LAKEPORT, Calif. — Jim White was calm as he mingled behind the weigh-in stage Friday, a calm that belied his record day on Clear Lake.
The co-angler from West Lake Village, Calif., greeted well-wishers with a slight smile and just plain didn't act like he had moments before weighed in the heaviest co-angler bag in BASS history. His 33-pound, 8-ounce day also stands as the second biggest bag of the tournament and gave him a 10-pound lead in the Golden State Shootout presented by Evan Williams Bourbon.
If fishing with the Elites, White would have the second biggest bag of the Shootout, 5 ounces shy of Greg Gutierrez' big bag, and his 56-9 total would be good for second place.
"I just had a great partner who put me on fish, and I was lucky enough out of the back of the boat to get some," White said of Elite pro Jimmy Mason. "He left me quite a bit of water, I'd say."
White's bite came on in the afternoon, when he culled two fish, one with a 7-9 lunker.
"I caught that fish late this afternoon, probably around 2 o'clock," he said. "I had two 3-pounders in the bag, and I culled both of those in the last hour. It was a good jump."
Mason found White's feat rather amazing, albeit confusing at first.
"Sometimes he'd throw out there and I'd think to myself, 'That was way off the target,' and next thing I know he's bowing up with a big one," he said. "The funny thing was, until an hour before weigh-in, I had thrown back 25 that were bigger than his smallest two. He couldn't cull and the last stop we made he caught his two biggest.
"The way I was fishing out in open water, he was just as subject to get the big bites as I was. If it had been flipping, where he was catching them out of used water, I'd be feeling kind of worse."
White's nearest competitor is local Bob Myskey of Nice, which is on the north end of Clear Lake. Myskey is 10-11 back with 45-14. First-day leader Ron Tyson of Marietta, Ga., fell to third at 43-8 and Benno Huene of Nice is fourth at 40-12.
The big bass of the day belonged to Johnny Graham of Tulsa, Okla., who thrilled the crowd with his 11-3 monster.
"I've caught probably 8-, 9-pounders. I've never broke the 10 mark, so 11-3 is an awful sweet day for me," said Graham, whose pro John Murray pulled the fish in. "We were pretty close, probably 10 feet off the bank. There was a lot of boats around, so we got it in and put it in the livewell, and he said, 'That's over 10.' We never pulled it out till we got back here. Oh, I looked at it a couple times though."
Editors Note: ESPNOutdoors.com's new and exclusive pre-game show, Hooked Up, will start at 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, April 1. It will be hosted by ESPN2 Bassmaster television hosts Tommy Sanders and Jerry McKinnis, and can be seen in the same location on ESPNOutdoors.com where the live video weigh-in is streamed.