Questions With The Pros: Day Two

Bassmaster asks pros about conditions and expextations

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Eleven goose eggs. An average weight of 4 pounds, 7 ounces per angler. An average fish catch of 1.8 bass per angler. These aren't typical numbers for 55 of the world's best bass fishermen on the Arkansas River.

 However, adverse weather conditions and a lock schedule that isn't conducive to fishing time are key factors to the struggles during the Bassmaster Legends tournament.

 Before the competition began, most anglers overshot what the cut weight would be to make the top 12 and have a chance at $250,000. Since that has dropped, everyone is still in it and that's the emotion most of the Elite showed before heading out for Day Two on the river.Bassmaster.com asked a few anglers what sort of weather they would like to see for Friday and the rest of the week. The answers varied, but notice what some of the locals who have experience on the water responses were as opposed to the out-of-staters. Here's what they said:

 Kevin Short

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "They are about what I expected. To be honest I was a little surprised with (Brian) Snowden's sack. I figured 12 or 13 pounds would be right up there at the top, and a lot of ones and two. It will be about the same today, not better or worse. The only thing you might see is that some of the guys that caught them yesterday may not catch them again today."

 What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "I would like to see 100-degree temperatures, hot as heck, no wind and no clouds. The hotter the better. If it's cloudy and rainy yea you can catch a bunch of fish, but you're still going to struggle to find the ones that measure."

 How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "It's going be 13 or 14 pounds."

 Ish Monroe

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "They were about what I expected. I probably cost myself one or two fish because I left my spot a half-hour early with the lock timing being so messed up. Today I will get a little more fishing time, and this is a no entry fee deal here so I've got to go for the gusto. I don't think the fishing will get any better today. It's summertime on the Arkansas River and the fish are stagnant out there."

 What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "With a little current and little wind blowing, rain, cloud cover, the bite might start to turn on again. I love to flip though and the sun puts them up underneath the mats where I can catch them flipping so that wouldn't hurt either."

 How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I predicted 14 to 15 pounds before we started so I'm going to stick with that."

 Mike McClelland

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "The weights actually don't surprise me a bit. I thought there would be a few more guys going out that would have 8 ½ or 9 pounds. I knew there would be some zeroes, some ones and two, but I really thought more guys had found a limit of fish. These are the kind of tournaments that you can sneak up, make the top 12, win the tournament, and that's what I'm really excited about today. I'm not out of it and it wouldn't take a whole lot to get right back into it."

 What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "For me to get things rolling, a little overcast and some wind would get things churning. Get the bait fish up and moving around, but the area I'm fishing got a lot of pressure yesterday. There were three or four of the top 10 in that area so there was a lot of fish taken out of it. I elected to stop on one wing dam yesterday and burn about 30 minutes so when I got down to my area some guys were already on some of the key stretches I wanted to fish. That was my fault but that's just the decisions you make out here."

 How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I think the weight will hold pretty close to what it has been. I think it will be close to 16 pounds to make the cut."

 Denny Brauer

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "It was really what I expected except for the 15-pound bag. I knew the river was capable of it but I didn't think anyone was going to catch it, and thought that was an extraordinary job that (Snowden) did. After practice, I thought fishing would be a little bit better than it was yesterday but it didn't surprise me with the cloudy, rainy type of day we had right before the first day. Today may be a little bit better than yesterday because of the weather scenario. This time of the year is tough though with no current, the bait is just roaming around out there and you have no way of knowing where they're at. It's a shame because this is a lot better fishery that what it's showing, and these are a lot better anglers that what they're showing."

 What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "Right now without any current I would prefer clouds and a little bit of rain. What that allows is the topwater bite to come on a little bit in the backwater areas, and prolong it during the day. In traditional tournament format we're going out at safe light, but here we're going out late and have a screwed up locking schedule for some reason. It's after eight o'clock before you can start fishing."

 How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Traditionally the weight will double and I really expect that so right around 14 pounds. It could be as low as 12 pounds, but you just never know and go out and catch what you can catch."

 Greg Hackney

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "I figured half the field would have those types of weights, but I was expected 12th place to be 9 or 10 pounds. I just thought overall there might be some more 9- and 10-pound sacks brought in. I thought the cut weight would be 18 or 19 pounds, but now the door is left wide open for the guys who zeroed. You never can tell if more or less fish will be caught, but this is the best group there is and they've got a bad habit about catching more fish on the second day than the first."What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "It's just not hot enough. If it stayed in the 100's like last week with clear skies the fishing would be easier. It doesn't make the fish bite any better, it just eliminates a lot of stuff. You can concentrate on only a couple different deals as opposed to catching one on a bunch of different options. It limits the places you can catch them and it limits the techniques."

 How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I expect it to be about 14 pounds."

 Kenyon Hill

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "It's about what I expected, but actually they caught them a little bit better than I thought they would. This is historically the toughest time of year to fish the Arkansas River. There is no current and BASS won't let us weigh in 12-inch spots. That equates a really slow weigh-in."What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "Just a good windy day. That creates movement and yesterday it was just calm and slick. The wind helps position fish instead of them being in lala land."How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I expect it to be 13 pounds. You can typically double the cut, times two and subtract one. That K-Hill math for you."

 Jimmy Mize

 What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "I told them early in the spring that there wouldn't be anything caught in Little Rock in late August. I did think that 7 or 8 pounds a day would be needed for a check but it's been worse than that. I think there will be less fish caught today."What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "I'm going to Pine Bluff and down there they bite better when it's sunny. Fishing the deep ledges is what I'm trying to do, and found one bunch of fish but got there too late. The way the set the locks up is really costing us a lot of fishing time, almost two hours."How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Well after yesterday it will probably be 14 pounds, maybe even 12."

 Brent Chapman

What were your thoughts about the smaller stringers caught yesterday, and do you think the fishing will improve today? "The weights are about what I expected, maybe even a tad bit heavier than what I expected. I'm glad where I'm at in the weights and I think the fishing will stay about the same."

 What are the ideal weather conditions for you to go out and have a good day of fishing on the Arkansas River? "I would rather see it like Wednesday, with clouds and a little bit of rain. It definitely makes the fish a little more active, but when you get the sun and the bluebird skies it makes it tough."How much weight will it take to make the cut and fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I'm guessing 13 or 14 pounds."

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