Video: Herren update

Thomas Allen gives us an early update on Matt Herren.

Rain, and warm rain is good

It’s early in the game and the leaderboard is expected to widely fluctuate. Even so an early top performer is David Walker. He’s got lots of experience fishing impoundments like Lake Martin, including those where he lives during the off season in East Tennessee. Here’s what he told me this morning, which provides a glimpse of what he’s thinking might pan out this week.

“We have a late winter going on here, like many other places in the South,” he said. “But the last couple of days we’ve had lots of rain, and warm rain.”

As such the warmer, colored water might be an impetus for moving the largemouth into shallow water.

“It definitely could get them moving back toward the bank, and fire up a largemouth bite that normally we might not have like this with a late winter.”

Coincidentally, more rain, and warm rain, is coming by the weekend.

Video: Why is Shaw always first at the ramp?

At any given Bassmaster Elite Series tournament the first angler arriving at the ramp usually is Shaw Grigsby. Watch him explain the reasons why.

First limit of Day 1

Just an hour into the fishing day on Day 1 at Lake Martin and we have our first registered limit. Fletcher Shryock reached 5 keepers first to start his tournament and is in the top spot for the moment with 5 fish for 6-8. He was followed moments later by Bill Lowen who put his 5th fish in the boat pushing his total to 6 pounds. On the flip side, Roy Hawk is sandwiched between with with 6-3 for 3 fish because of a big time 3-8 largemouth to start his day. Limits shouldn't be the issue for anglers this week, but getting that one key bite will play crucial. 

Herren hunting

Local stick Matt Herren is looking to have a strong Day 1 on Lake Martin. He’s still looking to get his first fist in the box, but rest assured he will.

What’s Lake Martin capable of this week? Herren thinks 10-12 pounds a day will keep him in the hunt. But the lake has taken on a lot of rain runoff in the past few days, with more to come this weekend.

The water is very stained up in the creeks, but much of the main lake is in pretty good condition. Water temps are in the upper 40s, which is pretty consistent with the seasonal average here.

Herren knows this lake and knows these fish. He’s coming off of a very uncharacteristic tough season in 2017, so count on him to make some big-time improvements this year.

When he fishes angry, look out.

First fish of 2018

Rookie Roy Hawk catches the first fish in BASSTrakk for the 2018 Elite Series season. Estimated at 3-8, that was a good one on Lake Martin to start his tournament and Elite career. He's expected to be a contender out of the gates in 2018. He's an older rookie and one that was barely under the career earnings bar to be classified as a rookie.

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Ryan Miller

Coast Guard safety inspection before season begins

On Sunday, before the Elites got together for a pre-season meeting, the Coast Guard offered up free boat safety checks-ups. In the photo above that's 2017 Toyota Rookie of the Year Dustin Connell getting his boat checked. 

This is the eighth year in a row the Coast Guard has offered the pre-season safety check-ups for Bassmaster Elite Series anglers. A crew of Coast Guard Auxilarists descended on each boat to review federal and state regulations, including lights, horn, ventilation, life jackets, emergency signals, fire extinguisher and the condition of the vessel. 

If the angler’s boat passed inspection he got a “checked for safety” sticker. Which means they shouldn’t need to get checked again in 2018. “Unless they are doing something stupid,” said Chuck Truthan, who lead the inspections. Coast Guard Auxilarists from Districts 7, 8 Coastal, and 8 Eastern participated in the inspections.

“These Elite anglers are ambassadors for fishing and boating safety,” said Truthan. “They represent both extremely well.”