Crews spent most of his day up the lake yesterday. He feared the new Day One, what was supposed to be Day Two, had been canceled as well after he fished for 3 hours without seeing a boat.
"I was boat number one and ran away from everybody but I got worried after a while," said Crews.
"I realized why I didn't see anybody yesterday after I weighed in 8 pounds."
Casey Scanlon casts over flat water with a spinning outfit. He claims he has his limit by 8 a.m.
"I've got a good bag," he said. "About 15 pounds."
Scanlon said he culled a fish just before we arrived. It appears that he has solved the calm
Just because you won someplace a year ago doesn’t mean much when you launch again this year. Just ask 2012 Bull Shoals champ Brandon Palaniuk, who came to the scales yesterday with two small bass that weighed 3-8.
Palaniuk’s Day 1 struggles got me wondering: What’s the worst follow-up to a victory in Elite history? Surely, if Palaniuk can’t lift himself out of 98th place, that would be the worst, right?
Well, it depends on how you look at it. If Palaniuk finishes the tournament in the same place he started today, he’ll be 98th out of 100 anglers (.980 as a percentile).
Back in 2007, Texas pro Ben Matsubu won the Elite tournament on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Central Florida. Six months later the Elites were back, and things were much different. Instead of a fall event, it was spring and a lot of bass were on beds. Matsubu didn’t fare nearly as well. He finished 103rd out of 109 anglers (.945).
Jeremy Starks found the going almost as rough when he returned to Lake Wheeler a year after winning the 2008 Elite tournament there. He won in June, but the next time around it was April. Things changed, including Starks’ success. He was 91st out of 100 competitors (.910).
So, if you do the math, Palaniuk stands to have the worst follow-up to an Elite victory so far, and while things are certainly different this year from last, his return comes during the very same week as his win.
I bet a lot of Fantasy Fishing players are gnashing their teeth this week. Palaniuk was one of the most popular selections in the field.
Jason Christie won last week's FLW tournament at Beaver Lake, a White River impoundment like Bull Shoals, while fishing an umbrella rig primarily.
So wouldn't Christie like to throw the rig this week at Bull Shoals, if it weren't against Elite Series rules? Emphatically, the answer is "no."
"I'm against it," Christie said. "I'm glad we can't use it on the Elite Series. It's just more challenging to fish without it, and more fun. Last week I had one rod on the deck. This week I'm using eight or nine."
Christie is on a roll. He finished seventh in his first Bassmaster Classic appearance in February. Coupled with the FLW win at Beaver Lake and some other check-generating events, Christie has won over $200,000 already this year.
And the bottom line is the bottom line with Christie and the umbrella rig or any other decisions in bass tournament fishing.
"This is my job," he said. "This is how I support my family. If you're allowed to fish the A-rig, you better use it or you're going to get your teeth kicked in."
#4 for Bradley Roy he has about 7 1/2 pounds. pic by marshal Tim Dail
Chris Zaldain just jumped his boat on plane and made several circles to push waves against a bank he intends to fish. If the wind won't make waves, he'll make them himself.
Seigo tells me that It's a west coast thing. If it works, it'll be a Bull Shoals thing, too.
#3 for Bradley Roy 2 1/4 lb. Starting to pick up.
Chris Zaldain is farther offshore than anyone I've seen over the past two days. He is in the middle of the creek more than 100 yards from the nearest bank.
He has a solid limit of smallmouth bass that weigh 12 pounds or so.
"I've got three good ones," he said.
If he catches two more "good ones" he'll move up in the standings and be a serious contender.
Zaldain is power fishing and doing well despite the lack of wind. If he can catch them under these conditions, his pattern may well hold up throughout the tournament.
Several pros said the smallmouth bass they caught in practice where heavier than the largemouth. However, they were not confident that they could catch a limit of the brown ones.
Zaldain is now throwing a big bait with the intention of culling his two smaller bass.
Missing the first cut for the first three Elite events of the year isn’t a death sentence for your season, but your Bassmaster Classic hopes are definitely on something more severe than just life support. Only one angler in Elite history missed each of the three first cuts and still made it to the championship. That was Aaron Martens last year.
This year, plenty of anglers missed the first cuts at the Sabine River and Falcon, most notably Tommy Biffle, Paul Elias, Davy Hite, Tim Horton, Randy Howell, Mike Iaconelli, Jared Lintner, Brandon Palaniuk and Greg Vinson. Of course, Vinson (leading after the first day) and Randy Howell (tied for fourth) are turning things around in a big way here at Bull Shoals.
Biffle (88th after Day 1), Hite (94th) and Palaniuk (98th) are still struggling, and even a strong day today isn’t likely to put them inside the cut and fishing tomorrow.
If they miss the cut and finish deep in the 80s or 90s, their Classic hopes are dwindling fast. Yes, they could average a 20th or 25th place finish for the final five events, but that's an AOY-type pace and few anglers achieve it for such a long run. Another bad finish at Bull Shoals probably means they need to win an Elite event (or an Open) if they hope to qualify for the 2014 Classic.