Disco days on Arkansas River

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- One day down in the Diamond Drive and the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings had enough shakes in it to open a disco.

Not surprisingly, Kevin VanDam is sitting atop the standings. Every season it seems, he’s hovering or leading about this time.

This hover, though, was a downright hot landing with several crashes all around him.

KVD has a total 1,747 points after Day One; that’s almost 100 points more than current second place Edwin Evers. Evers is up from fourth place with 1,652.

Stephen Kennedy is third, up from fifth place, with 1,631.

While the later two fell, Alton Jones slipped from a second-place tie with VanDam to fourth with 1,630, and the leader going into today, Terry Scroggins, is now in fifth with 1,623.

Other notable rises and falls:

  • Jared Lintner in 7th up from 15th
  • Keith Poche in 9th, up from 20th
  • Casey Ashley in 18th down from 9th
  • Greg Vinson in 12th up from 18th
  • Aaron Martens 17th up from 22nd
  • Andy Montgomery 19th up from 25th 
  • Jeff Kriet 29th down from 19th
  • Denny Brauer 26th up from 41st
  • Ish Monroe 35th up from 50th
  • Billy McCaghren 38th up from 53rd

Those kinds of moves are littered up and down the standings. That’s just a quarter of the way through this event and every indication is more can be expected each day. The Arkansas River is a notorious fishery as anglers can have a sack of fish one day and appear lost the next.

A big reason for that is the fluctuating currents the anglers have to deal with. More than one angler reached the stage complaining or rejoicing over river levels dropping or current slowing. It’s a non-stop thing on rivers controlled by the Corps of Engineers.

When the anglers started the day, the flow was running around the 51,000 cubic-feet-per-second rate. We call that "cfs." To give you an idea of the amount of water that means: 60,000 cfs is the equivalent of the water it would take to fill 33 Olympic-sized swimming pools coming through the dam every second of the day.

To get a better idea of what these anglers are dealing with, look at the Corps’ forecast for the Little Rock Pool for the next few days. They have it at 51,000 cfs today, 43,000 tomorrow, 46,000 on Saturday and 45,000 cfs on Sunday.

Those are changes that will make an impact every day. Truth is those are just averages for the day. They could swing up and down at any given point, which further frustrates anglers. That's why this event will be so fascinating. These kind of changes force an angler to keep moving, keep thinking and keep changing with it.

It may be frustrating to those accustomed to being on a lake, but for all the river fishermen in the land, this is the kind of test they deal with every day. They no doubt are wondering how these guys are going to deal with and how well they will fare through the course of this event.

Some of them have done real well, others obviously not so much.