My boat driver, Phil Williams, and I just checked out two other creeks looking for other pros to photograph. We didn't find any. Other than Cliff Prince, I don't believe there's another pro fishing within 5 miles of Ashley. If his bass cooperate, he's going to have them to himself.
Kermit is in the house. Dean Rojas just set down his flippin' stick and reached into the rod locker for another stick. As he unwrapped the line and made his first cast with it, the assembled spectators let out a collective, "oooooooooooh," as they realized Rojas had broken out the frog.
Ott DeFoe fishes a bridge as David Walker idles past.
With BassTrak showing Edwin Evers with only about 7 1/2 pounds (unofficially), you start to wonder when – and if – his fish will move up today, as they apparently did yesterday. "The area that I’m fishing, I had a bunch of males in it and I think some of the females showed up,” Evers said in a “First Look” webcast interview with 1999 Classic Champion Davy Hite. "I really didn’t have a great practice, but I was trying to fish some stuff where fish were moving up.”
Tharp just made his longest run since the initial haul at blast off. It's really warming up now. I didn't need my gloves for the first time, despite Overstreet's Cannonball Run style driving. Several competitors told me this morning that the bite got better for them when the sun microwaved their areas. If Tharp can manufacture another flurry it'll make things much harder on the competition.
We're back on Dean Rojas, and he tells me he hasn't upgraded in a while. He's working closer to the rip rap bank, much to the delight of the land-based spectators.
The B.A.S.S. Conservation Summit is already evolving with the excellent state, federal and business agency representatives turnout. The meeting has become an interactive whole group participation process. Very exciting and important event happening at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic!
A common refrain amongst the Classic field was how much things changed on Guntersville – and how far the fish had moved – between practice and the first day of competition. But Day One leader Randall Tharp told 1999 Classic Champion Davy Hite yesterday that some of the fish he caught came from a school he located last year, before Guntersville went off-limits. Here’s a transcript of that exchange:
Since overcoming his mechanical hurdles, Tharp has hit three nearby spots in quick succession. I'm sure the first bite will calm his nerves, if indeed he's frazzled, but that flurry this morning must seem like it took place a lifetime ago. He may be running and gunning more now than he did earlier, but once on the specific waypoint he's showing remarkable patience and commitment.