Randy Pierson, the 48-year-old Elite Series rookie, was as surprised as anyone when he caught the second-place bag of 18 pounds, 12 ounces on Day 1 of the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open yesterday. Not only is the Oakdale, Calif., resident an Elite Series rookie, this marks his first Bassmaster Open tournament. In fact, this week is the first time he's been in the state of Oklahoma for any reason.
Pierson entered this event primarily to get a clue about how Fort Gibson Lake might fish next week in the final regular season Elite Series tournament, which, of course, has now been moved to Lake Tenkiller.
Pierson made all the right moves Thursday, when it was hot and windy on Grand Lake. Today will be a day of adjustments, as the high is expected in the lower 80s, no wind is blowing and at 9 a.m. it was raining. Photographer Andy Crawford is following Pierson this morning. The bass in the photo here didn't meet the 14-inch minimum. Pierson didn't have a keeper in the boat at 8:30 a.m., but he didn't catch them early yesterday either.