BUFFALO — Even after a day-long layoff from fishing, Day One of the Empire Chase presented by Mahindra Tractors was so fresh on the minds of the Elite Series anglers that they kept referring to it as "yesterday." For only 12 of them will there be a tomorrow, however. Here's what they had to say about their second day on Lake Erie.
"This is a great lake."
— Kelly Jordon, after a day of fishing one of the five Great Lakes
"This is Lake Amistad without the trees."
— Byron Velvick
"I didn't want to self-destruct."
—Paul Hirosky, on regrouping after he lost most of the morning to trolling motor problems
"We made it close, didn't we?"
— Skeet Reese, after adding 8 more to his Angler of the Year points lead over Kevin VanDam. He now leads 2,159 to 2,139 with two events remaining this season.
"I showed up for work. Just put me to work."
— Greg Gutierrez, still smarting that BASS officials canceled Friday's fishing rather than hold a tournament day in the Niagara River, which had been a stated option
"I can think of some other words to describe my week besides 'yuck.'"
— Preston Clark, who caught just one fish in the tournament, offering to augment emcee Keith Alan's descriptor
"If I was going to die out there, I was going to do it my way."
— Marty Stone, on a return to fishing shallower water (and an increase from 4-11 on Day One to 20-11 on Day Two)
"Maybe next time, I need to practice in a hurricane."
— James Charlesworth
"I'll have to get some Prozac if I have to fish this place again."
— Gerald Swindle
"The way I've been fishing, there's always a chance for me to catch a big one." — Kevin Wirth
"If you find the school, they were stacked up and you were on them. If not, it was just a bunch of searching."
— Jeff Reynolds
"These guys will crush you like a grape if you lose a fish."
— Jon Bondy
"I chickened out and came in out of the waves."
— Casey Ashley, on Day One
"I just know it was tough out there, whatever day that was."
— Eric Nethery on his Day One
"I don't know how I casted as much as I did on this lake and only have two keepers."
— John Crews
"It was like heaven out there."
— John Murray, on the improved weather conditions
"Murray put on a dropshot clinic."
— co-angler Tom Choppin