Alabama's McCombs vaults to lead on Day 3 of FLW Tour at Beaver Lake
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published April 30, 2017
The weather was the big story Saturday at the FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake presented by General Tire. After a rainy week that had seen water levels rise more than 8 feet, Mother Nature continued to challenge the FLW Tour pros with another round of heavy storms and flash flooding that forced many of the final 20 Tour pros to seek shelter during the competition day.
After starting the day in 11th place, pro Johnny McCombs of Morris, Alabama, battled through the storms and brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces - the heaviest limit of the tournament and seventh largest at Beaver Lake in FLW Tour history - to vault to the top of the leaderboard. The four-day competition, hosted by Visit Rogers, featured a field of 161 of the world's best bass-fishing professionals casting for a top award of up to $125,000.
"I think the weather affected the fishermen more than the fish," said McCombs, a three-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. "I fished all new water today and had my weight by 8:30 a.m. It wasn't one spot - it was one here, one there. I caught them all on one bait."
With one day of competition remaining, McCombs was not yet ready to divulge the specifics of his bait.
"The water is flooded into the bushes, and I'm just fishing down the bank line," McCombs said. "I'm on a pattern and I know what to look for. If I pull into a place and it doesn't look right, I'm out of there and on to the next one.
"I actually stopped fishing a few hours early today because of the storms," McCombs continued. "I'm excited to get back out there tomorrow and hopefully I can get the right bites that I need to win this thing."
The top 10 advancing to the final day of competition Sunday on Beaver Lake are:
1st: Johnny McCombs, Morris, Ala., 15 bass, 41-13
2nd: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, 15 bass, 39-8
3rd: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 35-6
4th: Mud Hole Custom Tackle pro John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 14 bass, 35-3