Cherry on the board

Hank Cherry shared his first stop yesterday with several anglers that are in the top 10. Today they let him have it l, and boy is he making the start of a good bag. After being delayed this morning for several hours due to major thunderstorms, Cherry was worried that the shad spawn that was going on might be over.  Cherry already has two fish for around 8 pounds. 

Tale of two Walters

These two photos tell the tale of what's going on with Patrick Walters.

The first (above), taken just now from the water by Andy Crawford, shows the calm water where he is fishing.

Pipkens lands 9-pounder

Maybe this stormy weather has put a spark in the Lake Ray Roberts bass. Chad Pipkens wouldn’t argue with that after landing a 9-pounder at 8:37, shortly after the delayed takeoff. That’s a new big bass for the tournament. Frank Talley took big bass honors on Day 1 with an 8-3.

Walters: Everything has changed

Patrick Walters summed up today’s unexpected weather-delayed start as follows: “Just about everything imaginable that could change has changed.”

Chris Zaldain, who lives 45 minutes from Lake Ray Roberts, has characterized it as “a flip-flop lake,” meaning the way you catch bass here one day isn’t necessarily the way you’ll catch them the next. With the weather today, Lake Ray Roberts is in the midst of a double flip-flop.

Crowd good for Day 2 launch

Even with the storm, high winds, and delayed start, the crowds are large and the party atmosphere is going.

Update by Bassmaster Marshal Rick Moore

Adverse conditions shake up Day 2

Day 2 of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk is officially under a weather delay. Safety comes first, and this is absolutely the right call.

With that said, this will inevitably throw the anglers another curveball, but it wouldn’t be a 2021 B.A.S.S. event without a little bit of severe weather involved.

On Day 1 a good number of anglers did the majority of their damage within the first two hours on a shad spawn. How will this weather effect the longevity of the shad spawn and early bite? It seems unlikely that the amount of rain will effect the fishing, but predicting how the fish will react to thunderstorms and lightning is tough.

Regardless, time will be of the essence on Day 2. The angler that hoists the coveted Bassmaster Classic trophy over his head on Sunday evening will have made the proper adjustments on an adverse Saturday here on Ray Roberts.

Wind was no one’s friend Day 1

Essentially there was a half-day of fishing at Lake Ray Roberts on Day 1 of the Bassmaster Classic. The early morning shad spawn produced quite a show, but the double-digit wind that kicked up at mid-morning changed the game. Despite that, there were still three 20-pound bags caught, led by Steve Kennedy’s 23-0.

“I’ve got a place I got some big bites in practice on Sunday that I didn’t go to,” Kennedy said. “The wind kept me off of it. So I feel like I’ve got more. I’m going fishing, and they’re smoking what I like to do.”

What Kennedy likes to do is throw a swim jig and a swimbait.

Patrick Walters starts the day only 9 ounces behind Kennedy at 22-7. He didn’t get to do what he likes to do either, and that’s throw a jerkbait at bass that are suspended in timber, like he did at Lake Fork last November when he topped 100 pounds over four days.

“The shallow bite is good first thing until about 9 o’clock, then the light switch cuts off,” Walters said. “Then you’ve got to do something different. If I can get an afternoon bite going and can catch ‘em in the timber, I think that’ll be what holds all the way through (the day).”

Drew Cook was disappointed he wasn’t able to hit the 20-pound mark yesterday, after encouraging practice sessions over the last week. He starts the day in fifth place, 6-6 behind Kennedy.

“Obviously, the wind didn’t help much,” Cook said. “It put a damper on what I needed to do. I only got to fish about a quarter of the stuff I wanted to - a quarter of the good stuff. We’ve got some water for (today) that’s not been fished yet. That’s the key. No one could fish it (Friday) because of the wind.”

The wind forecast for today looks favorable - single digits. The 54-man field will be cut to the top 25 after Saturday’s weigh-in. Plenty of drama should be in store today - all day, unlike the half-day we saw on Day 1.

"I didn’t even go to my big fish today"

Steve Kennedy is doing “my deal”. He’s the most relaxed he’s ever been. And he didn’t even fish the spot where he thought he had the best chance for a big fish.

These are the three things I learned sneaking into the interview room while Steve talked to our LIVE producers. I think tomorrow could bring some fireworks. Don’t miss it.

Kennedy's lucky charm?

Which one is Steve Kennedy's lucky charm, the longhorn steer or his wife Julia? We'll let you decide that one. Either way, Kennedy has some strong mojo going today, leading the Classic on BassTrakk with an estimated 22 pounds, 9 ounces, and a 3.9 pound lead over 2nd place Chris Jones.

This is not Kennedy's first rodeo. The 2021 Classic is his 10th Superbowl of Bass Fishing. He missed the last two Classics, but his best Classic finish to-date was also in Texas, at Lake Conroe in 2017. Kennedy finished in 2nd place there after missing a big fish late in the tournament. Had he caught it Kennedy could already have one Classic trophy on his mantle.

Kennedy has been fishing Bassmaster tournaments since 2002. He has $1,887,763 in tournament earnings.

Is 2021 finally his time?