Roumbanis agreed with that assessment. “When you have a bad tide, you either go right up to the bank or go offshore,” he said. “Yesterday I caught my biggest fish on high tide way up in a tiny little gut,” he said. “If you’re not going to get as many bites (at a particular tide) you might as well fish for big fish.”
While 2012 Bassmaster Classic qualifier Andrew Upshaw (7th, 14-12) has limited experience on tidal rivers, he’ll try to maximize his time on the “good” tide again today.
“Everybody who is making the long run to the Chickahominy River has a bad tide most of the day,” he said. “I chose not to go there for that reason. I’m not going very far.” He’ll get an extra hour of outgoing tide to start the morning today and hopes that will allow him to make up some of the gap between his first day bag and those of the leaders while several of the anglers ahead of him are still taking a long boat ride.
Like Roumbanis, Kevin Hawk (2nd, 15-14) was raised in California before moving eastward to pursue a career as a national touring pro, and he too has substantial experience on the California Delta. “Tides aren’t foreign to me,” he said, before noting that this week that tidal experience hasn’t come into play much, if at all. He’s camped out on a 25 yard stretch of water, “a point that comes out on the main river and creates a current break where it drops from 2 to 15 feet.” While the fish “definitely bite better when the water’s moving,” he’s committed to remaining there all day. That presumes he can get on it at all. With a later boat number today, he worried that one of the many competitors who saw him fishing there yesterday as they ran to or from the Chickahominy will decide to claim it as their own. If that happens then Hawk, like the tide, will keep on moving. He might not burn $250 worth of fuel, as in the Roumbanis plan, but his 1 pound 3 ounce deficit to Dillard is just a matter of getting the right bite in the right place at the right time.