One day at a time

Ken Duke

I have a new statistic for all you tournament geeks out there, and I think it's pretty interesting. I call it the Daily Catch Ratio (or DCR).

First, let me tell you what it measures. I was curious about which Elite anglers were consistently best on the first day of tournaments. I also wondered if there were guys who were consistently falling off after the first day ... or consistently improving their catches from one day to the next.

I owe the brainstorm to Randy Howell. A couple of years ago, it seemed he was always near the top of the standings after Day One but that he often slipped on the second day. I wanted to know if my anecdotal suspicions would be supported by the numbers, so I started doing some calculating.

I started with the 2010 season. I took the average weight caught by an angler on each day of competition and used it to measure the performance of each angler in the field. If the average angler caught 10 pounds of bass that day and Angler X happened to catch exactly 10 pounds, he has a DCR of 1.00. If, on the same day, Angler Y caught 20 pounds, he has a DCR of 2.00. And if Angler Z caught five pounds, his DCR is a fairly miserable 0.50.

You see how it works.

Now, what does DCR tell us ... or the anglers it evaluates?

Well, it probably tells us a lot about who practices effectively. After all, if you're not "on them" in practice, you probably won't catch them the first day.

It also can tell us a lot about who stays "on them" and who best adapts to the changes that can happen between the first and second days ... or it might say something about an angler's ability to locate and pattern enough fish to do well in a tournament. After all, if you only find five or six good fish, you're not going to be able to back up that strong first day.

But here's what you really want — some actual rankings!

2010 Elite Series — Best Day One DCR

RANK ANGLER Daily Ratio
1. Mark Davis 1.2912
2. Russ Lane 1.2897
3. Skeet Reese 1.2749
4. Derek Remitz 1.2719
5. Greg Hackney 1.2547

2010 Elite Series — Worst Day One DCR

RANK ANGLER Daily Ratio
1. Jeremy Starks 0.6039
2. Scott Ashmore 0.6329
3. Mark Burgess 0.6530
4. David Smith 0.7262
5. Byron Haseotes 0.7413

What can we say about those two lists? Well, everyone on the first list made it to the Bassmaster Classic. No one on the second list qualified. A good start — to absolutely no one's surprise — is a very big deal.

Here are the best and worst for Day Two:

2010 Elite Series — Best Day Two DCR

RANK ANGLER Percentage Drop
1. Scott Rook 1.2849
2. Skeet Reese 1.2820
3. John Crews 1.2794
4. Cliff Pace 1.2403
5. Gary Klein 1.2291

2010 Elite Series — Worst Day Two DCR

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RANK ANGLER Percentage Drop
1. Scott Ashmore 0.6975
2. Britt Myers 0.6985
3. Byron Haseotes 0.7026
4. Jeremy Starks 0.7111
5. David Smith 0.7326

Not only did everyone on the "best" list qualify for the Classic, but four of them finished in the top 12 and fished in the postseason. No one on the Day Two "worst" list earned a Classic berth, and four of them were repeats from the Day 1 Worst list. (They obviously had a long, hard season in 2010!)

Check back next Tuesday when I'll show you who had the biggest DCR differentials between Day One and Day Two in 2010 — basically, who gets stronger and weaker after the first round. Then, next Thursday, we'll also take a look at who's getting it done this year in the Bassmaster Elite Series. We're only two events into the season, but some interesting trends are already developing.

Ken Duke is the editor of Bassmaster.com and the author of two books on bass fishing: Bass Forever with Glen Lau (www.whitefishpress.com) and The Bass Fishing Vault (www.WhitmanVaultBooks.com). Look for new installments of "The Final Analysis" every Tuesday and Thursday on Bassmaster.com.