Follow the leader

Davy Hite and Todd Faircloth are in enviable positions this morning at the start of the Sacramento Bassmaster Elite at the Sacramento River. Hite is Boat No. 1, and Faircloth is Boat No. 3, but neither wants to lead the marathon boat race downriver. For three days they’ve been launching and practicing far to the south, and they aren’t familiar with the run down there from the takeoff site at Discovery Park in Sacramento.


“This is the first time I’ve been Boat 1 in years, and I don’t know where I’m going,” Hite lamented. “Thank goodness for our electronics!”


The tricky thing about navigating the Sacramento River and connecting channels isn’t finding your way. Modern GPS navigation makes that fairly easy. It’s the series of no-wake and idle-only zones along the way, Faircloth said. The majority of Wednesday’s tournament briefing was taken up with discussions and descriptions of no-wake zones, and most of the 112 Elite anglers, if not all of them, were carefully marking maps with the aquatic speed traps. Violating one can bring fines and, even worse, disqualification of an angler’s catch for the day.