John Cox Grabs Early Lead at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Six Pros Top 20 Pounds on Day One of Four-Day Event

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 BROOKELAND, TEXAS (Jan. 23, 2020)Berkley pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 7 ounces, Thursday to grab the early lead after Day One of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Veteran FLW pro Greg Bohannan of Bentonville, Arkansas, is in second place, just 3 ounces behind Cox after bringing a 21-4 limit to the scale. The season-opening Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event features a field of 154 bass-fishing professionals from around the world casting for a top award of up to $135,000.

“My morning was pretty slow, but it turned out to be a really awesome day,” said Cox, who has more than $1.3 million in career earnings with FLW. “I didn’t have anything special – only 10 or 11 pounds – until almost noon. I was getting a little down, so I just started whipping my crankbait out into open water. I caught one off of a bush, and that’s what slowed me down. Then I found a little area that had them.”

Cox said he culled out his entire limit and weighed in five keepers all from that one area. He said that his key bait was a Berkley Frittside 5 crankbait.

“They weren’t crazy-stacked up, but they all came on the same kind of throw,” Cox said. “You knew when you were around them because you could feel the bait coming over the fish – it felt like reeling over logs. Then all of a sudden one would eat it.

“What’s crazy is that I caught them flipping there in 2010,” Cox continued. “It was a fall tournament. I had nothing, then went up there and found some hydrilla mats and ended up flipping like 18 pounds. Now I’m just throwing the crankbait in the same spot.”

Cox believed that the fish he caught today were not resident fish.

“I’m pretty sure it was a transition area – they were either coming or going, but they were just passing through there for some reason,” Cox went on to say. “They might not be there tomorrow, but I hope that I can still find them. I’m just going to try to milk it for all its worth.”

The top 10 pros after day one on Sam Rayburn Reservoir are:

1st:       John Cox, DeBary, Fla., five bass, 21-7

2nd:      Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., five bass, 21-4

3rd:       Darold Gleason, Many, La., five bass, 21-3

4th:       Corey Neece, Bristol, Tenn., five bass, 20-14

5th:       Grae Buck, Harleysville, Pa., five bass, 20-9

6th:       Mitch Crane, Columbus, Miss., five bass, 20-3

7th:       Jon Canada, Helena, Ala., five bass, 19-10

8th:       Hunter Freeman, Monroe, La., five bass, 18-2

9th:       Lane Olson, Tigard, Ore., five bass, 18-0

10th:     Mark Fisher, Wauconda, Ill., five bass, 17-15

For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.

Buck won the day’s $500 Berkley Big Bass award in the pro division after bringing a largemouth weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces to the scale.

Overall there were 619 bass weighing 1,520 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 151 pros Thursday. The catch included 88 five-bass limits.

In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition, the full field of 154 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round Thursday and Friday. The top 30 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 FLW TITLE, the Pro Circuit Championship. The 2020 FLW TITLE will be on the St. Lawrence River in Massena, New York, Aug. 8-13 and is hosted by the Town of Massena.

Anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. CST each day from the Umphrey Family Pavilion, located at 5438 Sam Rayburn Parkway, in Brookeland. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the pavilion beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will also be held at the pavilion, but will begin at 4 p.m.

For youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the pavilion on Saturday from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The event is hosted by Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit anglers, and is free and open to anyone under the age of 18 and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one. The 1st and 2nd place anglers that catch the biggest fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Pro Circuit stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.

Television coverage of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Sam Rayburn Reservoir will premiere in 2020. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit will have 156 two-hour airings on network television, including 26 consecutive weeks of Friday night primetime airing on Outdoor Channel and 130 airings on Sportsman Channel for a total of 312 hours of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit programming.

The popular FLW Live on-the-water broadcast will air on Days Three and Four of the event, featuring live action from the boats of the tournament’s top pros each day. Host Travis Moran is joined by former FLW pro Todd Hollowell to break down the extended action each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On-the-water broadcasts will be live streamed on FLWFishing.com, the FLW YouTube channel and the FLW Facebook page.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit on FLW’s social media outlets at Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

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