LEWISVILLE, Texas -- Taking the Steve Kennedy approach is paying off for Bradley Hallman at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on Lewisville Lake.
Kennedy is known for his lack of practicing for tournaments and still doing well in Elite Series events, so even though Hallman has never been on Lewisville before, he decided to imitate Kennedy and limit his practice time for this Open.
“I practiced about 11 hours,” Hallman said. “Part of it was intentional and then the third day I didn’t go out at all. Practice was so bad that I didn’t have a bite in two days. I have watched Steve for the last six years not practice at all and still go out and catch them.”
Hallman slept in the last day of practice, and had more incentive to go for a waffle than fish.
“A buddy of mine’s aunt and uncle were here and they were going to IHOP so I thought that was better than going out on the lake,” he said.
The Oklahoma pro skipped the last practice day thinking he could locate fish the first day of competition, but he caught only one keeper weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces. Staying on one stretch of bank longer made a difference for Hallman Friday as he caught the only limit of the day. It weighed 15-8 and gave him the lead with 20-4.
“I think the sunshine helped more than anything else,” Hallman said. “The wind also made a difference. I slowed down a little bit, too.
“I am fishing shallow and covering a lot of water. There are definitely prespawn staging fish here. They are really winter fish more than anything though.”
Day One leader Brad Lankford blanked yet only dropped to second place with 18-1.
“I just couldn’t get the fish to go today,” Lankford said. “The wind was really brutal on me and I stayed in it all day, then my trolling motor died about 2:15. It was just one of those things. I couldn’t get them to bite and I was too pigheaded to leave my spot.
"I just don’t have anything else to go by. That is the only thing that has produced all week and I wasn’t about to leave it.”
Josh Bertrand, the only other angler with a limit on Day One, also blanked and dropped from second place to third with 18 pounds.
Elite Series pro Terry Butcher jumped into fourth place with 16-4 and fellow Elite Series competitor Mike McClelland moved into fifth with 13-6.
Texan Rick Parker added a couple of keepers to boost his total to 11-1 and stay in the lead on the co-angler side.
“I caught them on a shaky head and a Chatterbait,” Parker said. “I started throwing the Chatterbait because as slow as these fish are biting I tried to find something to get them to react to it.”
The other top five non-boaters are Brent Haggard in second place with 10-5; Christopher Warren, third, 8-5; Keith Glasby, fourth, 7-6; and Patti Campbell, fifth, 6-14.
The top 12 competitors on the pro and co-angler side advanced to the final round Saturday.
Hosting this event is the City of Lewisville. Tomorrow’s launch will be held at Lewisville Lake Park, 100 E. Lake Park Rd. The weigh-in will move to the Bass Pro Shops, 2501 Bass Pro Dr., in Grapevine and will begin at 4 p.m. CST.