First-day leader Johnson tumbles to fourth
Gonzales’ Gerald Spohrer moved into the lead of the Bassmaster Central Open stop at the Red River today with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 14 ounces after first-day leader Aaron Johnson managed less than 7 pounds.
Spohrer said the key to his jump into the No. 1 spot came by working offshore targets he identified during practice.
“I spent my whole practice fishing stuff where I thought the tournament would be won,” he said. “I know this river very well, and I have a lot of experience here. I gambled and found some sweet spots that were holding some big ones.”
Whenever he got a bite in practice, he marked a waypoint in the oxbows he was fishing, and each competition day he has keyed on those waypoints.
Defending champion and Bassmaster Elite Series pro Stephen Browning in 6 ounces behind Spohrer with 28 ½ pounds, while fellow Elite Series pro Jeff Kriet goes into the final day of competition in third with 27 ½ pounds. First-day leader Johnson is in fourth with 27-7, and Tommy Murray wraps up the Top 5 with 26 pounds.
Only the Top 12 anglers fish the last day.
Spohrer said the change in weather from clouds and wind yesterday to sunshine and a light breeze today made it easier to work his area.
“I had a problem with the wind yesterday,” said Spohrer, who had a 13-5 limit the first day. “It was blowing about 25 mph out of the south, and I was fishing the northern end of an oxbow.”
The rough water made it difficult to see the stumps he was trying to target, but today he was able to locate that cover easier and caught a heavier limit (15-9) while flipping to wood cover.
“The sun is positioning the fish on the stumps,” Spohrer said.
Thursday and Friday he spent a couple of hours fishing the stump field to catch bigger fish and then moved to other spots to complete his limit.
Browning said he is doing the same thing as he did the final day of last year’s event. However he has a crowd with him this time.
“I had a lot of company today but it is what it is,” he said. “You can’t claim the whole pond. I just kept my head down and kept fishing.”
Co-angler Logan Latuso maintained his lead by catching a small limit to give him a two-day total of 17 pounds. The Louisiana angler failed to catch a fish until 12:30 p.m., but completed his limit by about 2 p.m.
“I was able to fish about the same stuff today, but I had to really slow down today because it was a lot tougher bite,” Latuso said.