HENDERSON, N.C. – It was another tough day on the lake for much of the field, and the weights reflected it well. The leaderboard saw much of the top pros fall out of contention with several anglers failing to bring in limits. Despite this, one pro seems to have his sights set on blowing the doors off this competition.
Moyock, N.C., pro Chris Carmell continues to dominate as he brought another five-bass limit to the scales that went for 14 pounds, 5 ounces. The two-day total weight for Carmell sits at 30 pounds, 15 ounces. Carmell now holds close to a 6-pound lead going into the final day of competition.
“I had my limit quick this morning, I’d say by 7:15 a.m.,” said Carmell. “Once I caught those fish I hung in that area for a while trying a few different things. I left around mid-morning to go check some other spots and allow that one to rest.”
Carmell still has a handful of places that he has yet to fish.
“I got six or seven spots I haven’t been to yet, but they have one or two fish on them so who knows if they will be good or not.”
He has been sticking with a 10-inch Reaction Innovation Big Unit Texas rigged on 20-pound fluorocarbon line. Carmell matches this with a 7 ½-foot heavy action Bass Pro Shops Extreme rod. Carmell plans to maintain that combination as long as the fish keep biting.
“If I can catch 10 or 11 pounds early off my main spot, then I’ll stay there for the day.”
Lambeth leaps into second
Thomasville, N.C., pro George Lambeth stayed consistent and brought in another solid limit of 12 pounds, 15 ounces. His two-day total is 24 pounds, 9 ounces – which allowed him to leapfrog from eighth place to second.
“I fished one point and had my limit by 8:30 a.m. or so,” Lambeth says. “It was a great day though. I managed to catch my biggest fish of the day on my last cast.”
His one point may have gotten him into the final day but it appears that it won’t hold out through tomorrow.
“My spot died today, I couldn’t even mark bait there," he said. "So as far as my plan for tomorrow goes, I’m just going to see where the wind blows to.”
Lambeth has been catching his fish on a modified Bagley crankbait.
Gainey rallies into third
Gainey has kept his approach to tackling Kerr Lake fairly simple all week.
“When I came here in practice I fished two creeks and shook some fish off,” said Gainey. “I have fished in one creek the whole time. It’s good ol’ shallow-water fishing with spinning rods. Bass fishing 101 really, with a Texas-rigged worm. I just fish anything I can in 5 feet or less.”
Divito settles in fourth
Probably the biggest move up the rankings this week belongs to Trafford, Pa., pro Brian Divito. He went from 59th place after day one to weighing in the biggest bag of day two – 16 pounds, 8 ounces – while grabbing fourth place overall.
To add to that, this is the young pros first ever EverStart event he has fished.
The big key to his success so far has been his ability to adapt to the conditions and change up his game plan completely.
“I fished points and deep drops mostly yesterday,” Divito explained. “Obviously that didn’t go so well. So today I started back on a point that had fish and noticed a shady log on the bank. I caught one off it and knew that this had to be where the fish were at. I had found a cove with a ton of wood in it during practice so I ran there. Flipping shallow cover is more to my strength, it’s how I fish at home.”
The baits of choice for Divito are a Strike King Coffee Tube – Texas rigged – or a homemade 3/16-ounce jig. His line choice depends on the cover but he goes no lower than 15-pound fluorocarbon.
“For tomorrow I’m going back to that same cove because it is the only one I know of with that much wood in it. I plan to pick that entire place apart.”
Young drops to fifth
Prince George, Va., pro Cavin Young fell one place and now holds on to the fifth-place spot with an overall weight of 21 pounds, 8 ounces.
He continued to throw a spinnerbait today but had fewer bites than on day one. Young tried a Carolina rig for a while today but couldn’t get anything going on it.
He plans to run some new water tomorrow.
Rest of the Best
6th: Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W.Va., 20-14
7th: Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, 20-14
8th: Tom Wilkinson, Oxford, N.C, 20-9
9th: Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 20-2
10th: Joseph Wood, Westport, Mass., 19-15
Big bass honors on the pro side for day two go to Mike Miller of Trinity, N.C., with a 5-pound, 6-ounce fish.
Boyce steals co-angler lead
George (Jack) Boyce of Fuquay Varina, N.C., took the lead on the co-angler side after day two with a total limit weighing 19 pounds, 11 ounces. Bringing in two solid limits both days helped boost him from seventh to first after day one.
He has found most success by constantly trying different baits throughout the day.
“I have 10 rods with me and I just keep trying something different,” said Boyce.
“Another big key is the pros I have been paired with, they have helped put me on fish. They were both great guys and that is the great thing about this sport, you always meet new friends.”
David Ball of Cedar Grove, N.C., dropped into second with a two-day total of 17 pounds, 6 ounces.
Dean Majors of Durham, N.C., sits in third with 16-pound, 3-ounce sack. Lee Williams, also from Durham, N.C., has a two-day total of 14 pounds, 10 ounces. And in fifth place is Joe Wilkerson of Falls Church, Va., with 14 pounds, 4 ounces.
Rest of the Best
6th: Thomas Shafer, Pine City, N.Y., 13-14
7th: Chris Girouard, Epsom, N.H., 13-13
8th: David Martinez, Brooklyn Heights, Ohio, 13-13
9th: William Tager, Gunpowder, Md., 13-12
10th: Billy Carroll, Fayetteville, N.C., 13-11
The big bass on day two for the co-anglers belongs to Stephen Kocell of Waxhaw, N.C., with a 5-pound, 2-ounce fish.
Bass fans take note
Saturday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart, located at 200 North Cooper Road in Henderson, N.C., starting at 3 p.m.