DEL RIO, Texas — As predicted, winds gusting more than 30 mph pounded Lake Amistad Friday, and as expected, the Bassmaster Central Open leaderboard changed, too. Texas angler Dean Alexander, in eighth after Thursday's opening round, took over the lead with a two-day total of 45 pounds, 11 ounces.
That put him 12 ounces ahead of Bassmaster Elite pro Clark Reehm, who had a share of the lead after Thursday's opening round; Reehm brought in 20-15 for the day and has a total of 44 pounds, 15 ounces.
They're followed by Craig Schuff in third with 44-9; Aaron Johnson with 42-15; and another Elite pro, Jami Fralick, in fifth with 41-14.
"The lake isn't fishing the way it normally does for me this time of year," explained Alexander, whose 23-pound, 1-ounce catch was the second heaviest of the day. "I'm having to work several different areas and different depths. Yesterday I caught all post-spawn bass but today I caught only pre-spawn fish."
Reehm admitted he spent more time running to different areas today than on Thursday, and that he, too, was using a wide variety of lures and techniques and catching bass at different depths, some deeper than 30 feet.
"I think the key is not spending a lot of time on one spot if you have other places to fish," he said. "You can be fooled by the sheer number of bass in this lake, but I don't think you can take the time to wade through 15 or 20 two-pounders and keep hoping the next one will be larger.
"I'm catching about 30 keepers a day, but if I get three or four small fish from one spot, I leave."
Most of the successful anglers are not only fishing a variety of lures and techniques, they're trying to key on places bass are using as migration routes or holding zones so they can catch both pre-spawn and post-spawn fish. While sight-fishing played an important part in Thursday's overall catch, the wind definitely hurt the shallow fishing on Friday.
"The wind actually helped me today," noted fifth place pro Jami Fralick, whose father Monty is in eighth place just 10 ounces behind him, "because in the calm conditions Thursday I could see bass about 20 feet deep, and I'm sure they could see me, too. I don't think I'm the only one hoping for wind again on Saturday because this lake is so clear."
The lead also changed on the non-boater side, with Sam Koebcke taking over the top spot with six bass weighing 30 pounds, 11 ounces. Day One leader Buz Craft dropped to second with a two day total of 27-11.
Only the top 30 pros and non-boaters will fish on Saturday. For the pros, veteran Texas angler Dickie Newberry claimed the final qualifying spot with a weight of 35-10, while Mark Powers of Colorado qualified in 30th in the non-boater division with 21-1.