SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – Jerry Hester of nearby Coushatta, Louisiana was the first boater to weigh in on the second day of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open # 1.
Though he only bagged 6 pounds, 14 ounces of fish on Friday, his on-stage quote to B.A.S.S. Senior Tournament Manager Chris Bowes was a classic.
“I’d like to get a picture of these fish because right now, I’m leading this thing,” Hester quipped.
He lost the lead, but his sense of humor was a welcome start to the weigh-in.
Justin Lucas, a pro from Guntersville, Alabama, said he wasn’t happy with the trip he made to the Red River – the trip before this one, that is.
“The last time I came to this place, I swear I hated the Red River,” he said.
Not anymore. Lucas followed up a solid showing on Thursday with a 13 pound, 15 ounce bag on Friday. His two-day total of 26-8 was to put him into the Top 12 and he now has a chance to fish for the championship on Saturday.
Elite Series pro Keith Poche, who is fishing the Central Open this week, came to Friday’s weigh-in thinking he had 13 pounds of fish, to add to the 10-pound, 10-ounce bag he scored on Thursday. That wasn’t the case, though.
Poche, who grew up in nearby Natchitoches, weighed an 11-11 bag and missed the cut to 12. He finished 27th place with a 22-pound, 5-ounce total.
“Man, I thought those fish were bigger than that,” he said. “I’m disappointed.”
NO SIGN OF LET-UP
Bill Bonner, a co-angler from Alabama, had a showing at the Central Open that belied his age.
The 82-year old Bonner, who lived in nearby Natchitoches for 30 years before moving to Alabama two years ago, finished with a two-day total of 13 pounds, 5 ounces. That was enough to earn him a sixth-place finish on the co-angler side and a chance to fish on Saturday.
MORE EXPENSIVE THAN TUNA
“Can you believe I ran 198 miles…to catch 9.7 pounds of fish?” – Pro Aaron Beshears, who had a tough couple days at this Central Open. He’s had success here in the past, he said, and praised the fishery, saying he’ll be back when B.A.S.S. returns to this corner of northwest Louisiana.
Even though she was only allowed to catch three fish a day as a co-angler, Alabama’s Kim Giddens outperformed many of pros at the Central Open. Her total of 15 pounds, 3 ounces put her in second place heading into Saturday’s final day of action.
She said her mom gave her some simple advice on Friday.
“Go out and catch three big fish,” Giddens was told.
When it was suggested her mom tell her the same thing before every tournament day, Giddens said “I would, if I could get her out of the casino,” which drew a hearty laugh from the crowd.