Smallmouth factor shows up big

Several anglers predicted the Classic winner would average weighing-in two smallmouth bass per day. That appeared to be on the money after Day 1. Leader Ott DeFoe had three smallmouths in his 5-bass limit, 2nd place Roy Hawk had two, 3rd place Clifford Pirch had none, 4th place Justin Lucas had two and 5th place Jacob Wheeler had three.

Few anglers are specifically targeting smallmouth bass, but they're finding them on the same relatively shallow banks and cover where the largemouths are. When you catch one, it's usually a good one. But that 18-inch minimum length limit can be a heart-breaker. The minimum required is only 14 inches for largemouth bass.

Even though he weighed two smallies yesterday, Justin Lucas has purposely avoided targeting them, saying, "If you catch two or three 17 1/2-inch smallmouth, it kind of puts you in a bad mood. I didn't want to be a bad mood. I'd rather catch a 15-inch largemouth."