COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash produced a couple of surprises when it came to the catch rates for the Elite Series anglers.
For starters, after four days of fishing and jockeying up the down the leaderboard, there were some tense moments with the potential fish-off between local-favorite Davy Hite and Michael Iaconelli, who were tied with only winner Casey Ashley left to weigh-in.
Anyone listening to the anglers up to that point might have thought that would have been a tough, even futile fish-off on Lake Murray.
Most of the week, angler after angler would relay how most, if not all, their catches were coming in the first three hours of the day. Rick Clunn even went as far as to say on Day One : “I’ve only got a two-hour window to get it done.”
With that in mind, it would be easy to think that those hours after the weigh-in would have produced a fishless fish-off. But BASSTrakk statistics paint a completely different story.
On Day Four, for example, during the final hour of the tournament, with the sun beating down and temperatures well into the 80s, the catch rates for the final 12 anglers proved some of the best of the day.
While all the anglers showed up for the weigh-in with limits, one of those anglers finished his limit during that hour. In all 20 keepers were recorded, including Casey Ashley’s final 4-pound class fish that actually gave him the margin for victory.
A quick look at how the final day broke out looks like this.
7 A.M. TO 8 A.M.
One limit was boated by Iaconelli, with a total of 35 keepers spread throughout the field.
8 A.M. TO 9 A.M.
Three of the anglers (Snowden, Evers and Biffle) finished their limit with 23 more keepers caught that hour.
Brian Snowden caught the largest bass (4-8) of the day at 8:03 a.m.
9 A.M. TO 10 A.M.
Three additional anglers (Roumbanis, Chris Lane and Davy Hite) finish their limit for a total of 7 out of the 12 with limits.
This was the best hour of the day with 36 keepers hitting the boat that hour.
10 A.M. TO 11 A.M.
No new limits this hour and only seven keepers were caught by the 12 anglers.
11 A.M. TO NOON
This was the toughest hour of the day. Only three keepers were caught by the field, but they finished out limits for two additional anglers (Casey Ashley and Kevin Wirth). The field now has nine limits total.
NOON TO 1 P.M.
Another limit (Jeff Conella) is finished and the field catches an additional seven keepers.
1 P.M. to 2 P.M.
One limit was finished (Rick Clunn) and a total of 12 keepers were logged in.
2 P.M. to 3 P.M.
The last angler (Jami Fralick) finished his limit and there were a total of 20 keepers, making it the fourth best hour of the day.
For the day, there were 131 keepers caught, an average of 10.91 fish per angler.