Big bites key to success

Typically, falling four fish short of a five-bass limit spells disaster, especially during a tough bite on a modest sized lake. However, when your  one fish weighs 6 pounds, 13 ounces, you might do okay — maybe even make the top-10.

That was the deal for Charles Klug and Brock Huebner of PJ Jacobs Junior High, who placed sixth on Day 1 of the Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster Junior National Championship on Carroll County 1000 Acre Recreational Lake.

Elsewhere, tournament leaders Brooks Hibbit and Grant Buzard of the Hartley’s Hawgs Youth Fishing Club turned in a limit of 12-1, which included Hibbit’s 8-1 — the first round’s biggest fish. Second-place Nolan Holloway and Jackson Fanning of Morgan County Middle School included a 4-pounder in their limit of 9-8.

In third place, Parker Adair and Jackson Miller of the Arkansas Youth Anglers team weighed in two fish, but one was Adair’s personal best 7-14 — the day’s second-heaviest bass. Right behind them, fourth-place Dominic Bianchi and Ethan Haley of the Rochester Bassmaster team anchored their 8-15 limit with a 4-2.

No doubt, big bites played key roles for several teams, but it will be interesting to see if lighting strikes twice for any of them. A tournament’s second day often proves increasingly challenging, as fishing pressure continues to lesson the opportunities.

The fish are going to feed at various times throughout the day, so it often comes down to getting into the right rotation on your spots. Taking nothing away from any of these young anglers who’ve earned their place in this championship event, but the luck of the draw may end up being the day-maker.

The consistent comment from everyone with big fish was “slow presentations.” Today’s weigh ins will likely hear reports of jigs, Texas rigs, shaky heads and dropshots.