TAMPLA, Florida -- GEICO anglers Christiana Bradley and Teddy Carr moved up the standings in Friday's second day of the Bassmaster Southern Open on the Harris Chain of Lakes in Central Florida.
Bradley gained six spots to finish 51st in the opening Bassmaster Open tournament of 2012, while Carr moved up 12 positions to finish 152nd.
Bradley matched her limit of five fish from Thursday, with Friday's catch weighing 9 pounds, 7 ounces. Her two-day total was 19 pounds, 13 ounces, helping her finish in the top quarter of the field.
"I found my spot and just stayed with it," Bradley said. "One of the Elite Series pros, David Walker, was back in there with me and we were fishing the same way so that really boosted my confidence. He managed to catch one of the big ones in that area and I didn't, but that's the way it goes.
"I'm fairly happy with the tournament. You always want more. You want to make the money cut, which was just a few spots away (40th place), and you want to make it to the weekend if you can. It's tough. There're almost 200 anglers and only 12 make the weekend."
Bradley has already circled the next Southern Open, which takes place April 5-7 on Lake Norman in North Carolina.
"I'm really looking forward to the next Open because that's a lake I've fished several times," Bradley said. "The difference between the Elite anglers and the others is the time they spend out there on these various lakes. I'd never been to Harris before, whereas David was saying to me that the grass we were fishing on today wasn't there a year ago. His local knowledge was there."
The grass Bradley was talking about is known as "Kissimmee grass," and Carr tried fishing in those areas. But he struggled over the two-day tournament, catching four fish weighing 7 pounds, 2 ounces.
"Unfortunately, I hit a brick wall," Carr said. "It was just a tough tournament for me. I hate to start the season like this but it just makes me a little more eager to get to Norman and try to rectify the situation.
"I just could not get anything going on the main lake. I couldn't get anything going on any shell beds, I couldn't find a pattern out in front of the Kissimmee grass. I started going in to some backwater canals, and found a canal that had a bunch of buck bass in it, and I was hoping some bigger females would move in there, but it just didn't happen."
Carr snared three fish Friday, weighing 5 pounds, 6 ounces.
"I wanted more for everybody involved, GEICO and my partners," Carr said. "But it makes me want to work harder for the next one. Sometimes you've got to take your punch on the chin, pull yourself up off the mat and go on with the show."
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