BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Stacy Moore caught only three keepers Wednesday, but those three largemouth bass were big enough to put him in the lead at the Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Divisional on Lake Monroe.
The Huntingburg, Ind., angler had only five bites Wednesday, resulting in three keepers weighing 10 pounds, 9 ounces and two short fish.
The pickings were slim for the rest of the field as 30 contenders weighed in only one keeper each and 43 anglers blanked.
Moore has been fishing on Lake Monroe for more than 20 years and relied on a familiar pattern in the upper arm of the lake to catch his fish.
“It is the same pattern that I have always fished up there,” said the 50-year-old Moore, who owns a company that produces and sells reverse osmosis drinking water.
During practice this week, Moore avoided fishing the area he concentrated on during the first day of competition. “I actually just went out searching for different areas just to have a backup,” said Moore.
“I knew what I wanted to do today, so I went up (lake) and the fish were there. I was up there about a month ago and the fish were doing what they did today. They were in the same places.”
The Indiana Bass Junkies club member had to take about a 1 1/2-hour slow ride through the idle-zone on the upper end of Lake Monroe to reach his fish. When he finally reached his area, Moore caught the two short fish first.
“Then I actually figured out where they were at in the creek and then just stayed with that depth,” said Moore, who is competing in his second divisional. “I know that is what they do all year-round up there.”
Keying on the upper lake allowed Moore to fish his strengths Wednesday. “That is the only way I can fish,” he said.
“If I don’t get to fish my strength, I am lost.”
Moore is striving to finish as the top angler on his Indiana team, which would earn him a berth in the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship (BNC).
Other state leaders bidding for BNC berths include Luis Gonzalez of Illinois; Brad Teel, Iowa; Jesse Weener, Michigan; Brad Gravenhof, Minnesota; Danny Ryan, Ohio; Troy Diede, South Dakota; and Josh Wiesner, Wisconsin.
Michigan leads the team competition with 40 pounds, 1 ounce followed by the host Indiana team with 39-7.
The Northern Divisional contestants will take off at 6:45 a.m. Thursday at Fourwinds Resort, and will weigh in at the same location at 2:45 p.m.