2012 Bass Pro Shops Central Open #1 Lewisville Lake - Lewisville, TX, Feb 9 - 11, 2012

Fish-off at Central Open blog

Old School

9:53 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

I just checked in with James Overstreet, who is serving as Chapman's Marshal today.


The extreme cold isn't a walk in the park to the guys standing on the back deck. They can't cast to keep warm or they can't focus on fishing to keep their mind off the cold. I want to make sure they are getting some good content for Bassmaster.com.


It hit me in the brief conversation that not only is this a battle of David and Goliath but it also has a true Old School versus New School feel to it.


Chapman is not an Alabama Rig fan. Bertrand caught the bulk of his weight on the new-fangled rig.


Both have gone to a jerkbait.


Bertrand is throwing a Lucky Craft Pointer Slender Shad and a Rapala X-Rap, both fairly new models in the fishing game.


At least fairly new compared to what Chapman is throwing. He's jerking an old Smithwick Rogue in chrome, black back and orange belly, the original jerkbait for the old schoolers in the bass fishing realm.

Underdogs and Quiet Men

9:38 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

We mentioned this earlier and it bears repeating. When it comes to comparing these two anglers on the water, Josh Bertrand is David to Brent Chapman as Goliath.


Now understand, Chapman knows the end of the biblical version of that story, so he's not entered into this contest unaware of what could happen: The underdog could win.


And there is no more of an underdog than Bertrand. He's fishing only his fourth Bassmaster event. The other three were in 2010, where his highest place finish was 51st at Texoma.


Meanwhile, Chapman's record is much more impressive. Of 190 starts, 116 of those are 50th or better, with two wins. Obviously he's no slouch.


As a matter of fact, Chapman is one of those quiet men on tour that everyone respects and fears. He goes about his business and sneaks up on you. You don't hear horns playing or rap music blaring when he's doing it either. Just a steady push toward the top.


He's the kind of guy who has finished in the top 5 of the last two Classics. If not for Kevin VanDam winning both of those, taking a big part of the limelight, Chapman's presence in this event might not be so quiet to fans of the sport. He's a house-hold name in an Eli Manning sort of way (pre-2011 season, pre-Super Bowl sort of way).

Chapman on the move

9:28 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

Chapman has fished his two key areas very thoroughly, sticking with the wacky worm, but no more bites.


He said his inclination is he can catch another fish or two on a couple boat ramps he has in mind.


A breeze has picked up, prompting him to say, Blow wind,blow!'


I asked why he wanted the wind to blow and he said it would give his competitor trouble if he was still fishing the dam.

More on Chapman

9:17 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

James Overstreet is sending us some video from Brent Chapman's day on the water. The latest shows Chapman fishing in an unusual position. When the Kansas pro really wants to slow down, he fishes from his knees.

But the conversation between Overstreet and Chapman about his experience over Bertrand's experience is pretty interesting. You should check out that video and the other videos by hitting the BassCam link above.

One of the points Chapman makes is he won't be afraid to move from the area where he has built a tie in the event the last three days. He knows in order for him to win, he may have to abandon that and hit back-up areas.

No more sudden death

9:08 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

With Brent Chapman's 5-pounder in the boat, there is a group of us breathing a big sigh of relief.


The fish basically assured us that this tournament should be over by noon. That's a good thing considering the tough conditions and brutal weather at Lewisville. I think Chapman was a little disappointed that he had to go back out this morning. Who wouldn't be?


It's not exactly like you are fishing Falcon or Erie or Clear Lake.


The 5-pounder, though, allows us to believe that more fish will be caught. That we will actually have a weigh in. That Overstreet and Russow will acually get to go home. Those kind of things.


You have to remember these are more similar to the conditions on Day One when Bertrand caught 18 pounds, so he's not out of this by a long shot. One bite and the tide could shift in his favor. Just please, please, please, don't make it the exact same size as Chapman's.

Cold causing problems

9:06 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

The first cold-related incident happened a few minutes ago. Bertrand had the top guide insert on his umbrella rig rod come unseated. He tried unsuccessfully to push it back in with pliers, but then decided to just switch rods. No problem, right?

Unfortunately, the cold has frozen his rod locker shut. Aside from the rods he brought out last night, the rest are as good as locked away.

Earlier, before take-off, Bertrand had a similar problem with his livewells. He had to pour hot water over them to loosen them up. There's nothing hot in this boat anymore. Icicles are forming from my eyebrows and that's without the 25-mile-per-hour winds they had yesterday.

He's picked up a drop shot with a Robo Worm, a bait he used to catch a lone keeper yesterday to make it into the fish-off round.

"That's the bait out west," Bertrand said. "It's my fallback -- whenever I need a fish. There is a little outcropping there and I dropshotted one here the first day. I was hoping I could pick one up right there."

Unfortunately, fish can't open their mouth when they are encased in ice. But they are still down there.

"I've been seein them on my graph," Bertrand said. "That's how I caught the one. The fish are still down there. They have no reason to leave -- they stay here year-round."

After switching between the umbrella rig and drop shot, Bertrand finally decides to put it down for good.

"There's no reason to be pig-headed about it. This is a jerkbait kind of day."


Bertrand staying on the move

8:50 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

Bertrand continues to move. He's still fishless.


He wants to keep throwing the umbrella-rig. The water temperature is in the 42-degree range.


He's mostly drop-shooting now.

Chapman catches a short

8:37 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

Chapman is sticking with the wacky-rigged finesse worm and just caught and released a short fish.


He's fishing on the outside bends in the creek channel, focusing on 10-foot deep holes created by current. He's still hoping for some discharge and current, but hasn't happened so far.


He at least has to be encouraged he's getting bit.

Switching gears

8:20 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

After a quick update from our crew on the water, I'm finding our anglers are starting to make some big changes.


Obviously, Chapman picked up a Wacky Worm to jump out in front by 5 pounds. You can check out some videos from him in the BassCam channel by clicking the link above us.


Now, Bertrand, who has mostly lived on the "Alabama Rig" is laying it down in favor of a jerkbait. It will be interesting to see if he catches one or not. I'm sure there are a lot of purists, who are hoping that he doesn't catch one on the rig.


We'd love to see some video from him, but he's currently in a place where downloading isn't working for Rob Russow.

Chapman finesses a 5-pounder

8:08 am CST, Feb 12, 2012

Chapman stops for a second to pose with his 5-pounder.


Right at 8 a.m., Chapman pulls out a rod with a worm rigged wacky style. He calls it "the ultimate of finesse."

And just like that he boats one that is close to 5 pounds. No way does he think that will be enough.

He keeps saying he hopes that Bertrand isn't catching them on "that crazy rig."

The water and wind is still so cold he's having to dip his rod into the water to wash the ice from the eyes.  

But he has one in the boat.