Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/10/2017

Story and photo courtesy of FLW Communications

LEESBURG, Fla. - Mud Hole Custom Tackle pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces Friday to extend his lead after day two of the FLW Tour at the Harris Chain of Lakes presented by Ranger Boats with a two-day catch of 10 bass totaling 44-10. Cox will bring a 5-pound, 13-ounce lead into day three of the four-day tournament that features 163 of the top bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.

“Today was pretty stressful,” said Cox, who won a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on the Harris Chain in 2007. “Nothing was working for me. No fish were moving up, so I just got on the trolling motor and fished all new stuff. Right at the end of the day, around 4 o’clock, I caught two 4-pounders. The game plan has been to go and go until I find something that looks like it’s starting to turn on and today it happened really late.”

Cox said that the spot where he caught the two 4-pounders wasn’t something that he expected to replenish and that he was going to have to continue to cover a lot of water tomorrow.

“Yesterday I caught them on five different baits and today was three,” Cox said. “I’m not on a pattern or anything, I’m just doing what I like doing and looking for them swimming around.”

Despite the field being cut to the final 20 and many areas of the lake expected to see less traffic, Cox didn’t expect that to affect his gameplan.

“I really haven’t seen many other boats, so I don’t think it will make much of a difference for me. But, it could definitely help everybody else.

“Either way, I’m having a blast fishing and I just love being here,” Cox went on to say. “I’ve been dreaming of this tournament for so long. Each day I’ve managed to get a couple where I didn’t think that I was going to catch them. I hope it happens again tomorrow.”

The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on the Harris Chain are:
1st: Mud Hole Custom Tackle pro John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 10 bass, 44-10
2nd: Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C., 10 bass, 38-13
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 36-13
4th: Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 36-9
5th: Bradley Dortch, Atmore, Ala., 10 bass, 36-6
6th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 10 bass, 36-2
7th: J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 10 bass, 34-10
8th: Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 10 bass, 33-14
9th: Rusty Trancygier, Hahira, Ga., 10 bass, 33-9
10th: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., 10 bass, 32-6
11th: Carl Jocumsen, Frisco, Texas, 10 bass, 32-4
12th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 31-5
13th: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 31-1
14th: Aaron Britt, Yuba City, Calif., 10 bass, 30-4
15th: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 30-2
16th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 29-10
17th: Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan., 10 bass, 29-8
18th: Jamie Horton, Centerville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-0
19th: Chris Whitson, Louisville, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-14
20th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-11

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Dortch earned the Big Bass award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 7-pound, 6-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.

Overall there were 744 bass weighing 1,625 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 159 pros Friday. The catch included 128 five-bass limits.

Robert Crosnoe of Inverness, Florida, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Tyler Woolcott of Port Orange, Florida, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 30 pounds, 9 ounces, worth $7,550.