We ran to the back of another creek and found Steve Kennedy. The sun is beginning to break through the clouds, but it is still darn cold and windy. The water temperature here is nearly 56 degrees. Kennedy might be onto something. He has four bass that he caught in the first 30 minutes. He is looking for redemption from a poor showing here last year. Where Kennedy is fishing now is not where he caught his bass earlier. He's not catching them here.
One thing to remember as we get this event started. Bull Shoals is a huge lake from a fishing standpoint. It's about 45,000 acres which doesn't sound overly large, but it has more than 700 miles of shoreline. The lake stretches from Bull Shoals, Arkansas well into Missouri, and unlike many of the lakes we fish, much of it is pretty isolated. You won't see a bunch of docks or swimming areas once you leave the lower lake. This is in heart of the Ozarks, so a lot of the lake is narrow with long and short creek arms shooting out in every direction.
Hopes of catching bass at Bull Shoals seemed to be blowing in the wind at today's takeoff. It certainly didn't feel like good weather for fishing, with a northwest wind gusting from 10 to 20 miles-per-hour, which flapped the American flag and spun the windmill atop Bull Shoals Boat Dock. But, as early catches have shown, this lake is getting primed for it's spring explosion. The water surface temperature in the boat dock was 60 degrees yesterday and had cooled to 54 degrees this morning.
We just passed Josh Bertrand, who is leading the rookie AOY race, leaving East Sugarloaf Creek as we were running in. We came upon Jason Christie farther up the creek. He already has three in the livewell, but no big ones yet. Strike that. Christie just caught bass number four. The water temperature is 53 degrees, nearly 10 degrees colder than it was last week. The wind is blowing him down the bank at warp speed. He's chunking' and windin'. Now Christie just made a short run to another bank.
Yesterday was not the first time an Elite competition day was postponed ... or even canceled.
Elite Series anglers were bundled up for a chilly start to the Ramada Quest on Bull Shoals.
Just going through the Marshal photos it's interesting to note that they are almost all spotted bass and smallmouth. I've not seen a largemouth yet. Conventional wisdom typically holds that largemouth are the fish you win on in this lake. I'm sure there are some in the live wells on the water at the minute, but it is interesting that these other two species are making up the lion's share of what we are seeing.