EVANS, Ga. — It took 10 pounds,1 ounce to get into the top-50 on Day One of the Pride of Georgia presented by Evan Williams Bourbon, but the anglers have been talking all week about how the fishing's going to get better as the tournament progresses. Warmer temperatures give hope to the anglers waiting on the top-water bite and the emergence of the blue herring, the bait fish of Clark Hills Lake.
ESPNOutdoors.com chased down the Elite Series anglers before takeoff on Day Two and asked them what weight it would take to make the top-50 cut? Would the top-water bite be a factor on Friday? And what was their biggest overnight adjustment?
Derek Remitz ( 13th, 15-9)
Cut weight? — It should get a little better today and the cut will be about 20 to 21 pounds.
Top-water bite? — It might turn on because it stayed a little warmer last night, but the winds and clouds are going to make it tough. But the warmer water will cause some of the bait fish to move up.
Big adjustment? — I am doing to mostly do the same thing I did yesterday. I am going to try and fish at least 100 points today, and maybe spend five minutes at each point.
Mark Menendez (16th, 15-2)
Cut weight? — 20-0
Top-water bite? — Not with this wind. It needs to be still for the bait fish to come up.
Big adjustment? — I'm just going to cover a lot of water. I got fortunate yesterday and got a couple of big bites.
Frank Scalish (14th, 15-8)
Cut weight — 19-0
Top-water bite — The wind might mess it up if you're on the main lake, but if you're fishing back in the guts it should be fine.
Big adjustment — I don't know what this wind is going to do to my spots. If the waves aren't too big, I'll do the same thing I did yesterday, but if they bother me, I'll do something a whole lot different.
Rick Clunn (89th, 6-9)
Cut weight? — That's a fools game. I don't do that.
Top-water bite? — I think it's just going to get better and better.
Big adjustment? — I've got to find the bigger fish. I've been having that problem all year. I've had a limit every day of every tournament but I haven't been able to make the cut.
Preston Clark (67th, 9-0)
Cut weight? — 19-8
Top-water bite? — It looks like we are going to get some cloud cover which should help the top water and the spinner bait.
Big adjustment? — I am going to fish the points today. I fished a couple patterns yesterday but neither one of them were points. I'm going to try and hit 100 points today.
Casey Ashley (1st, 22-6)
Cut weight? — Twenty-four or 25. These guys are going to catch them today. This wind will definitely help them out.
Top water? — Yeah, they're going to catch them today. I threw it all day yesterday and didn't get a bite.
Big adjustment? — I'm going to make a long run first thing today.
Brent Chapman (41st, 11-5)
Cut weight? — I'd say 19 on the light side here, but probably 20 or 21.
Top water? If these clouds stick around.
Big adjustment? Probably the biggest thing is, just go fishing.
Kevin VanDam (82nd, 7-11)
Cut weight? — It'll be 20. It shouldn't change much.
Top water? — I think it'll get better each day.
Big adjustment? — My adjustment is already made. (He said this while pointing to the heavy clouds overhead.)
Greg Gutierrez (95th, 5-10)
Cut weight? — I bet it'll go 20 to 21. That means I need to swing for the fences.
Top water? — Man, it wasn't for me. A little more wind, and this thing might come down to a spinnerbait.
Big adjustment? — I'm going to run long rather than grind it out.
Bill Lowen (52nd, 10-0)
Cut weight? — Right around the same again.
Top water? — I don't know. I've not found any schooling fish.
Big adjustment? — Putting fish in the boat. (He laughs.) I'm not going to change anything.