Tawakoni Notebook: Crews Surges

BassCat pro John Crews with his 5.22-pounder on Friday. (PAA Photo: Chris Dutton)

PAA Communications

GARLAND, Texas – Notes from Day 2 of the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix being held on Lake Tawakoni …

BassCat pro John Crews decided after the first day of the tournament he’d just buckle down, put on the laser-beam focus and see what happened.

That paid off with a huge move of 54 places to put him into the Top 10 going into today’s final round. Crews was in eighth place with eight bass weighing 25.87 pounds after catching the biggest limit Friday, a strong 20.23-pound bag anchored by a 5.22 largemouth.

“I just picked a big area, put my head down and pitched to whatever was in front of me,” said Crews, who lives in Virginia. “It went the way I hoped Thursday would have gone, but I’ll take it. There was nothing fast or furious … it seemed like every time I would get a bite, it would be a good one.”

Crews wasn’t the only one to make a big jump Friday. Anglers Inn pro Bradley Hallman of Oklahoma surged 35 positions into seventh place with a total of 27.13 and a 7.20 largemouth.

Crews said he “threw the whole tacklebox” but was happy to have a couple on his new signature series SPRO Fat John crankbait. It’s a fat-bodied crank that runs about three feet deep, he said, and is perfect this week on Tawakoni due to bait and bass being around shallow cover.

Upsizing paid off

Chevy pro Dave Lefebre of Pennsylvania found himself going against the grain a bit on Friday after breaking off a few times the first day.

Lefebre said Tawakoni “is the kind of lake I like” due to the abundant docks and shoreline cover for pitching jigs. But after a few times of snapping his line, he had to make a change.

“I upgraded to 25-pound fluorocarbon and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before,” he said. The move resulted in a catch of 17.81 pounds and moved him from 58th to 15th.

Trolling motor woes

Tawakoni’s shallow areas wreaked havoc with a few anglers including Moritz Chevrolet pro Brian Clark, a Texan and one of the locals’ favorites.

Clark, however, found trouble on some rocks Friday morning and his trolling motor went out. He returned to the West Tawakoni City Park for work with the service crews, who got it repaired. But he lost about an hour of fishing time and ended up as the third guy out of the cut by just over two pounds.

Bass Pro Shops pro Timmy Horton of Alabama also had to do some adjusting Thursday. High wind created choppy conditions on the lake.

“I put the trolling motor down and the waves just slammed it into the bottom,” Horton said.

Saturday’s conditions aren’t as windy, as the remnants of Tropical Depression Hermine have passed.

Moment of silence

A moment of silence was held each morning before blastoff to remember the victims and others impacted by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The Top 30 anglers were given small American flags to attach to their boat stern lightpole prior to takeoff on Saturday.

They said it!

“I probably caught 15-20 keepers and missed a good one.” Strike King pro Greg Hackney of Louisiana

“I just never got dialed in … I’m not fishing clean right now.” Jasper Engines pro Chad Morgenthaler of Illinois

“Watch out for fire ants.” Frogtape pro Brian Travis of North Carolina, who sustained a reaction requiring IV treatment after encountering some of the biting critters

“I’ve been on a zig-zag pattern all week. I’ve zigged when I shoulda zagged.” Skeeter pro Matt Herren of Alabama

“It was a little too crowded for me and I got frustrated.” Ranger pro Chris Baumgardner of North Carolina

“If there’s no boats around, there’s no fish.” PAA emcee Steve “Lurch” Scott

“I’m throwing everything. I have 20 rods on the deck of my boat.” Evan Williams Bourbon pro Jason Quinn

“I didn’t get the right bites.” Business Unlimited pro Lance Vick of Texas, who slipped 10 spots on Friday

“I think I needed to be throwing a bigger bait.” Jason Reyes of Texas

“We called a pretty good audible, but didn’t call it until about 12 o’clock.” Duke Jenkel of Illinois

“Everybody was fishing docks and I just changed up a little bit today.” Larew Baits pro Tommy Biffle of Oklahoma

Tournament facts: The tournament is the third of four in the 2010 PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix. The winner will earn a prize package worth more than $45,000 including cash and a new Phoenix 719 Pro XP boat powered by a Mercury Optimax 225hp engine and outfitted with a T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate. Eligible anglers also may benefit from the Bass Pro Shops Tournament Rewards and Phoenix Boats First Flight bonus payout programs.

About the PAA – The Professional Anglers Association is a non-profit organization that gives professional anglers a unified voice in order to aid in the growth of the sport of professional bass fishing. The PAA also aims to administer educational programs to the average angler, to increase enjoyment of the sport, and to embrace sound conservation practices to further the future of the sport. Web: www.FishPAA.com

PAA Associate Sponsors: The PAA Tournament Series is sponsored by Bass Pro Shops, E21 Carrot Stix, Lazer Trokar, Markel Insurance, Phoenix Boats, Nitro Boats, T-H Marine, Fishouflage, SolarBat, U.S. Reel, Sign Designs, BoatU.S. Foundation, Mercury Marine and Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

PAA Hosts: The City of Garland, Texas

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