Skylar Hamilton is only 19 years old, but he has some big-time bass tournament fishing experience. Hamilton finished 24th in a B.A.S.S. Open event at Douglas Lake when he was 16. Hamilton is fishing the Opens again this year, and would love to kick his tournament career into high gear with a good showing this week. "I was tickled to be invited to fish in this event, especially here," said Hamilton during Tuesday's anglers' meeting.
We switched humps and pulled up on Matt Reed, Derek Remitz and David Walker. We weren't here long when Remitz hooked up. We just got a fleeting look at it as it came to the surface. A blurry photo tells us it was in the 4- to 5-pound range. That's the only look we got before the fish came off. Visually, Remitz is hard to shake. He's like a rock, but this fish obviously upset him, forcing him to drop his rod and regroup.
The struggle continues on this hump. I didn't visit with Jones, but Wellman gave us a big thumbs down, followed by "I have one short spot." Lane held up a big zero with his hands. All of the them are intent in watching their electronics, looking for a school or a loner they can drop on. But no takers. We can see rain about a half mile up river. And it's very over cast. Judging from the water on the buoys, the only current is coming from the wind.
Mark Grimsley, one of our boat drivers today, has already had an interesting week in connection with BASSfest. Grimsley helps out Greg Payne at Soddy Lake Custom Bait and Tackle, which has been visited by 20 to 25 pros in the last few days, said Grimsley. "We make big swimbait heads - one and two ounces - with a big 7/0 hook," Grimsley said. "A lot of the guys have been buying them because they can't find those size heads with a big hook.
Rookie Brandon Lester pulled up to his first spot this morning and nailed one on his first cast. Brandon has a limit already and now searching for bigger ones.
The thing about rainy days is every one has a rain suit on, which causes a lot mis-identification. The angler we thought was DeFoe was actually Kendall Newsome, one of our Opens anglers and a former NFL athlete. Not sure how we got DeFoe out of that other than their boats are similar. Newsome is struggling a bit. No fish yet. We've moved over to another hump where Alton Jones, Chris Lane and Nate Wellman are stacked up.
Biffle bags a big one Tommy Biffle just landed a Lake Chickamauga monster - a 9-pounder - caught on what else but a Gene Larew Biffle Bug fished on a Larew Hard Head swing jig. Biffle already had a 3-pounder in the boat, so that gives him 12 pounds on two fish.