Pam Martin-Wells said at the beginning of the week that she expected to make the Top 25 cut Saturday and go back one more day to Lay Lake for a shot at the top prize of $500,000 in the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.
She's wasn't bragging; she was answering a reporter's question. The Bainbridge, Ga., pro repeated the answer Saturday after weighing in 9 pounds, 15 ounces, for a two-day total of 16-12 and 21st place going into the finale Sunday. With the feat, Martin-Wells became the first woman to qualify — she is the second to compete — for the final day of competition in the Bassmaster Classic.
"Like I said the other day, every tournament I enter, I enter to win," said Martin-Wells. "It doesn't always work out that way. From the first morning of every tournament until it's over, I will give it 110 percent of everything I've got to make that (a win) happen."
At 21st place, she sat about 15 pounds out of first, secured Saturday by Jeff Kriet of Ardmore, Okla., who had 32 pounds, 1 ounce, over two days.
"I'm extremely proud of myself if for no other reason than it's been tough and I've been able to grind out a limit both days," she said.
She not only put a limit in the boat each day by 8 a.m., Martin-Wells had the first limit of the 51-angler field both days, according to BASSTrakk, the catch-report system that posts unofficial minute-to-minute results from the competition lake.
She said she upgraded her mixed bag of spotted and largemouth bass several times throughout her day to bump her day's weight up to 9-15.
Martin-Wells, 47, said she has not been sharing her water all week, so fewer anglers in the Classic field Sunday probably won't help or hinder her. She said she will stick with her game plan.
A shaky head and a jig — a 3/8-ounce Stanley jig in brown-amber — were her main lures. She tried flipping the grass, but, like yesterday, that didn't help her.
For Sunday's final weigh-in, the doors to the arena in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex will open at 3:30 p.m. CT. The event is free.
Sponsors of the 2010 Bassmaster Classic: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, Humminbird, Minn Kota, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.