It's a little cold out here today. The kind of day that will challenge a lot of anglers. Some will get frustrated and complain. I know I would.
That is if I hadn't just had an attitude adjustment. While running down lake we stumbled up on an angler that'll inspire others to dig deep and overcome whatever trivial obstacles they might be facing.
Sure it's a little cold. Sure the bass aren't exactly chewing this morning. But Ron Ryals, the AOY for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, isn't complaining. As a matter of fact, he's already boated a fish pushing 3 pounds.
So congrats hero and buck up to the rest of you guys. Ryals isn't letting the cold or anything else slow him down.
So far this morning, we're seeing a whole lot of nothing. It's pretty chilly this on Dardanelle as the Fall is officially falling. As of 9 AM we've climbed up to 50 degrees with the high projected to hit 65 before plummeting tonight back to 40.
According to my boat driver Harvey Horne, the fall turnover that usually puts the fish in a funk has come and gone this year. The lake is fishing tough but he has heard from a few locals of bags in the mod 20's as recently as yesterday. But those individuals were doing something extremely specific.
We should see the bite pick up as the day warms. Typically this time of year the bite starts around 10 AM and gets better and better until the last magical hour before weigh-in. Likely a few anglers caught fish during the first 30 minutes of the morning, but now he majority of the field is working through the morning lull.
Juan Ro Chagollan Sr. is a proud papa. His son, Juan Jr., is the youngest angler ever to qualify for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. Juan Jr. is only 16.
"For us, his family, this means everything," said Juan Sr. "For all of Mexico, this means everything. For Juan -- he's so young, this is the biggest thing he's ever done -- this means everything."
As Juan Jr. took off, Juan Sr. filmed the moment with his camera. And when he turned back around, he was wiping the proud tears from his eyes.
Arkansas Tech University group spend time with Don Barone after Day 2 practice launch at the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. As you can see, he has their full attention. Thanks to the ATU group for help with the launch of the contenders. They are greatly appreciated as is Don.... I enjoy reading his stories. Thinking about the .231.
I would be lying if I were to say that today was not frustrating. With our fog delay today it really limited the amount of time I could spend in certain areas. There are many areas I would have liked to of gone to but simply did not have the time. hopefully tomorrow will show with no fog and allow us a time to go to practice for a full day. To be honest the bite was very tough for me today, I'm hoping that was just because the cold front and rain that passed before. After seeing what I saw today I may have to change my game plan but only tomorrow will tell.
Practice day one is in the books, after the fog delay we had what felt like a rushed practice. I'm not trying to "catch" fish during practice but this one wanted to be on the Bassmaster blog. -Mark Pierce
Waiting on the fog to clear. Ready to shake off some fish. Photo by Chris Blair.