SAVANNA, Ill. — Contenders in the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Northern Divisional took off this morning in the same conditions they encountered when they finished yesterday.
The weather this morning and yesterday afternoon featured clouds and drizzling rain, which suits tournament leader Brad Teel just fine. The forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms throughout the day but Teel thinks the wet weather might have a positive effect on his fish. “These fish haven’t had any oxygen at all so a little bit of rain is good and it might make them even more active,” he said.
The Cedar Rapids Bassmasters club member leads the tournament with 14 pounds, 13 ounces and is unfazed by being in first place. “I just tried to stay relaxed (last night) and wake up today and try to repeat,” he said. “I’m not competing against the other anglers. I’m just trying to catch fish, and that’s all I have to keep in mind.”
Last night’s discussions during the Iowa team meeting gave Teel more confidence in his game plan. The Iowa squad leads the team standings with 123 pounds, 7 ounces. “Nothing ever changed for any of us,” Teel said. “It’s the same pattern. We have only a couple of anglers who are struggling. They are on the right fish, but they just didn’t get the bite. We are all throwing the same types of baits and fishing the same kinds of areas. It’s just a matter of getting in there, getting your head down and chunking and winding.”
His experience fishing the Mississippi River back home has taught him a lesson he is applying in this event. “When you find an area with fish in low water, there are more fish there,” he said. “You just have to sit there and pound it out. If you can find a spot that is reloading, just keep coming back and keep coming back because every bite matters.” The Iowa angler believes the spot he concentrated on yesterday is an area that keeps reloading with bass.
Teel has set a modest goal for today. “I am just trying to catch five keepers,” he said. “Five 14-inchers are good with me but if I bag another 14 or 15 pounds that would be awesome. I would be ecstatic.”
Today’s weigh-in at 1:15 p.m. CT at the Savanna Marina will reveal if Teel can repeat yesterday’s effort and keep the top spot or if a new leader will emerge from the pack.