VanDam was running a defined pattern in different areas, primarily focusing on smallmouth bass. He mixed in sight fishing — a technique used by many in the top tier of the field — along with a number of blind casts.
In a timed sport, where minutes on the water often translate directly into dollars in the bank, valuable time spent on a fish that ultimately doesn't find its way to the weigh-in is the worst type of sunk cost.
"Floaters" can prove to be the ultimate frustration for anglers, because those fish can be impossible to catch. The best chance is that those fish will move up shallow to spawn.
Smith Mountain Lake, will be home to the fourth Elite Series event of the 2009 season. The lake spans a little over 20,000 surface acres with more than 500 miles of shoreline, most of it characterized by coves, docks and boathouses.
As far as 98 other anglers are concerned, Jordon has a big bull's-eye on his back, one about the size and shape of the nest of a spawning bass.
Despite his prior success here, Casey Ashley didn't have any spectator boats following him. No one had their eyes on him, and if he had his way he wouldn't have had to depend on his eyes, either.
Kelly Jordon stuck to what he knows best and sight-fished his way to the Day One lead at the Blue Ridge Brawl on picturesque Smith Mountain Lake.
Wolak drew the coveted No. 1 boat position and had his choice of bedding bass to start on. Yet he couldn't take advantage of the early start because of one particular fish's stubborness.
With three events in the books, he's not quite at the bottom of the Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, but he's far too close to triple digits for comfort.
While rainsuits and facemasks may have been the key pieces of equipment in this season's first three tournaments, it seems that Power Poles and polarized sunglasses will finally be the anglers' most treasured possessions.