Brandon Lester is well ahead of schedule here on Day 2. Yesterday, Lester had two keepers at this point. He’s culling now.
Moving to a new shallow location, Lester caught his fifth keeper on his second cast, and then culled on his next cast. His limit isn’t big, around 9 pounds, but the fish he has in the livewell currently give him the ability to swing hard the rest of the day.
This is the Bassmaster Classic. And there’s always a bunch of home run hitters talking about swinging for the fences. “Points don’t matter here.” “Winning is everything.” That’s all well and good till the rubber meets the road and you’re sitting on zero at noon. That’s when the whispers turn to shouts and anglers have to fight the battle within not to bunt.
Every keeper on this fishery counts. A 5-pounder or two does little to no good without solid limit fish to go with it. Look no further than Matt Robertson for a good example. He swung hard all day on Day 1, and connected with two studs. His two 4-pounders and the loan keeper he had to go with them amounted to three fish for 10-15, to have him sitting in 17th. Two more 2-pounders would have moved Robertson into fourth.
No doubt, Robertson would have loved to have two more keepers. But they’re nearly as hard to come by as big fish. And he’s chose to lock in with big baits and either die doing it or, “blow the doors off this thing” if he can get five bites.
Lester has the luxury of swinging hard now, knowing if he strikes out he’s still in contention to win with a big Day 3. And he still has plenty of time to connect with a big one or two today. Lester in good shape.