2007 Major - Legends Lake Dardanelle - Russellville, AR, Aug 23 - 26, 2007

Questions With the Pros

The sense of optimism among the anglers fishing the Bassmaster Legends on the Arkansas River is bleak. While being barraged by questions before the 6:50 a.m. takeoff, one Elite angler had an inquiry of his own:

 "I think the more pressing question is how many zeroes will there be today, my guess is fifteen."

 Tough, inconsistent, hot, discouraging, are just a few of the words uttered by the world's best bass anglers while describing their three days of practice on the water. Another decision the fishermen have to make is which pool they will post up and fish in. With the timing of locks being so important, some of the Elite anglers have revised their gameplans around that. Here's what they had before heading out for Day One of competition:

 Charlie Hartley

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "I think we all tried to see too many pools and you end up not getting comfortable anywhere. There is plenty of water to fish but just not that many bites. It kind of reminds me of Ohio fishing, you need to go to a place where you feel comfortable and just fish really hard. I don't think you're going to go around the corner and find the motherload here."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I grew up on the Ohio River fishing tournaments and our pools are very similar. I learned a long time ago unless you're locking to a whole bunch of fish you don't want to because you are going to waste that time. So I'm going to try and not lock today. That's my gameplan and we'll see at the end of the day if it pays off or not."What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "Someone will have a pretty good bag, maybe 15 or 16 pounds. After that though it will drop like a rock."

 Greg Hackney

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Normal I guess. It was pretty much just standard practice."There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "They are all about the same, I don't think it really matters that much. The same fish live in all of the pools it's just whatever one you like the best. The fishing is going to be tough and it always is at this time of the year."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "I would say 13 to 15 pounds."

 Skeet Reese

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Inconsistent."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I'm going to go upriver today. That's the only place I practiced outside of this pool here at the launch and there isn't much to fish in this pool. I figure there is no sense spreading myself out throughout the whole river so I just need to pick an area and learn it and concentrate on that. I don't think there are too many guys going out today that feel optimistic about catching five fish today. You have to get number one first and foremost, but I think if you catch three or four keepers you've had a great day."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "I'm assuming somebody is going to catch 12 to 15 pounds. I think 8 to 10 pounds is still going to be pretty respectable."

 John Crews

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Can I use the word poopy? That's about it, poopy. I've got confidence in about three areas so I'm just going to go beat them to death. I know that there are fish there and probably a good number of keepers around, but it's really just a matter of whether you can run into them."There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I'm heading downriver. The reason I chose to fish there is because that pool is the only two areas that I've caught keepers in, it wasn't a hard decision. Some of the best tournaments I've ever had are where I only caught one or two keepers during practice and then went to that spot and picked it over during the tournament. There will be a nice foam on the water when I'm done because I'm going to beat the water down."What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "Somebody will knock into a 14- or 15-pound stringer. The keepers that I have caught are nice chunks, you don't even need to measure them. I think that somebody will get into the right area and put together five of those fish."

 Chad Brauer

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Hot and tough. August is a tough month to fish throughout the Midwest. Even up where I live five to six hours north of here, the water temps are in up in the 90's so fish tend to shut down a little bit. The fish are hard to pinpoint because they will be out chasing shad a lot at this time of the year."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I've spent three days in three different pools. I haven't totally decided where I'm going to spend most of my time so I may do some jumping around. You hate to say that after three days but that's kind of the case. I might even fish some new water today."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "I would think somebody would catch 15 pounds. If you can catch eight pounds though I think you will be set."

 Mike Wurm

How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Fair to poor."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I'm going South. There is an area down there that generally produces larger fish. I'm probably not going to get many keeper bites so I want to be in an area that if I do, it will be a nice fish."What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "Leading weight will probably be 13 to 15 pounds. I think 8 to 9 pounds will probably be about 12th place and 6 pounds will be 25th place."

 John Murray

How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "Well, I only practiced two days and I stayed in one pool. I didn't try to go all the way up and down the river. I just covered one area, fishing shallow and fast, found a few keepers. I figure I'm going to fish for active fish today and not go after anything deep."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "The pool I'm fishing is upriver. There are a lot of creeks and room up there and felt like that was the easiest one to fish."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "Probably around 15 pounds."

 Mike McClelland

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "I would say the first two were miserably tough. The last day I started to learn what I needed to do to get myself around a few fish. That was the most successful day of practice I had and I think the biggest reason for that was because of the cloud cover. I got in an area where I at least know there is a good concentration of fish. Conditions will be completely different today so we'll have to change it up a little."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I'm fishing south, downriver. The reason I keyed on that area initially is that I knew there would be a lot of lock traffic going south. Any water movement you can get on the river at this time of the year is going to be helpful so that was one of my main factors as to where to fish. I'll have to also admit that ten years ago I won a tournament in that same pool so at least I know that one better than any other pool on the river."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "I still think that five of these largemouth will weigh close to 14 or 15 pounds. I said to would take 20 pounds over two days to make the top 12 cut. I think when everybody bears down and starts fishing an area where they've had some bites, they are going to start catching them better than everybody thinks they will."

 Mark Tucker

 How would you characterize your practice during the last three days? "It was tough like I expected before we ever came here. Every racetrack is different and you can't ever get on a playing field that you really feel good about. The great thing about this is that you don't have any great expectations so you go out and fished very relaxed. That may be the key to winning this event, just doing something you like to do and if the fish grabs it he does and if he doesn't he doesn't. We've been practicing without any locking through activity so now you've got the fill in the equation of that and the timeline so that will mess with some guys. This is a neat fishery because there is a lot of fishable water, and the water is clean with hydrilla and grass. This is a neat place to come fish and visit."

 There are a few options as far as pools of water you can fish in during the first two days of competition, where will you be fishing during Day One and why? "I've got a couple of places upriver and then I've got a few downriver. Today, I'm going to elect to do something that I like to do and get into a little dirtier water down south. If I get a bite down there in the oxbow, it's going to be a keeper."

 What will be the leading weight after today's weigh-in? "I could see a guy catching 14 or 15 pounds. With the conditions, looks like pretty high and blue skies with not much wind, it will be tough but when you're dealing with the best fisherman in the country anything is possible."

advertisement

advertisement