PARIS, Tenn. — No one seemed to have trouble catching bass in practice this week on Kentucky Lake. In fact, many boasted of catching more than 50 bass a day. The only problem was the fish were mostly under the 15-inch minimum length limit.
The biggest complaint from today's weigh-in was the lack of wind.
"I need wind," Doc Merkin said as he stepped off stage. "I was catching a lot better fish — I could have had 24 pounds yesterday. This bluebird sky and no wind killed my bite."
Elite Series pro Preston Clark's pattern had been going downhill all week.
"The best day was Monday and then it gradually got worse," Clark said. "I am going to hit some new water tomorrow and see what happens. I hit one spot hard today."
As some were having trouble with the lack of wind, a few of the pros were able to put together a solid pattern that held up on Day One.
Bradley Hallman put together a mixed bag of largemouth and smallmouth to the tune of 16 pounds, 5 ounces.
"I don't think anyone else is doing what I'm doing — I am all by myself," he said.
Perhaps the most triumphant bag of the day came from co-angler Jeremy Montoya, who was fishing with Bradley Hallman. He weighed in 17-1, besting the co-angler field and his nearest competitor by more than 4 pounds.
Jerry Williams took first place on the pro side on Day One with his 19-15 stringer. When asked about his success, he stated simply, "I used a variety of baits and my fishing was over by 7:30 a.m."
It leaves quite a bit to the imagination, but Williams is clearly doing something right and apparently was unaffected by the lack of wind.
Pat Golden had a horrible day on the water.
"I had a 7-plus pounder on first thing this morning and it pulled off. Unbelievable," Golden said. "I hooked into another good-3 pounder and it jumped off. I got the lure back to the boat and the treble hook was gone. It was just a bad day for me."
Jaime Laiche blew a cylinder on the final day of practice.
It was late by the time it was diagnosed and he was only hours away from take-off. He called Stratos Boat Co. and they said they had a dealer in a town about an hour and a half away.
Laiche took off late last night and picked up a loaner boat from C & O Marine. By the time he rigged it out it was time to get ready for take-off.
"They are the best people ever. If not for them I wouldn't be fishing today," he said.
"There is a school of bass from one dam to the other, and each one of them is 14 inches long."
—Michael R. Bass, speaking of the large number of bass he caught without a keeper