It's almost playing out like a soap opera ... Moments after ULM's agonizing loss - just like that - Preuette puts a solid fish in the boat. This fish pushes 3 pounds and is just the boost ULM needed.
Blackett of ULM just lost a 5 to 6 pounder. "One of those you see once a year on the river" according to Preuett. That's going to be tough to bounce back from.
First-place team of ULM and second-place team of Arkansas Tech cross paths ... again.
ULM just boated number one. Word from the camera guys has Arkansas Tech at one small keeper and La Tech with 4 for 3 pounds. A grind for all the leaders this morning but most anglers are saying the afternoon bite is what they've been counting on. That's still to come.
Preuette and Blackett are targeting fish in junk mats next to the bank. These mats consist of leaves and twigs mostly that floated up from the forest floor due to the flood waters. The key here though is next to the bank. There are very few places on the river right now where you can fish an actual bank. Most places theirs a hard edge of trees with water extending back in to them a couple hundred feet. With a little extra effort, ULM can skip a soft plastic bait back into the trees here and actually target fish sitting under these mats along the bank.
Caught up with Day 1 leaders ULM as they were making their way into their second stop of the morning. After a 30 minute run upriver I was just nearing the mouth of the backwater they told me they'd be in when they came scooting by. Lucky that they did because I would have never found them otherwise. Basically we just idled through a forest, over a concrete barrier and then popped out into a lake that I had no idea existed.
Day 1 of the Central Regional was more of a game of "who can leap the high-water hurdle" -- and the team who managed it best was that of Preuett and Blackett.
Images from Day 1 weigh-in of the 2014 Carhartt College Central B.A.S.S. Regional on the Ouachita River.