Matt Lee (above) and Jason Lawson (below) at the Day One take-off for the Bass Pro Shops Central Open #3. Photos by Gloria Lawson.
It's turned out to be a foggy morning on Ross Barnett Reservoir.
Ross Barnett Reservoir is blanketed in a coat of fog. Not enough to be dangerous but there's a mist coming down on the lake. The forecast is for a slow moving front to pass through the area. Slow is also the word of the day for the fishing. It's S-L-O-W.
In riding along with photographer James Overstreet, we encountered most anglers fishing in the massive beds of lily pads on the lower lake; some 20 boats in one spot alone. No surprise what the anglers are throwing: frogs. The anglers not fishing the frogs-and-pads pattern are fishing riprap shorelines. So there's a combination of power fishing and finessing with frogs going on.
A view of Day One launch and B.A.S.S. photographer James Overstreet — the man behind the camera catching all of the action!!! Photos by Gloria Lawson.
Chris Washington (left) from Terry, Miss., is the proud owner of a 1978 Bassmaster Classic Ranger boat. This is a contenders boat from the Classic held here at Ross Barnett Reservoir. He is very curious about which angler used this boat during the competition. B.A.S.S. is working on coming up with an answer.
Hopefully, not just another good practice.
That’s the only hope I have here on Ross Barnett this week. I felt pretty good going into the first two Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Opens this year only to have my dreams dashed by shifting variables that I didn’t react to appropriately.
Again I’m faced with variables: boat draw, boat pressure, cold front, etc. There are a lot of moving parts for me this week as there are for everybody; and it’s the angler that knows how to adjust appropriately that will do well. It’s times like these that I wish I had another 10 or 15 years of experience under my belt.
The fishing has been tough overall but I have figured out a little something that could either pay off big, or bankrupt my efforts. I don’t have a plan A, B and C. It’s plan A all the way on day one. And if that doesn’t work, it’s plan A all over again on day two.
I’m going to fish loosely within that plan and try to react and hopefully even be proactive to the changing conditions, but I’ve seen enough to know that I am around some quality fish.
I’m getting some big bites but they are few and far between. I wouldn’t be surprised to catch 18 pounds and I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t catch a limit. The good thing about this one is I won’t feel like I’m out of it until the boat is on the trailer. A 4- to 5-pounder could make up 50 spots out here and a big one could come on any cast doing what I’m doing.
So wish me luck out there. After a rough season, it sure would be nice to punch that ticket to the Bassmaster Classic. Somebody’s got to win this thing and I’m tied for the lead going into Day One. Just got to stay there!
It's a hazy start to Day One of the Bass Pro Shops Central Open #3 as Tournament Director Chris Bowes calls the boats into order and photographer James Overstreet takes photos of the proceedings.
Shaye Baker shows us some pretty creative redneck engineering that keeps him comfortable sleeping in the back of his truck.