Carl Jocumsen caught a 20-02 stringer on Friday to grab the lead after day 1 of the FLW Series Championship at Lake Guntersville. Jocumsen will take a 3-ounce advantage into the final day of the event, which was shortened to two days after inclement weather moved through the area Thursday. The full field will fish again Saturday with the winner being determined by their two-day cumulative weight.
“I started out by jumping around," he said. "We’ve been off of the lake for two days [due to a mandatory off day and a cancellation day due to severe weather], so I knew I’d have to go fishing a little bit.I picked up a big glide bait and a pretty decent-sized swimbait and just kind of went for it.”
Jocumsen said that he went one-for-one with his co-angler, Jared West, (who leads the co-angler race) throughout the day, which made it difficult to pinpoint what the fish were doing. After the two logged catches with a few different baits, and with four good keepers in the livewell, Jocumsen said he decided to commit to the glide bait for the final two hours of the day.
“I usually wouldn’t pick up the glide bait with two hours to go, but everything was right and I’d gotten some awesome bites on it Saturday [in practice],” said Jocumsen. “I went for it and a 5 1/2-pounder crushed it beside the boat. Once that happened, I never put it down. With about 35 minutes to go, I caught another 5-pounder and got rid of a 2 1/2-pounder – that put me at 20 pounds.
“This year, for me, has been ‘the year of the glide bait’,” continued Jocumsen. “It has pulled me out of some really bad situations. I’ve been dialing in on it for about four or five years, just trying to put it into my tournament arsenal rather than just have it be a bait that you throw for giants. I’ve sort of figured out how to do that and it’s paid off.”
Jocumsen said that on Saturday, he’s going to have to make some major adjustments in order to follow up his big day.
“I had some of the worst practice days ever Tuesday, Monday and most of Sunday, and tomorrow is supposed to be the same conditions as those days,” he said. “I’m going to have to adjust like crazy. I couldn’t get them to eat the glide bait in sunny conditions without wind. It had to be cloudy, rainy, windy, nasty weather, and that’s what I had today.”
He went on to say that while the weather may not play into his hands Saturday, there is still a chance the glide bait could produce some big bites for him, saying that stain in the water could mimic cloud cover and trigger some bites.
“If everything goes to plan I can get on that early morning bite and get five by 10 o’clock, and then I can pick up the glide and things could get pretty scary,” said Jocumsen. “I think I need to get two big bites, but I don’t think I can get five. These fish are the smartest fish I’ve ever fished for right now.”
Here's a look at the initial top 10:
1. Carl Jocumsen" 20-02
2. Kyle Walters: 19-15
3. Bryan Thrift: 18-03
4. Cole Floyd: 18-02
5. Casey Smith: 17-08
6. Dennis Shawn Perrigo: 17-06
7. Terry Tucker: 16-06
8. David Hudson: 16-03
9. (tie) Brandon Perkins: 15-07
9. (tie) Troy Gibson: 15-07