Greg Vinson had never led an Elite Series tournament until Day One at Bull Shoals. He saw his 1-pound margin slip to just 3 ounces on Day Two, but he’s still got the lead. Can he hold on?
The James A. Gaston Visitor Center of the Bull Shoals-White River State Park has a mount of the Arkansas state record smallmouth bass on display. It weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces and came out of Bull Shoals. Now that would be a fish to get an Elite pro in tomorrow's Top 12.
Evers has a 2.4-pound smallmouth. (Photo by Mark Woods)
The Bull Shoals Dam is 2,256 feet long. You can drive over it. High concrete railings keep you safely on the road, but the rail is open enough to sneak peaks of both the tailwaters and the lake. Height of the dam above the streambed is 256 feet. The Ozark Mountains tower over everything.
We went on a run to find Ish Monroe but came up empty. Back on Vinson, we pulled up just as he caught his fifth keeper. The limit is nice, but they are all spotted bass and won't weigh much.
You have to admit that Bull Shoals seems an unlikely name. For starters, the lake is deep, not shallow. And the “bull”? Ask around, and you’ll hear at least two theories about the origin of the name: 1) Before the dam was built in 1951, the White River at that location was shallow, fast and loud, especially after a hard rain. When the water rushed over the rocky river bed, the sound was deafening, like a herd of bulls roaring. 2) The river current was so strong and fast, only a bull had the muscle to ford it.
We ran to another creek and found Britt Myers. We've been looking for him all morning. He's making long casts to a chunk-rock point at the mouth of a short pocket. B.A.S.S. photographer James Overstreet is already here snapping pictures of Myers. He tells me Myers has five.
We're still tooling about in Mountain Creek when we spot Gerald "G-Man" Swindle fishing a wind-blown shallow point. Yesterday he was fishing in a different area on a sheet of glass.
Britt Myers moved to the other side of this cut and promptly caught his fifth keeper. It weighed 1 1/2 pounds, which gives him 11 pounds for the day, which ain't bad for 10:30 a.m.