Elite Series angler Chris Zaldain isn’t fishing the Basspro.com Bassmaster Central Open at the Arkansas River, which began at 6 a.m. CT today. But, of course, he has a rooting interest, as his wife, Trait, is one of 192 pros in the field.
Zaldain took a few minutes to breakdown the tournament during takeoff this morning, when most of the boats hung a left out of Three Forks Harbor and headed south toward a possible lock-through to Kerr Lake. Check-in time for the first flight is 1 p.m. It’s a short day for those anglers, which might influence whether they decide to lock down to Kerr. The takeoff order will be reversed Friday; the later flights get a longer day.
“The deepest fish caught in this tournament will be six feet,” Zaldain predicted. “The river has been high, but it’s down to normal level now, just in time for the tournament. Anglers are going to be looking for current in outside channel bends or where the river is necked down.”
And they’ll be in the abundant backwaters of the Arkansas River.
“The top baits are going to be buzzbaits, swim jigs and square-bills,” Zaldain said.
Five-bass limits in the neighborhood of 15 to 17 pounds will probably be at the top of the leaderboard at the end of Day 1.