SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. — What better tournament to compare the current Red River Bassmaster Classic to than the 2009 Classic: same water, same time, somewhat similar conditions. So here’s what a look back at that Classic may tell us about this one.
Fact 1: No one in the top three weighed less than 15 pounds on any day.
If that holds true in this tournament, that means only the top six fishermen after Day One have a shot at winning. By the way, in 2009 only one of the top five weighed less than 15 on any day.
Two more things to consider here. One is that the weights may be off from 2009, as Bassmaster.com’s Steve Bowman believes. He backs that up with the fact that on Day One in 2009, the top five after Day One had weights 1 1/2 to 2 pounds heavier than yesterday.
On the other hand, BassGold.com shows that the average daily weight to win a major tournament on the Red River is about 17 pounds regardless of the year or time of year.
Fact 2: All the top five finishers in 2009 weighed more on Day Two than Day One.
Self-explanatory: If you didn’t catch more on Day Two than you did on Day One, you didn’t have a shot at winning. Only 60 percent of the 2009 Classic anglers who finished sixth through 10th had a better Day Two than Day One.
This is particularly true of the Classic, where it’s an “all on the table” tournament.
X factor: At this point in Day Two, it looks like 17 pounds will be a high, which may mean that the 20-pound sacks everyone knows are there might come in on Day Three. Note the warming trend forecast for tomorrow.
Fact 3: You better weigh at least 19 pounds on Day Two to be in it.
All of the top three, and 80 percent of the top five, in 2009 had 19-plus pounds on Day Two. That’s about a 4-pound average.
Again, weights may be down this year vs. 2009 as Bowman contends, but maybe not. Day Three will be a nail-biter.
Also, in 2009 the more weight you had on Day Two, the better. Sounds obvious, but on the second day in 2009, winner Skeet Reese had the biggest single-day bag of anyone in the top three (22-9). The only fisherman who caught more on any day than that was Kenyon Hill on Day Three — he finished seventh.
Fact 4: Your Day Three doesn’t have to be spectacular.
Sixty percent of the 2009 top five finishers, including winner Skeet Reese, had less weight on Day Three — which gives extra weight to fact three: The more you weigh on Day Two, the more insurance you have against a Day Three drop.
Will it play out that way this time? At this point on Day Two, it’s not looking like it.
Fact 5: The Clunn/KVD factor.
In a couple Classics, a competitor has caught a huge bag to come from behind and win. Rick Clunn has done it. Kevin VanDam has done it. Maybe a couple others.
Will someone be able to do that this time? Can the Red River fish that way — in February? Is the Red River holding back its biggest sack until tomorrow? Can’t wait to find out.