2006 Major - Memorial Eagle Mountain Lake - Ft. Worth, TX, May 18 - 21, 2006

2006 Major-Memorial

Wolak fished like a seasoned veteran

Dave Wolak

Click here for Day One standings

 TV viewers take note: For the first time ever, ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of a BASS event outside of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Coverage of the Bassmaster Memorial weigh-in will air Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET.

 FORT WORTH, Texas — Dave Wolak earned entry to the Bassmaster Memorial by winning the Toyota Rookie of the Year race in 2005.On Thursday, during the opening round of this season's first Major, he fished like a seasoned veteran.Wolak, who hails from Warrior Run, Pa., caught a five-fish limit that weighed 16 pounds, 14 ounces and sits atop the leaderboard.He has a 5-ounce margin over Mike McClelland, who landed a sack that weighed 16-9. Kelly Jordon is in third place with 15-6, Scott Rook is fourth with 15-0 and Skeet Reese rounds out the top five with a 14-6 total.Those five anglers were among an elite group that fared well on Eagle Mountain Lake — the launching point for the first two days of the Memorial.Many others in the 55-man field struggled to catch keeper fish and the overall weights reflected that.Only 20 of the 55 anglers could muster 10 pounds or better on Thursday, when bright sunshine and a lack of wind slacked the bite somewhat.Wolak didn't have many problems figuring out the best ways to land lunkers, though. He fished top-water lures early in the morning then moved to deeper water when the sun was overhead.

 "I got a couple on a buzzbait early today then mixed it up a little as I went on with the day," Wolak said.

 "There were some suspended fish later in the day. It's really a touchy thing. I kind of figured it out the last day of practice in the wind."Wolak said he's fishing structure in water up to 30 feet deep."It's just a spot that really gets better when the wind blows," he said."In the morning today it was windy and they kind of grouped up. In the afternoon, when it laid down, I got a couple bites but not as many."Wolak plans to work that spot and two others Friday morning. He drew an early flight number, so he's hoping for conditions similar to what he found Thursday."I should be able to get there, hopefully, and sit on it and catch a couple," he said.Along with some wind, Wolak said the amount of bait in the water is also a key factor in the success of his spots."This lake has a ton of bait," he said. "Tons. Everywhere you go. I went up into an area that was like two feet of water with mud and the bait was all over the place jumping.

"I think it's all about finding the real heavy concentrations of bait."McClelland, the 2005 Open Champion, had eight keeper bites on Thursday and boated seven of them. He said he used a Jewel jig and covered a lot of water while using it.

 "Basically, I'm doing what I do best, and that's junk fishing," McClelland said. "That's my comfort zone.

 "Any time we come to a body of water where I can get shallow and cover a lot of water, that's when I do best."

 Jordon only brought three fish to the scales Thursday, but his total was buoyed by two of the three biggest fish landed — lunkers that weighed 6-12 and 6-11. The fish came from within 300 yards and 45 minutes of one another Thursday afternoon."I caught them on different baits, but they were doing what they should be doing (in these conditions)," Jordon said.Rook got off to a slow start Thursday, but changed baits at approximately 9:30 a.m. He didn't offer what type of lure he switched to, but said the difference was apparent immediately."When I changed it was a night and day difference," Rook said. "It was like turning the switch on. I caught like 50 bass after that."I was calling my shots on where they were at. Most of them are little fish, but I did catch some quality fish doing that."Reese said his bites were strewn throughout the day."I lost four keepers, two good ones, one big one," Reese said. "But it was kind of like, one here, one there all day long."The entire field will participate in Friday's action, but the field will be trimmed to 12 on Saturday and to six on Sunday.The winner of the Memorial will earn $250,000.

 TV viewers take note: For the first time ever, ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of a BASS event outside of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic. Coverage of the Bassmaster Memorial weigh-in will air Sunday, May 21, at 7 p.m. ET.

 

 

 

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