No local advantage for Welcher

Kyle Welcher was yesterday's leader with 19 pounds, 5 ounces. Welcher, who lives in Opelika, Ala., across the state, shunned the thought of local knowledge being a factor in this tough tournament.

"The bait can move out of an area at a moment's notice and will do the bass," he said. "If you have too much local knowledge, then you might stay there too long, whereas if it's somebody without confidence in an area they will leave sooner."

He added, "So this time of year it’s all about where the fish will set up on ambush points for the bait."

Unlike most of the anglers disliking fall fishing in the South, Welcher embrasses the opportunity.

"This is one that I’ve looked forward to because I like to fish in the fall," he said. "I feel like I have one good strategy for getting a few extra bites the other guys don't know about.