How the worm turned. Leaders fell and pretenders became contenders on Day Two of the Bassmaster Memorial, just as two Fort Worth fishermen had predicted.
Bassmaster.com asked area tournament anglers Mark Perry and Chad Tregellas to give their views on the first two days of the year's first major on fickle Eagle Mountain Lake.
Both said they anticipated weights would be down from Day One, but they didn't think only 15 anglers would eclipse 10 pounds.
"I'm really surprised with how small the limits some of this guys are bringing in," Tregellas said. "If they tried to hit the same water two days in the row, it usually doesn't work out here. It just goes to show how hard this lake is to fish."
Perry said the Eagle Mountain bass are psychotic, and that the lake's "unpredictable nature came out. The guys who could adjust on the fly moved up. Mike Iaconelli had the biggest sack. The guys who stick with one thing fell by the wayside."
It's hard to believe, but Perry said many of the pros said Friday was a better day than Thursday.
"They said the fishing was better bite-wise, but just smaller fish. I hung out in the marina and quiet a few boats were working the docks," Perry said. "I think most of these guys, the ones who couldn't adjust, got left by the wayside. A lot said a recurrent theme, 'the lake won.'"
Tregellas said pressure over the past few days probably played a big part, as did sunny skies.
"They struggled a little bit more than I thought they would. The weather just made it tough, plus all the pressure on the lake. The days before they got here, there were three tournaments on this lake and they've hit it two days in the row. That's pressure."
Tregellas said he saw John Crews fishing the same point as Iaconelli, and they brought in the biggest bags of the day.
"They were sitting on the same spot and the fish just turned on on those spots. That's what fish do on this lake, " he said.
Tregellas pointed out several anglers whose fortunes swung wildly, like Alton Jones weighing in 11-9 Thursday and 2-9 Friday and Gary Klein's fall from 11-7 to 4-6.
"If you try to duplicate what you did yesterday, you can struggle," he said. "It was tough on them. It doesn't surprise me. This is a tough lake to fish. I'd rather fish a tournament on any other lake than Eagle Mountain, and I live there."
He also noted John Crews making the cut by increasing his bag from 6-10 to 15-6.
"It didn't surprise me to see the guys who struggled on the first day to do well on the second day," Tregellas said.
The top 12 head about 10 miles south of Eagle Mountain to Benbrook Lake for Saturday's round. Perry and Tregellas said there aren't many tournaments on the lake, which was closed several months ago but recently saw water levels rise about 8 feet.
"It just recently opened back up a month ago. I'm assuming there's going to be a lot of floating vegetation," Perry said. "I know this lake has a lot of double-digit fish."
Perry said he thinks 15 to 17 pounds might be leading with the cut to Sunday's Super Six in between 10 and 13 pounds.