I did a quick, informal survey of the All-Stars lure lineups this morning, and I saw every lure known to man except an Alabama Rig, which isn't legal in this tournament anyway. It's obvious the pros haven't zeroed in on a single lure, technique or pattern. Almost everyone had one or more of these baits tied on at the start of fishing today: spinnerbaits, shaky heads, buzzbaits, topwaters, square bill crankbaits, medium running crankbaits, jigs, creature baits and lipless cranks.
We started on Matt Herren, who began just like he has almost every tournament day this season - as far back in a creek as he can get. "I like it skinny," Herren said. "But something's going on with this water. It wasn't near this dirty before today." Herren was flipping isolated stickups without success and moved on from Lithia Creek.
Mike Iaconelli has been working his way around main lake points with no success.
Photographer Seigo Saito just checked in with us to report on the action downstream, near the dam. Gerald Swindle and Ott DeFoe were nearest the dam. Both fished the area for a short while, without success, and have departed for places up the lake. Brent Chapman, the newly crowned Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year, is staying in that vicinity after boating a small keeper, Seigo said.
Aaron Martens has fished his way to the upstream side of the bridge, still pitching plastics on spinning gear. Finally, he has a keeper. He had to measure this one, and it made the grade, apparently with not much length to spare. The limit here is 14 inches, which makes it even more of a challenge to catch a limit on this lake. Aaron has a gallery of six boats at this point. One of the most popular pros on the tour, he won entry into Toyota Trucks All-Star Week when fans voted him in as one of four wild card entries.
Finding tournament anglers on sprawling Lake Shelbyville shouldn't be easy, but Steve Bowman and I were able to locate our assigned All-Star, Aaron Martens, right off the bat. He's fishing a riprap bank near the railroad track that crosses the lake. He caught a non-keeper just before we arrived, and I saw him swing on another, which he missed. Whatever he's throwing, he's fishing it on spinning tackle, which means a light-line presentation of some sort.
B.A.S.S. writer Don Barone talks with All-Star Fan Favorite Gerald Swindle about what it means to be voted into All-Star week by his fans.
See the Elites dine and get briefed as All-Star Week begins.
We caught up with the Elites as they searched for the best bass in Decatur Lake!