JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (April 11, 2019) – Pro Andrew Upshaw of Tulsa, Oklahoma, caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 6 ounces to lead the field after day one of the FLW Tour at the Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance. Right behind Upshaw in second place is pro Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Arkansas, with 17-13 and Tim Frederick of Leesburg, Florida, in third with 17-4. The full field of 164 professionals, who are casting for a top award of up to $125,000, will continue competition into day two, with just the top 30 fishing Saturday and the final 10 competing Sunday.
“I started in an area that I’d thought there’d be a lot of boats, but there were only two of us when I got there. It’s a big area, and both of us caught quite a few fish out of there,” said Upshaw, a former YETI FLW College Fishing angler who is a two-time FLW Cup qualifier. “I had 14 or 15 pounds early – within the 45 minutes to an hour or so. I made a couple of quick moves and caught two big ones that I’d marked and shook off in practice.
“I caught a lot of 3-pounders and that’s why, around 10 [a.m.], I just laid off of them completely,” continued Upshaw. “I was catching too many 3s and I knew how crucial 3-pounders would be in this tournament.”
Upshaw said he caught approximately 28 keepers Thursday – which included some largemouth – but ended up weighing a limit of smallmouth.
“I was fishing slow and just focusing on fish that were possibly on a bed, as well as staging fish in a couple of places,” said Upshaw. “I’m looking for a harder bottom.”
The Oklahoma pro went on to say that he doesn’t have a bait that’s producing better than the rest, saying he pretty much junk-fished his way to the lead today.
“I fell in love with this lake the first hour of practice, and ever since then I just kind of rolled with it. It really reminds me of a lake I grew up fishing – Lake Texoma –on the border of Texas and Oklahoma. How the fish set up is so similar, and they spawn on a lot of the exact same stuff.”
The top 10 boaters after day one on Cherokee Lake are:
1st: Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., five bass, 18-6
2nd: Dylan Hays, El Dorado, Ark., five bass, 17-13
3rd: Tim Frederick, Leesburg, Fla., five bass, 17-4
3rd: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., five bass, 17-4
5th: Andy Young, Isle, Minn., five bass, 17-2
5th: Jason Reyes, Huffman, Texas, five bass, 17-2
7th: Johnny McCombs, Morris, Ala., five bass, 17-1
8th: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 17-0
9th: Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., five bass, 16-12
10th: Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., five bass, 16-9
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Christopher Brasher of Longview, Texas, earned Thursday’s $500 Big Bass award after bringing a 5-pound, 8-ounce bass to the scale – the largest fish of the day.
Overall there were 781 bass weighing 2,064 pounds, 8 ounces, caught by 163 pros Thursday. The catch included 143 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, the full field of 164 pro anglers compete in the two-day opening round on 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.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance is more than $860,000. The tournament is hosted by the Economic Development Alliance, Jefferson County.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2019 FLW Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2019 FLW Cup will be on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Aug. 9-11 and is hosted by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Visit Hot Springs.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EST Friday through Sunday from the TVA Dam Boat Launch, located at 2805 N. Highway 92, in Jefferson City. Friday’s weigh-in will be held near the launch beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will also be held near the launch, but will begin at 4 p.m.
In conjunction with the weigh-ins, FLW will host a free Family Fishing Expo at the TVA Dam Boat Launch from 2 to 6 p.m. The Expo is a chance for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, as well as learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Also for youth, the FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby will be held at the TVA Dam Boat Launch on Saturday, April 13, from Noon-2 p.m. The event is hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour 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 most fish will be recognized Saturday on the FLW Tour stage, just prior to the pros weighing in.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Cherokee Lake presented by Lowrance will premiere in 2019. The exact air-date will be announced soon. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs each Saturday night at 7 p.m. EST and is broadcast to more than 63 million cable, satellite and telecommunications households in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean on the World Fishing Network (WFN), the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America. FLW television is also distributed internationally to FLW partner countries, including Canada, China, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and South Africa.
The popular FLW Live on-the-water program 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 will be joined by veteran FLW Tour 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.