Twenty-three-year-old Patrick Walters accomplished something no one else could duplicate on Day 1 at Lake Norman. Yes, obviously, he caught a bigger bag of bass than the other 202 pros in the field with a first-place total of 15 pounds, 12 ounces.
But Walters found a largemouth bass bite. Four of his five bass were largemouths, including a 5-7.
"The largemouth have really begun to show up the last two days," said Walters at Thursday's weigh-in. "Getting another big bite again (Friday) will be the difference between another good bag and an 8- or 9-pound limit."
Walters is from Ladson, S.C. He knows how difficult it is to: a) be consistent on this lake, and b) target largemouth bass instead of the much more plentiful spotted bass.
There are still some bass spawning on Lake Norman. James Moynagh of Carver, Minn., caught a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass off a spawning bed Thursday. But most of the bass - both spots and largemouth - are post-spawn now, according to the anglers.
An early morning topwater bite might be the best way to catch a difference-maker today. There's a light chop on the lake in most areas, It was in the mid 60s at takeoff, with a forecast high near 90 degrees today.