DANDRIDGE, Tenn. — For a guy who's in third place, six pounds out of the lead, Jeremy Starks doesn't sound worried about overcoming that deficit over the next two days of the Bassmaster Elite Series Douglas Lake Challenge.
"It started great," Starks said about Day Two, when he weighed a five-bass-limit of 23 pounds, 1 ounce. "I caught a limit in my first five casts."
Those fish weighed about 15 pounds, Starks said, and he steadily upgraded all day.
"I caught 50 (bass), at least," said the Scott Depot, W.Va., angler.
On the other hand, leader Britt Myers of Lake Wylie, S.C., who has a two-day total of 45-2, didn't sound like a confident man.
"I'm not catching that many fish," Myers said. "It's like one here, one here. Today was one of those days when I got a bite, it was a good one."
Myers admitted he almost abandoned the plan that has put him in the lead. And he's not sure that he can continue to perform like he has the last two days.
"I might catch nothing tomorrow," Myers said. "I'm very fortunate to have what I have."
Day One leader Aaron Martens dropped into second place with 17-6 Friday, giving him a total of 41-4. In this extremely competitive event, where most of the leaders are fishing deep and moving frequently during the day – from one bass school to another – Starks' total of 39-2 hasn't come while burning a bunch of gas.
"I've got two or three schools I've found," Starks said. "I'm just staying right there."
Starks said he's caught nothing any shallower than 35-feet-deep over the last two days. And he's totally dialed in on them, using one lure that makes all the difference.
"I think the bait is completely the deal," Starks said. "Absolutely, there's no question in my mind.
"I think what I'm doing is the way to catch them."
In a hint about what bait Starks is throwing, he said he caught two three-pounders on one cast Thursday and two four-pounders on one cast Friday.
In a further testament to how well Starks is catching them, he had to check in a little after 1 p.m. Thursday, due to a migraine headache. Starks has battled migraines over the past couple of years.
"I take medicine for it, but I really don't know what causes them," Starks said. "I've had them where they last for several days."
If Starks avoids migraines this weekend, he may prove to be a headache for the rest of the Elite Series field at Douglas Lake.