A guide on Lake Erie, David Hasty of Toledo, Ohio, used his intimate knowledge of the tournament waters Thursday and took the Day 1 lead of the Detroit River stop of the 2010 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Opens. Hasty weighed in 22 pounds, 3 ounces -- good enough for a 7-ounce lead --and is in pole position in the race for the $45,000 top prize.
"I started up North (in Lake St. Clair) throwing a Vandalizer crankbait to pick off the aggressive fish I could see, then as the arches (fish symbols on his SONAR) dropped, we headed down South to lake Erie," Hasty said. "They were suspending down there, so I started drop shotting an Xtreme Tackle tube."
Hasty is confident that he can repeat Thursday's performance and says he still has a few productive areas he hasn't touched.
Hot on Hasty's heels was Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., whose 21-12 five-fish limit was anchored by a 5-13 smallmouth. Despite his productive day, Dobson said he had a difficult time catching what he did. Like Hasty, Dobson also made the run to Lake St. Clair.
"It was tough up there," he said. "I found some fish in a grassbed on Tuesday (during practice), and I caught a few from there today, but then they moved. I ran up into the St. Clair River and caught about 15 pounds on a Mizmo tube then I had to chase 'em the rest of the day. Once the wind starts blowing, you have to figure out which way they go."
Dobson's explanation for the fish moving more than normal is the unusually warm summer the region is experiencing. In third place was Chris King of South Amherst, Ohio, with 21-6. In fourth was Jared Rhode of Port Clinton, Ohio, with 21-4. Rounding out the top five was Curtis Richardson of Belleville, Ontario, Canada with 19-7. Richardson is no slouch in the Northern Opens circuit as he nearly won the 2009 Chesapeake Bay event. The top five is comprised of three anglers from Ohio.
Pro anglers are vying for the top prize along with valuable points toward a berth in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans. Elite Series pro Dave Wolak currently leads the points race, but is absent in the second event. He already has a Classic berth secured through the Elite Series. That leaves local favorite and Wixom, Mich., native Ryan Said in the driver's seat. Said had a decent Day 1, bringing 16-15 to the scales, good enough for 17th place.
In the co-angler division, Christopher Helfer's three-fish limit topped the field. The Powell, Ohio, native brought an astounding 13-9 to the scales. Helfer drop shotted for most of his weight. Behind him was Joseph Nega with 12-14 while in third was William Schwartz of Sheffield Village, Ohio, with 12-11. Co-anglers are competing for a Triton/Mercury bass boat package valued at $34,000.
Anglers will launch each day at 6:30 a.m. ET on the Detroit River at Elizabeth Park Marina, located at 202 Grosse Ile Parkway, Trenton, Mich. Weigh-ins begin at 2:30 p.m. ET. All events are free and open to the public. The full field will compete Friday, with the 31st -- 50th-place finishers receiving checks. The top 30 anglers will fish the final day of competition on Saturday.