PELL CITY, Ala. - Chris Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion, faltered on Day Two of the Southern Open at Logan Martin Lake. His 10-pound, 3-ounce limit dropped him from first to fifth place with 28 pounds, 13 ounces. The heavy largemouth bass that vaulted Lane into the lead Thursday were a no-show Friday. If they return on Saturday, he will make a strong run for the title.
Jasper, Ala.’s David Kilgore, who is targeting spotted bass, upped the ante with a 17-pound, 6-ounce limit. His two-day total of 33 pounds, 13 ounces puts him atop the field of 157 pros. It also earned him a $250 bonus check from Livingston Lures.
“The morning bite was slow Thursday,” Kilgore said. “Friday I had all the bass I weighed in by 7:30 [a.m.].”
Kilgore left his key fishing areas after that and concentrated on largemouth bass. He caught five largemouth, but nothing big enough to cull anything from his initial limit. Saturday Kilgore plans to relentlessly hammer his best spotted-bass water all day.
If Kilgore maintains the lead, he will be awarded $10,000, a Nitro Z-9 powered by a Mercury 225 Pro XS outboard and a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.
“I’m catching all my bass on a Strike King jig,” Kilgore said. “I’ll let you know which one after the tournament is over.”
Alvin Shaw of Roaring Gap, N.C. jumped three spots to land in second place. His 15-pound, 7-ounce limit of spotted bass brings his total to 31 pounds, 7 ounces. Shaw is fishing an area that he believes the spotted bass moved into during the high water of the previous week.
“They haven’t moved out yet,” Shaw said. “I’m hoping they stay one more day.”
Shaw claims he is catching 16 or more keepers a day and that he has his area all to himself. His biggest spotted bass Friday weighed 4 pounds, 8 ounces. “That bass pulled so hard it brought me to my knees,” Shaw said.
Elite Series pro David Walker, of Tennessee, had a spotted bass in his limit Friday that weighed 4 pounds, 12 ounces. It made him the Carhartt Big Bass Leader of the day and anchored his 16-pound, 13-ounce limit. His 30-pound, 15-ounce total has him sitting in third place.
Walker is catching largemouth in shallow water and spotted bass deeper.
“I’m only fishing two areas, but my front deck is covered with rods,” Walker said. “The bass seem to want something different almost hourly. The key to my success so far has been to constantly change how I’m fishing.
Co-angler leader Bryan Talmadge, of Moody, Ala. caught two three-bass limits that totaled 16 pounds, 12 ounces. Talmadge knows the lake well and took his pro partners to his water, which is where he bagged all his bass.
For leading on Day Two, Talmadge received a certificate for $250 worth of Livingston Lures. If he pulls off the win on Saturday, he will also claim a Triton 17 Pro bass boat with a Mercury 115 Pro XS motor.
Friday’s Carhartt Big Bass Leader on the co-angler side is Scott Ebetino of Zebulon, Ga. with a 4-pound, 8-ounce bass.
The final weigh-in for the Top 12 pros and co-anglers will take place Saturday at Bass Pro Shops in Leeds, Ala.