High winds and rolling waves on Day One of the Empire Chase cracked boat hulls, overcame engines and swamped boats.
"The best thing about today," Niggemeyer said, "is that I've still got tomorrow."
The tournament will continue Saturday, July 21 and conclude Sunday, July 22 as scheduled.
After the first day of competition, co-angler Robert Suhr was a quick learner, bagging big fish and making it back to the weigh-in in one piece.
While most anglers never fish using deck seats, rough conditions on Lake Erie prompted them to install the seats for the first day of the Empire Chase.
The winds blew, the waves crested and the Bassmaster Elite Series pros dragged scads of smallmouth bass across the scales.
"I'm really hoping I don't have to throw mine out," angler Gary Klein said, "but depending on the wind it could be one, two or even three."
Recreational boating competition will be down. Fish-care penalties will be way up, with fish dying in rough livewell runs and from depressurizing too quickly when caught at depths of up to 40 feet.
In this episode of 'Hooked,' the B.A.S.S. pros talk about how they use different types of media to influence the growth of bass fishing.
The B.A.S.S. pros talk about qualifying and preparing for the Bassmaster Classic.