RICHMOND, Va. — New York B.A.S.S. Nation member George Yund faced a dilemma after weighing in his fish during the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open #2 at the James River.
The 43-year-old fireman for the city of Albany found out his weight of 30 pounds took over the lead in the pro division, and he would have to notify the fire department that he would have to miss work on Saturday.
There's calling in sick, and then there's calling in leading a Bassmaster Open tournament.
"I am supposed to be at work at 8 o'clock in the morning and I have to figure out how to take off," said Yund. He later disclosed that the department gave him the extra day off but it was "going to cost" him later.
Playing the tide was the key to Yund catching a 20-pound limit after weighing in a 10-pound limit the first day. "I made a wrong turn (in the morning) and fished half the day without the right tide in front of me, but I got down to what I had to do and had the tide working for me for at least half the day," he said.
The Glenmont, N.Y., angler understands how to work the tide since he lives near the Hudson River and also fishes the Connecticut River. "This is my first time here and I basically practiced for two days," he said. "I just looked for hard structure like rock and wood which I am used to doing on the Hudson."
Yund made a milk run and found fish on spots where he failed to catch bass in practice. "I just kind of looked at the spots and said I was going to fish there because it's similar to what I do back home," he said.
Tied for second with 29 pounds each are Lynchburg, Va., pro David Dudley and Cody Pike of Powhatan, Va. Dudley believes timing the tide right helped him catch his fish. Making the long run to the Chickahominy River, Dudley caught his limit early and then culled several times throughout the day.
"My pattern is whatever comes in front of me," he said. "If I see a dock, I am throwing at a dock. If I see lily pads, I am throwing at lily pads. I am not doing anything special."
Pike caught a limit early but ran into motor problems at around 11o'clock. "So I kind of limped my way back (to the takeoff site)," he said. Stopping on a place he had never fished before, Pike caught about a 5-pounder that kicked his limit up to 14-8.
Rounding out the Top 5 in the pro division are Charlie Hartley of Grove City, Ohio, in fourth place with 28-2 and Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Ida., in fifth with 27-9.
Taking the lead in the co-angler division with 18-3 was Francis Martin, a 58-year-old general contractor from North Chesterfield, Va. His familiarity with the river has helped vault him into the lead.
"I fish here almost every weekend," he said.
Hosting this event is Richmond Region Tourism. Saturday’s launch will be held at the Osborne Boat Landing, 9530 Osborne Turnpike in Henrico. The final day weigh-in will move to the Bass Pro Shops at 11550 Lakeridge Parkway in Ashland and will begin at 3:30 p.m. local time.