Big bass breaks the ice

Anglers flock to the Sunshine State for many reasons, but high on that list is the Florida-strain largemouth bass whose hefty size potential is the stuff of legend. Those big green beasts will, no doubt make a strong showing this weekend during the Bassmaster Southern Open at the Harris Chain of Lakes and it didn’t take long to get the toad train rolling.

Dustin Reneau, the first pro to weigh, brought in a limit of 15 pounds, 6 ounces and anchored that solid effort with a 7-6 that set the early mark for Phoenix Boats Big Bass. With a cold front shaving a significant margin off morning temperatures, the McKinney, Texas pro found his afternoon most productive.

“I was running a pattern and I couldn’t get any of my big fish to bite, so I moved off of my spot a little bit (deeper) and that’s when I got that big bite and then I got a 4 right after that,” Reneau said. “After I put that big fish in the livewell, I noticed I was having mechanical issues.

“I caught one more and then we came in. I didn’t want to harm any of the fish.”

Reneau said he caught his fish on a slow technique. Kickers, he said, are critical to remaining competitive.

“You gotta have at least one big bite a day,” he said. “You can catch a lot of 2-pounders, but you have to have a big bite to make it to (Championship Saturday.”