Holding the lead

MARBURY, Md. — A damp, cloudy Day Two dawned for the 107 anglers competing in the Elite Series Capitol Clash presented by Advance Auto Parts on the Potomac River, with a half dozen anglers within three pounds of the lead held by Skeet Reese. There's a cold front in the forecast for the weekend, but that seemed like a distant fantasy to most considering the oppressive humidity hanging over Smallwood State Park's launch site.

Two competitors, Reese and Texas pro Gary Klein, distanced themselves significantly from rest of the field — with the exception of Grant Goldbeck's 18-5 pound bag — by throwing twenty pound plus sacks on the scales. And though their territory — the all-encompassing shallow grass — is similar, their techniques pretty much end there.

Reese (20-5), who's duking it out in the Angler of the Year race with Kevin VanDam, is getting up close and personal with his fish with a flipping stick and is sharing his water with a number of other anglers. Klein, on the other hand, is pretty much by himself and is staying as far from his fish as possible.

"When you make a really long cast and the fish hits it on the first four feet of the retrieve, that's kind of telling you something," said Klein, who very politely set the parameters for an ESPN Outdoors camera boat before the photographer opted out of the assignment. "There are times when I'm Power Poling down and sitting there for an hour."

Reese, who was one of the last boats to blast off, said he was unconcerned with the late draw seeing as how he only fished one spot on Thursday that hadn't already been picked over by competitors.

"I've got one area that hadn't been fished before I got there. And I'm not sure what it is I'm doing different, whether it's the timing of the tide or whatever," said Reese.

Klein, whose Day One bag was anchored by two big ones, said that he was pretty much standing on his one area and methodically working as the rising and falling water dictates.

"I caught my five pounder early and the eight pounder came late in the afternoon. The area's got a few sweet spots on it," said Klein.

Maryland pro Grant Goldbeck was positive going into the event that he wouldn't get hung up on a single area like last year, setting himself up in practice with a number of consecutive spots in which he could fish the favorable tide. But after seeing what one of his first spots produced, he decided against the run and gun strategy and homesteaded his fish.

"It's nice to know I've got some back-ups, but for now I thought it was best to stay with those fish," said Goldbeck .