Every angler has a fish story. You know; the one that got away, they one that would have given them the victory. Here are three from the first day of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic. We don't know how important these stories are yet. The final result is unknown.But, as you watch the Classic unfold keep them in mind. These three bass may turn out to be the difference between victory and defeat.
"I hooked a giant in a bunch of stumps. She weighed between 7 and 8 pounds. I worked her free but then she ran under another stump. The wood was so thick I had to make a big circle with the boat to get to her. By the time I got over there she was gone. She shook her head once and swam off.Those are the ones you have to get if you're going to win a Classic. You need a big kicker fish every day. I hope she doesn't come back to haunt me before this one's over."
That fish would have allowed Duckett to make a cull and increase his weight by at least 4 1/2 pounds. He's leading by one pound. A 5 1/2 pound advantage would be huge as he looks to repeat his 2007 Bassmaster Classic Champion title.
"I broke one off today that was between 4 and 6 pounds. I set the hook and she swam alongside a stump. My lure got wedged in a crack and my line broke. I think it was pinched in the wood. There was nothing I could do about it. It's just one of those things that happen when you're fishing. You can't let it bother you.
"I wish I had her back, though. I caught 12 or 13 keepers and I still weighed in a 1 1/2 pounder. I needed her to increase my weight. You don't hook many that big; you need to land them when you do."
Replacing his 1 1/2 pounder with a 4 pounder — his lowest estimate of the fish's weight — would have added 2 1/2 pounds to his sack. He's 2 pounds, 2 ounces out of first place. That's huge in a Bassmaster Classic.
I hooked a good one on a ChatterBait style lure. I set the hook real hard and started reeling. She came right at me and then, without warning, swam straight up and broke the water's surface. When she opened her mouth and shook her head the bait came out."To be honest I don't think she was ever hooked. I think she was holding it in her mouth and then spit it out when she realized something was wrong. You know, though, the good thing is she's still there and if I'm right that she wasn't hooked she might bite again."
Ike is less than 5 pounds off the lead. He estimates his bass would have weighed 5 pounds or better. His smallest bass weighed around 2 pounds. So, after he culled that bass would have pushed his weight to within 2 pounds of the lead, well within striking distance for an angler with his experience and skills.