We head out on Table Rock with James Watson as he tries to grad the lead on Day 2 of the Bass Pro Shops Central Open presented by Allstate.
The unsung heroes of the tournament coverage world, the camera boat drivers can make or break a shot. Sometimes we run our own rigs, but behind every other photo or clip of video there's a camera boat driver working hard to keep the sun to our backs and the angler in sight. They get to the boat ramp before us, they have the boat gassed up, snacks in the cooler, drinks on ice and a life jacket ready. All we have to do is hop in, hold on and shoot.
"I've never fished this bank before but it looks good." "There he is" "Whooo!" "Man he slam dunked it." "I don't shake that much but I'm shaking now." "That's a gorilla. A true... Table Rock... goh-reh-luh." "Right where he was supposed to be." "Man I'd love to qualify for the Classic."
After a close call with a big fish right at the boat, James Watson boats his first keeper a little ahead of schedule. The big fish blew up on Watson's top water about 10-feet from the boat, but as quickly as his rod loaded up it went limp. Visibly and understandably frustrated by this, Watson uttered a few grievances he had with his luck over the next couple casts and then was reassured all was not lost by another bite. This one, a 2-pound largemouth, entered the boat without incident as Watson stated, "I would catch the little one."
The current conditions on Table Rock are what's commonly referred to by anglers as "bluebird skies". Not a cloud in sight is layman's indicator of high pressure and poor fishing. The bright sunshine will certainly position the fish to where they are easier to target, but that doesn't necessarily make them easier to catch. Even if you hit them on the head, the bass still have to bite. And post-frontal, high-pressure, East wind, bluebird skies don't exactly make a bass eager for a boat ride.
Still with James Watson. He's still scoreless. So is Day 1 leader Jim Dillard according to reports from James Overstreet. The cold front that blasted the are on the eve of Day 1 seems to have the early bite a little stymied. "I didn't have a fish until 10 o'clock yesterday," Watson offered up. The slow early bite makes an already tough grind that much tougher.
Anglers head out for another day on Table Rock lake for the 2015 Bass Pro Shops Central Open #3 presented by Allstate.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the Open at Table Rock – I’ve probably spent more time on that lake than any other that the Bassmaster Elite series visits.
As James Overstreet heads off in hot pursuit of Day 1 leader Jim Dillard, we start our day with James Watson. Watson sits in third place headed out this morning, but he's the local front-runner. Of the Top 10, he's the only local. That's not likely to be the case when the scales close today. This lake sets up for the local to do well. Table Rock is fishing tough, and when one 4-to-5-pound bite can separate you from the majority of the field, it helps to know where you've caught a lot of kickers in the past.