How hard is it to fish the Bassmaster Classic? Iowa B.A.S.S. Nation qualifier Greg Vance was boat No. 4 today. When he showed up at his first spot, Aaron Martens (boat 1) was there. He fished around Aaron for a while, then ran off to his second spot and local stick James Elam (boat 14) was already there. In other words, it looks like Greg found good spots, but couldn't get on them. He ended up with one fish for 3-01 and is in 46th place.
Ontario Nation qualifier Charles Sim (boat 39) had a similar experience: "I was surprised by how many people found the area I was on. Five other boats were there." He's in 44th with two fish for 4-06.
"I don't get nervous anymore, but yesterday and today I was nervous," said hometown favorite James Elam. "I know everyone's watching. My family and friends are here." He said he feels he fished well today, though he noted that he's never seen Grand Lake "this muddy and this low in March."
Jason Christie, Kevin VanDam and Mike Iaconelli seemed to have the most spectator boats on them today. Jason had the unofficial record with 81 boats. His spectators "were super-courteous," he said. "They stayed way back. I almost didn't notice." On the negative side, several competitors mentioned they were surprised at how many recreational fishermen were on the lake on a Friday.
Matt Herren junk-fished himself into 6th with 16-04. "I do my best work when I'm flying by the seat of my pants and don't have a clue what I'm doing," he said.
When asked about tomorrow, Kevin VanDam got that look in his eyes and said: "Oh, it'll be better tomorrow." Would hate to be a bass in Grand tomorrow.
Mark Davis caught a 4-pounder on his 10th cast and thought, 'Oh boy here we go.' But "it was downhill after that." He weighed three fish for 7-10 and is in 38th.
A few guys – notably John Crews, Boyd Duckett and Brandon McMillan – said they had more bites today, but only landed a few of them. The rest came off or were short-strikers. Boyd said, "Four came off, I had five or six short strikes and the three I caught were hair-hooked. Today was my best day for bites, but was a bad day for total weight." He's in 32nd with 8-08.
Chris Lane caught a fish on his first cast. Many fishermen feel a fish on the first cast is the kiss of death. "I honestly thought about that," he said, "but then I caught another one real quick and thought, 'It's going to be a good day.'" He's in 28th with a limit for 11-01.