Twin kickers give Faber Day 2 lead in Bassmaster Open at Eufaula
EUFALUA, Okla. —

Ty Faber said his second day was nearly a template of the first, except for a double shot of much-needed kickers that pushed him into the lead with a two-day total of 34 pounds, 12 ounces at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake Eufaula presented by SEVIIN.

Adding a limit of 19-1 to his first round catch of 15-11, the pro from Pagosa Springs, Colo., gained nine spots and heads into Championship Saturday with a 4-ounce lead over Bo Thomas.

“I did the same thing I did yesterday, I just caught two 4-pounders today,” Faber said. “I started local and tried to catch one before I ran to the stuff I’d found in practice. I didn’t have any bites, so after an hour of that, I ran down to my good stuff.

“The first couple of spots I hit, I didn’t get anything. But then I caught a keeper, then I caught a good one, and it was a pretty good couple of hours. I poked around and tried to find something else, but all my weight came off my good stuff.”

Faber said he relied on a single dragging bait and did all of his damage on a point with multiple key spots sporting scattered brush and rock in 5 to 20 feet of water.

“My one (main) spot seems to have a concentration of fish there,” Faber said. “I caught two off of that spot yesterday and I caught three off of it today.

“I’m hoping we can catch five or more off of it tomorrow.”

Faber, who won the 2016 Bassmaster Team Championship (along with John Gardner), placed 12th at last year’s Open at Eufaula. While he’s optimistic for his final-round opportunity, Faber said he’s really not sure what to expect.

“It wouldn’t shock me if I didn’t catch a keeper tomorrow and it wouldn’t shock me if I caught another good bag tomorrow,” Faber. “I got my big fish and got out, so I’m pretty excited to go back.”

Hailing from Edwardsburg, Mich., Thomas is in second place with 34-8. Thomas had an 11th-place limit of 15-8 on Day 1 and added 19-0 in the second round.

“I had my limit around 9:30 (a.m.) and I was mostly done fishing by 10 o’clock,” Thomas said. “I did a little upgrading throughout the day, but it seems like after 11 o’clock, that big-bite window dies off.

“I haven’t gotten to fully experience what the spot’s capable of. After I caught my five and had enough to put me in contention to be in the Top 10, I kinda let off. I sat around (on my spot) and retied some baits, got the boat cleaned up and got a good sun tan.”

Targeting rocky bottom with logs, trees and stumps in 12 to 24 feet, Thomas caught his fish on a drop shot. He started with a 6-inch Roboworm in the morning dawn color, but switching to a Strike King Filler Worm yielded a better response.

“There’s a lot of bait in the area and with the water falling, I think the fish are actually coming to me,” Thomas said. “I think the bank bite is dying and that’s how I found this spot — I followed the white bass. On the first day, I just ended up stumbling on a bunch of big ones.”

Knowing he’s knocking on victory’s door, Thomas said: “Second place isn’t always a good look, but I’d rather be chasing than running. I’m really excited for tomorrow. I’m gonna catch ’em. I’m ready to go.”

Easton Fothergill of Grand Rapids, Minn., is in third place with 34-7. He turned in daily weights of 17-12 and 16-11.

Fothergill started his day on the dock that produced all of his Day 1 weight. He actually found this spot in the first round completely by happenstance.

“Yesterday, I was fishing one of my schools offshore, and I don’t know what made me turn toward the bank, but I did and I saw them on forward-facing sonar,” Fothergill said. “There is no structure under that dock; that’s the crazy thing. But they were there yesterday and they were there again today.”

Fothergill got his chance early, when a 5-plus-pounder bit. But when that fish shook off, the commotion scattered his fish. He put together his Day 2 limit offshore, but he’s hopeful his magic dock will deliver big final-round results.

“There were about 40 fish there yesterday and about 20 today, but they were all big fish,” Fothergill said. “If I can capitalize on the school tomorrow, fireworks could happen.”

Cody Meyer of Eagle, Idaho, is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 6-13.

Neil Beckham of Jacksonville, Texas, won the co-angler division with a two-day total of 13-12. After placing 10th on Day 1 with a two-fish bag that weighed 5 pounds, Beckham rallied and added a late-day limit of 8-12 to clinch the win by a 4-ounce margin over Oklahoma co-angler Jimmy Fellegy.

Beckham won the top prize of $8,387.

“I did not have a fish at 3 o’clock today, so I just put my head down and said a lot of prayers,” Beckham said. “I didn’t know what to expect (on Day 2), but my pro let me know we’d be out deep on isolated brush.”

Beckham caught his Day 1 fish on a 1/2-ounce red/black ChatterBait JackHammer with a matching X Zone Lures swimbait trailer. The second round required a changeup.

“At the end of the day, we went into a little pocket and I caught one on a Texas-rigged ribbon-tail worm,” Beckham said. “I switched to a Texas-rigged 5-inch X Zone True Center stickworm and it happened really quick. “I caught my big one on the last cast — 3 feet from the boat.”

Kara Moss of Tyler, Texas, won the $250 Phoenix Boats Big Bass award among co-anglers with her 5-2.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. CT at Nichols Point. The weigh-in will be held at the Nichols Point at 2 p.m.

Coverage will be available on FS1 on Saturday at 8:00-11:00 a.m. ET. Also, Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming Saturday on

The event is being hosted by Visit Lake Eufaula.