CORNELIUS, N.C. (Aug. 13, 2010) – Friday the 13th offered a tough start for Shinichi Fukae of Texas after he left his GPS waypoints notes on Lake Norman in his camper.
But that didn’t stop him from capitalizing on his career-best showing at Norman. The Megabass pro jumped into the lead with five bass weighing 11.47 pounds for a two-day total of 26.43, with one day remaining in the PAA Bass Pro Shops Tournament Series presented by Carrot Stix.
The top 30 will fish Saturday for a $45,000 package including a Nitro Z-8 boat, Mercury 250 and T-H Marine Atlas Jackplate, along with qualifying points for the Toyota Texas Bass Classic in October on Lake Conroe in Texas. Today’s final weigh-in will begin at 4:30 p.m. EST from Bass Pro Shops at Concord Mills Mall. Live coverage will be streamed on AnglersChannel.com.
Fukae is targeting specific areas with a shaky head and also is trying to capitalize on schooling fish. His run-and-gun approach paid off as he separated himself a bit from Nitro Boats pro Edwin Evers of Oklahoma, who has 25 pounds. Evers caught 10.04 pounds on Friday.
“Saturday will be busy on the lake,” Fukae said, “so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to some of my spots. I’ll go to them if they’re open and I can get on them. I hope I can.”
The 28,500-acre lake is popular on weekends with throngs of recreational anglers and boaters. The field will face challenge that along with the possibility of overnight thunderstorms that could change things if the forecast holds true. Friday remained sweltering but the wind was picking up later in the day from the southwest.
Ranger pro Chris Baumgardner of North Carolina surged into third place with a limit weighing 13.36 pounds for a total of 23.51. Bass Pro Shops pro Ott DeFoe of Tennessee also came on strong, posting in fourth with 14.39 and a total of 22.77. DeFoe’s catch was the biggest of the day and included the big bass, a 4.90-pounder.
Several anglers said the bite died or grew tougher after about 9 a.m. when the sun began beating on the lake.
“I sat on one spot too long and that was stupid,” said Triton pro Jeff Kriet of Oklahoma. “I didn’t catch my first one until about 10:30. A few guys saw me on Thursday on my best spot and I knew if I didn’t go there first, I’d never get on it. I hit it hard Thursday and I think you have to be able to rotate your spots to let the fish regroup. When you catch one or two, it pulls them off and they scatter. But if you can’t move, it makes it tougher and you may not get another bite.”
The tournament is the second in the four-event series this season. The third stop will be Sept. 9-11 on Lake Tawakoni in Garland, Texas.
Complete standings are available at http://fishpaa.com/tournaments/lake-norman-results/