Quinn, Shumpert and Langley pick up right where they left off in yesterday's competition
ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. – There's an old adage: The more things change, the more things stay the same. That would certainly apply to today's second round of EverStart Championship competition. When all was said and done, yesterday's tournament front-runners simply became today's tournament front-runners.
As the famous rock group The Who once sang, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
“It feels pretty good to be leading this tournament two days in a row, but then again, it doesn't really mean much until you get to the finals,” said pro Jason Quinn, who failed to relinquish the overall tournament lead after posting a two-day catch of 21 pounds, 8 ounces. “I just went fishing today. And everything just kind of worked out.”
Quinn said that the day went so well that he still had time to search for a few more areas – a development that could be crucial for the native of Wylie, S.C., if he manages to reach the finals.
“Because I caught a limit pretty early this morning, I was able to go out and practice a bit,” he said. “I managed to find a few more good spots. And hopefully, that will help me later.”
Unlike some anglers who were hoping for specific weather patterns to develop, Quinn said he has no such requests for Mother Nature.
“You really have to take what the weather is giving you,” said Quinn. “I'll fish deep or shallow; it makes no difference to me. I've definitely found some success fishing shallow. But if my top-water bite turns off, I'm comfortable fishing deep.”
However, when it comes to the type of fish he is targeting, Quinn definitely has a preference.
“There are some good largemouth in the areas that I'm fishing in, but I've mostly been going after spotted bass so far,” said Quinn. “They are a lot more aggressive this time of year.”
Believing that it will take about 9 pounds to make tomorrow's top-10 cut, Quinn said he can't afford to hold anything back during tomorrow's competition.
“This time of year you really have to go for broke,” he said. “Because it's not often that you have a chance to fish for $50,000.”
Shumpert has a case of déjà vu as well
“I'm definitely happy where I'm at,” said Shumpert. “I caught my limit in less than an hour. And as soon as I caught that fifth fish, I knew that I had made the cut.”
Like Quinn, Shumpert's early morning success allowed him to spend a good chunk of the afternoon searching for new locations to add to his already-formidable arsenal.
“Later in the day I found another good brush pile,” he said. “I know there are some really good fish there. I now have four areas that are pretty good, so I'm really happy with what I have going on.”
Like the first day, Shumpert targeted bass in shallow water with a combination of spinner baits and a weightless worm.
“And that's exactly what I'm going to be doing again tomorrow.”
Like Quinn, Shumpert said that he has no plans to fish conservatively during tomorrow's competition.
“I'm going to fish every day like it's my last,” he said. “It will probably take about 7 pounds to make the finals, but I'm not going to stop until I get at least 10 pounds. I'm going to fish hard all day because, if you hold back, you never know what will happen. And I really want to make it to the finals.”
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top five pro qualifiers were Felton Langley of Lafayette, Ala., with a two day catch of 17 pounds, 15 ounces; Craig Workman of Fort Worth, Texas, with a catch of 17 pounds, 5 ounces; and Vince Ingle of Maryville, Tenn., with a catch of 16 pounds, 7 ounces.
Brian Randall of McCalla, Ala., won the day's big-bass award in the Pro Division after landing a 5-pound, 5-ounce largemouth. Randall, who finished the tournament in 54th place, won $625 for his catch.
Carlile grabs first place in Co-angler Division
After turning in consistent performances for two days in a row, Jon Carlile of Broken Arrow, Okla., was finally rewarded with a first-place finish after posting an impressive two-day catch of 12 pounds. However, what made the effort even more amazing was the fact that Carlile had never even seen Lake Martin until this week.
“This is the first time I've ever been to the lake,” said the soft-spoken Carlile. “I really had no expectations. I figured I'd just come over here to look at the fall foliage and go home after two days. So it feels really good to be leading the tournament right now.”
Carlile said that he has been fishing shallow water near deep banks for the past two days.
“I've pretty much been going with one bait,” he said. “But I'll tell you, my partners have really helped me out a lot.”
With only one more day of competition remaining before the co-angler champion is crowned, Carlile said that he could hardly wait for tomorrow's finals to begin.
“I'm really looking forward to tomorrow,” he said. “I hope to catch them, but with this format, you really have to take things one day at a time. I'm just going to go out there and try to do my best.”
Best of the rest
Rounding out the top-five co-anglers were Roy Altman Jr. of Augusta, Ga., with a two-day catch of 11 pounds, 7 ounces; James Hill Jr. of Ozark, Ala., with a catch of 11 pounds, 4 ounces; Warren Thomas of Lakewood, Wis., with a catch of 11 pounds, 3 ounces; and Pat Cox of Rochester, Ind., with a catch of 11 pounds, 1 ounce.
Robert Saros of Mishawaka, Ind., took home the day's big-bass award in the Co-angler Division after netting a 3-pound, 8-ounce bass. Saros, who qualified for the finals in 11th place, won $250 for his catch.
Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7:30 a.m. at Wind Creek State Park Marina, located at 4325 Highway 128 in Alexander City, Ala.