Todd Auten didn't zero on Day 1 at Winyah Bay, but he weighed-in only one bass. It left him in 72nd place in the 75-man Elite Series field. Auten rallied with third-largest bag of the tournament's first two days - 15 pounds, 10 ounces - on Day 2. He made the biggest jump in the standings Friday, leaping 43 places to 29th.
"Going from zero to hero," Auten said. "I think that's the nature of tidal fishing."
That "zero-to-hero" nature of tidal fisheries was illustrated up and down the leaderboard yesterday. Lee Livesay's 17-3 biggest bag of the tournament vaulted him 41 places up the standings from 44th to 3rd. Chris Johnston jumped 31 places from 53rd to 21st with 13-4. Harvey Horne didn't make the top 35 cut, but he moved 30 places up the standings from 74th to 44th with 15-10. Like Auten, Horne weighed-in only one keeper on Day 1.
On the "zero" side of the ledger, veteran tidal fisheries angler Greg DiPalma of Millville, N.J., was in 14th place with 11-1 on Day 1. He fell 31 places to 45th on Day 2 with four bass weighing 5-15. Garrett Paquette almost fell out of the cut after finishing 6th on Day 1. He starts today in 34th place. Skylar Hamilton dropped 32 places, from 23rd to 55th.
The big lesson in tidal waters is that past performance doesn't ensure future results - good or bad. Five of the anglers who finished in the top 10 yesterday, weren't there after Day 1, including, of course, Livesay and Bill Weidler, who jumped from 37th to 8th.
Further illustrating the zero-to-hero tidal fisheries theme were the 2016 Elite Series results at Winyah Bay. In the top 10 after three days were only three anglers who started there. And three who made the top 10 started the tournament in the 60s after Day 1.
There will undoubtedly be more "heroes and zeroes" today at Winyah Bay.