High-flying smallmouth heart-stoppers

Matt Herren certainly held his breath when this smallmouth bass went airborne today. An airborne smallmouth bass will make an angler's heart skip a beat. Herren landed this one, his third 3-pounds-plus fish of the day.

Chris Zaldain wasn't so fortunate yesterday, saying he lost two big ones. He had a good day anyway, putting 19-12 on the scales and finishing in 29th place on Day 1. But it could have been better.

"I had a five-pounder in my bag and I lost one way bigger than that," he said. Zaldain explained why these hard-charging smallmouth bass can escape a barbed hook, adding, "They're really good at coming up to the boat fast, you've got to catch up with them, then digging back down. It's a small hook - size 4, size 2, drop shot hooks. When they go up and down and up and down, it moves that hook point and it just pulls the barb out."