Classic takeaways from Day One

Every Bassmaster Classic develops its own personality and takes shape over its three days. The 2013 championship on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees is no exception. Here are some of the interesting takeaways from the first day.

• It was the first time that any day of the Bassmaster Classic has ended in a tie for first place. Three times the Day One lead was a single ounce — 1988 on the James River, 2000 on Lake Michigan and 2012 on the Red River. In those Classics, by the way, the angler with the slim lead ended up losing two times out of three.

• Day One on Grand was the coldest day in Classic history. When the boats launched, the temperature in nearby Grove, Okla., was a positively chilly 25. The previous record was a tie at 28 degrees — Day Three of the 2009 Classic on the Red River and Day One of the 2010 championship on Lay Lake.

• The average bass on the first day weighed 2.83 pounds. If it holds up for all three days, it’ll rank third best all-time. The Classic with the biggest average bass was in 1980 on New York’s St. Lawrence River (2.93 pounds).

• The average catch for an angler on Day One was 11.85 pounds. That’s pretty strong. In fact, it’s on a pace to be the fourth best in Classic history. The record is 12.43 pounds set in 2009 on the Red River.

• Co-leaders Michael Iaconelli and Cliff Pace are on a pace to tally 64 pounds, 8 ounces over three days. If that happens, it’ll be the second heaviest weight in the 5-bass-limit era of the Classic. Kevin VanDam set the record at 69-11 in 2011 on the Louisiana Delta.

• B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Mark Pierce caught the day’s biggest bass, a 7-4 lunker. Nation anglers have had daily big bass many times before, but today marked the first time since Tennessee’s Michael Holt did it in 2001.

• Maine’s Jonathan Carter is the leading Nation angler so far. He’s an impressive seventh after the first round and just 2-13 off the pace. He appears a cinch to post the best Classic finish since Brandon Palaniuk was fourth two years ago.

• Two of the three Oklahomans in this Classic fared pretty well on Day One. Jason Christie is in sixth place, 2-12 behind the leaders. Edwin Evers ranks 10th, 4-11 back. The third, Tommy Biffle, is 27th,more than 9 pounds behind Iaconelli and Pace. Biffle’s chances of a home state title are rapidly evaporating, but Christie and Evers are very much in the mix.

• The Classic woes of Randy Howell and Ish Monroe continue. They’ve both been to lots of Classics, but don’t have great track records. In 10 previous tries, Howell’s best finish is 11th (1999). And in seven previous appearances, Monroe’s best finish is 14th (2007). They’re currently 17th and tied for 27th, respectively, but they still have at least one more day to move up.

• Who still has a chance to win? Well, if history is our guide, the lowest ranked angler after Day One who still might be a threat is Shaw Grigsby in 14th place. He’s 5-9 off the pace. Rick Clunn’s jump from 14th to first in the 1990 Classic is the biggest comeback in the 5-bass-limit era. He was 8-10 behind the leader after the first day that year. Skeet Reese was 13th after Day One in 2009 and came on to win, but his deficit was just 4-9, so his hole wasn’t nearly so deep.

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