Worm, on a spinnerbait, on a Zoom Z-Craw and on a War Eagle jig. I caught a couple of fish this week on a buzzbait, too, but nothing that I weighed in. The key for me has just been to cover enough water and make enough casts that by the end of the day I’ve gotten five.
“Tomorrow, anybody in this top-10 can legitimately win this tournament. You’re going to have to have one big bite to win this thing – if somebody can catch a four- or five-pounder, that’s going to be golden.
“I like having the lead, because that means that someone can beat me by just a little bit tomorrow and I can still win,” Morgan went on to say. “It’s been a long time since I won one of these (FLW Tour events). I’ve had a lot of second place finishes, but I really, really want to get a W.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Beaver Lake are:
1st: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 39-2
2nd: Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 37-9
3rd: Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 15 bass, 37-3
4th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 15 bass, 37-0
5th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 36-7
6th: Vic Vatalaro, Kent, Ohio, 15 bass, 35-6
7th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 35-1
8th: Tracy Adams, Wilkesboro, N.C., 15 bass, 34-9
9th: Peter Thliveros, Saint Augustine, Fla., 15 bass, 34-8
10th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., 15 bass, 34-5
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 15 bass, 34-4, $12,000
12th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 15 bass, 34-1, $12,000
13th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 33-10, $12,000
14th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 15 bass, 33-2, $12,000
15th: Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 15 bass, 33-1, $12,000
16th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 31-15, $12,000
17th: Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 14 bass, 31-6, $12,000
18th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 14 bass, 31-5, $12,000
19th: Darrell Davis, Dover, Fla., 13 bass, 30-15, $12,000
20th: Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 30-6, $12,000
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Overall there were 96 bass weighing 187 pounds, 2 ounces caught by pros Saturday. 17 of 20 pros weighed in five-bass limits.
Luke Dunkin of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 18 pounds, 2 ounces, followed by Todd Lee of Jasper, Alabama, who finished in second place for the second consecutive tournament with 10 bass weighing 17 pounds, 15 ounces worth $7,500.