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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2007
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Tennessee's Bob Morin shows some of his catch during the weigh-in at the Bassmaster Southern Open at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur on Friday. After two days, Morin has 21 pounds, 9 ounces, good for 10th place in the professional division.
Daily photo by Brennen Smith
Tennessee's Bob Morin shows some of his catch during the weigh-in at the Bassmaster Southern Open at Ingalls Harbor in Decatur on Friday. After two days, Morin has 21 pounds, 9 ounces, good for 10th place in the professional division.

Maryland man whips the wind, other pro anglers

By Paul Stackhouse
sports@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

Bass anglers hate to see a strong wind while fishing. But that's exactly what anglers fishing the Bassmaster Southern Open faced Friday.

Even with a 10 to 20 mph westerly wind on Wheeler Lake, the best of the best bass fishermen seem always to find a way to catch fish.

On the pro side, Maryland's Frank Ippoliti leads the pack with his two-day catch of bass weighing 29 pounds, 6 ounces. If Ippoliti is able to keep the lead in Saturday's final round, he will win the first-place prize of $6,000 and a Triton high performance bass boat powered by a Mercury engine valued at $50,000.

Saturday's final round finds the contestants blasting off at safe light with the weigh-in to begin at 2:45 p.m. at Ingalls Harbor.

For the final round, the field is cut to the top 30 pro anglers and the top 30 co-anglers,
who fish from the back of the boat.

Tennessee's Kenneth Chapman sits in second place on the pro side with his two-day weight of 27-15 with Todd Auten of South Carolina holding onto third place at 26-11.

Two of the crowd favorites, Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals and Gerald Swindle of Warrior, head into the championship round in fourth and fifth place. Horton's two-day weight is 25-10, while Swindle has 25-3.

Rounding out the top 10 are Bobby Lane of Florida (24-14), Florida's Terry Seagraves (24-9), Texas pro Sean Hoernke (22-9), Alabama's Russ Lane (21-13) and Tennessee's Bob Morin (21-9).

"I just couldn't get the big bite today," Horton said. "The water I'm wanting to fish is muddy, but if the wind quits blowing, and they pull some water, things should be OK for me.

"I've got a place where I can catch a limit and after I do that I will be going for big fish the rest of the day. I had a limit today around 8:30, and I lost about a 3-pounder, but after that I just couldn't get a big bite."

Swindle said he has a big bass area that just didn't produce Friday. He added that he still has confidence in his secret hole, though.

"I fished it three times today and didn't do anything," Swindle said. "I know the big fish are there. With the wind blowing as hard as it was today and the fact that they weren't pulling current hurt the bite.

"I may have to make some adjustments, but I'll do what I have to do to win this thing. I'm not going out Saturday just to catch a five-fish limit. I'm going after the big bite all day long."

In the co-angler division, first place is worth $2,000
and a Triton bass boat with a Mercury engine valued at $32,000.

Massachusetts angler Lee Hannah leads the division with his two-day weight of 22-5. North Carolina's Scott Reed sits in second place going into the final round at 19-0.

Rounding out the top 10 non-boaters are Eric Johnson of Massachusetts (17-14), Georgia's Fred Hood (16-15), Alabama's Andy Cobb (16-13), Tennessee's Dow Cox (16-9), Ohio's Gary Johns (15-11), Tennessee's David Eden (15-6), Jason Law of Georgia (14-13) and Dan Morrow and Lee David of Georgia (14-1 each).

Bassmaster Southern Open

What: Bassmaster Southern Open professional fishing tournament on Wheeler Lake.

Who: Frank Ippoliti of Maryland leads the professional anglers after two days of fishing with a total of 29 pounds, 6 ounces. In the co-angler division, Lee Hannah of Massachusetts has a haul of 22-5. After Friday’s fishing, the field was trimmed to 30 in each division.

When: The three-day event concludes Saturday with weigh-in at 2:45 p.m. at Ingalls Harbor.

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