Talley hoping to move up

Frank Talley started the day in fifth place with 24-9. He leads the Central Open points race and is hoping to gain a few points today to provide security on a Bassmaster Classic berth. As it stands today he has a 23-Point lead on Toby Hartsell who is third in points. If Talley won today it would be all but impossible for him to lose a Classic berth. Just catching a fish to get points at the Championship is his hope. Either way his lead will be significant.

He has 11-12 pounds today, which is solid this week. Another cull or two to get rid of a few sub-two-pounders and he could make a move into podium territory.

Alabama domination

It’s a Saturday in the fall and the phrase “Alabama Domination” pops up, I bet you think about college football immediately. Well on this specific Saturday, it’s not about football at all, but rather bass fishing.

The Top 12 are fishing the final day at Logan Martin Lake in Pell City, AL. Most of the time you get a sprinkle of seasoned pros, regional hammers and then a few random states represented.

Today’s Top 12 couldn’t be more opposite as 10 of the 12 are Alabama anglers. The lone anglers with no affiliation to “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” are Mark Rose and Frank Talley. Rose is leading this event and Talley is the Central Opens Angler of the Year leader this season.

“I’m surrounded by Alabama Hamma’s,” Talley said. “Shoot if I’m going to compete Nationally, you have to beat the anglers in this state for sure.”

Dorsett making upgrades

Kyle Dorsett, a local pro in the Logan Martin region, started the final day in 3rd place overall. He had 24-14 and was 2-8 behind Mark Rose. He has primarily fished shallow all week and has flipped a creature bait and swam a jig around water willow grass.

He has a limit, but it’s small. He made one cull while we were with him that probably bumped him to about 8 pounds. He has fished offshore here and there, but noted he weighed two fish from an offshore spot he stopped and fished for 20 minutes late on Day 2.

Atkins culling

Justin Atkins started the day in a 4-way tie for 5th place. His 24-8 has him less than 3 pounds off the pace that Mark Rose has set. I found him fishing offshore and catching them just like yesterday, cast after cast. He culled three times while I watched him and it bumped his weight probably to 9 1/2 pounds. He culled a squeaker spotted bass with a 2 1/2-pound largemouth. That got him a good cull.

The water should turn on shortly in the river and Atkins will make his run up to some of his other spots.

Rose limits out

Mark Rose fished with three keepers in the box for a little while before catching number four and five in short order. He worked his way out of a creek to a clump of water willow grass. He fished topwater by it for just a cast or two and then flipped a creature bait, what looked like a Strike King Rage Bug. In a matter of 3 flips he landed two largemouth, his biggest by far, but nothing really big enough he’d love to weigh-in.

A limit is a limit and Mark Rose is looking to upgrade now.

“I’m not doing anything special,” Rose said. “Everyone thinks I’m dialed in, but other than one offshore spot, I’m just fishing what’s in front of me. We will see how today goes, but I know I need to fish some new water.”

Three stops, three spots

Day 2 leader Mark Rose has fished three spots within the immediate vicinity of Lakeside Park and has one spotted bass to show for it. He started the morning by fishing an offshore area for about 30 minutes and has since jumped from shoreline to shoreline running what some would consider junk fishing.

Skipping a wacky rig and casting a buzzbait have been his two main baits this morning for his shallow spots. He’s landed three keeper spotted bass on the wacky rig and broke off another bite he had as well. Two of his fish came off the same dock as well.

“That was bound to happen sometime,” Rose said. “I’ve landed everything that bit this week, but that one broke me off at my leader knot. I now have three fish for a solid two and a half pounds.

Championship Saturday is off and running

The Top 12 pros and cos at the final Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open at Logan Martin just left Lakeside Park and are starting their final day of action.

I’m starting with Day 2 leader Mark Rose who is starting his day just a couple hundred yards from takeoff.

From nothing to something real quick

Joey Nania is a seasoned Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Pro and is one of the favorites here on Logan Martin this week. As expected, he was in contention after Thursday’s weigh-in. He ended Day 1 in 7th with 12-14.

Today, on the other hand, has been much tougher. He was singing the blues when I found him at 1 p.m. after a tough morning. He said he had a 3 1/2 pounder and four tiny spotted bass keepers. He wasn’t desperate, but it was getting close. In a matter of 15 minutes he culled four or five times and like magic he got rid of every squeaker he had.

Pairing a couple spotted bass and that kicker largemouth should have him not only in the Top 12, but in striking range heading into tomorrow’s final day.

If he stays in striking range it could be scary because he fishes Logan Martin a lot and has plenty of spots. He said he even had areas down the lake with 100 fish or so sitting there when he graphed over them. With tight weights it’ll be interesting on Championship Saturday

Martin and Johns save the day

Nathan Martin and Michael Johns were fishing up at the dam when they finally turned on the water generation. An aluminum boat containing two local fishermen was anchored and before they knew it the water level was rising, but the rope length to their anchor wasn’t getting any longer. The current pulled the side of the boat over and it capsized sending both men into the water.

Martin and Johns rushed over and grabbed both men and saved them from their situation. Perfect lesson to be aware of every variable around you.

Butler leads the flurry

The action at the base of the Neely Henry Dam wasn't fast and furious due to the lack of current flow. But fifth place Josh Butler did the best of the rest at the dam. He had a limit when we left that region and had one that probably weighed just shy of 3 pounds. That should have him safely fishing tomorrow, but he wants to close the 2-3 gap he faced against Dustin Connell. He was off to a great start compared to the rest, and that water flow could make it even better for him.

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