The first tournament day of the Ramada Championship on Oneida Lake turned out like so many Elite Series events do: After much grumbling about lack of bites in practice, these guys figured it out once the tournament started. But — make no mistake — it wasn't as easy to catch 'em at Oneida as it has been in the four previous Elite Series tournaments here since 2006.
"We're used to catching 40 or 50 a day here, now it's 10," said Mark Davis. "The fishing is not like it has been here, I promise you.
"But a lot of times when that happens, guys bear down and the weights go up."
There was no better example of that than Mike Iaconelli's 20-pound, 3-ounce tournament-leading bag Thursday. Iaconelli was shocked — that's the word he used over and over — to catch 20 pounds after struggling to get more than five or six bites a day during practice.
Throughout the day we'll have more details on Iaconelli, Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year leader Brent Chapman and all the other battles waging that will come to an end this weekend in the last regular season Elite Series event of the year.
As far as the weather, it's almost a carbon copy of yesterday: 60 degrees at launch, light wind, few clouds, with the temperature to rise as high as 90 degrees by mid-afternoon.