Most of the anglers at the Bassmaster American are pleasantly surprised with their Day One weights.
"I put Super Glue on all my cuts, try to keep them closed up. I'm going to need stitches on a couple of these cuts."
We asked the final 12 to share what patterns and lures they used to make the cut and what was the single greatest factor in their success.
"I can't say anything more than this is absolutely awesome," said the 2006 Toyota Rookie of the Year. "I never thought I could catch this much weight in a BASS tournament. It is amazing."
It's common bass fishing knowledge that a lake's entire population of largemouth does not assault the shallows to spawn in one great wave.
Just before daybreak on what could be the biggest day of his career, Greg Gutierrez was rummaging in a compartment in the bow of his boat, looking into a tackle box, rustling plastic sacks.
What are the thoughts of the 12 anglers remaining in the Golden State Shootout?
His bag bulged like a college student's laundry sack. He might as well have been submerging a suitcase.
Day One at the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Guntersville has Andy Morgan in the lead.
Day One of the 2007 Elite Series Duel in the Delta has Mark Tyler catching a 10-6 bass and in the lead.