2008 Elite Series Empire Chase: Day One, Launch

In this photo gallery, you'll find images of the anglers as they prepare to launch on Day One of the 2008 Elite Series Empire Chase on Lake Erie/Niagara River Tributaries, near Buffalo, New York.

Skeet Reese idles into a quiet NFTA Boat Harbor before launch time on Day One of the Empire Chase. Reese is currently in fourth place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year point standings.
Photo: James Overstreet - Skeet Reese idles into a quiet NFTA Boat Harbor before launch time on Day One of the Empire Chase. Reese is currently in fourth place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year point standings.
Timmy Horton packs his boat with bagged ice. Ice in the livewells and 'fizzing' to relieve swim bladder pressure are two conservation techniques anglers will use to ensure the health of fish caught on Lake Erie.
Photo: James Overstreet - Timmy Horton packs his boat with bagged ice. Ice in the livewells and 'fizzing' to relieve swim bladder pressure are two conservation techniques anglers will use to ensure the health of fish caught on Lake Erie.
Marty Stone will lead the way as the first boat out on Day One of the Empire Chase.
Photo: James Overstreet - Marty Stone will lead the way as the first boat out on Day One of the Empire Chase.
Matt Reed and Gary Klein talk a little strategy before the Day One launch.
Photo: James Overstreet - Matt Reed and Gary Klein talk a little strategy before the Day One launch.
Rick Clunn looks into the morning sun for his co-angler. After a slow start early in the season, Clunn has gained momentum in the second half of the Elite Series schedule and moved to 43rd in the Toyota TTBAOY point standings.
Photo: James Overstreet - Rick Clunn looks into the morning sun for his co-angler. After a slow start early in the season, Clunn has gained momentum in the second half of the Elite Series schedule and moved to 43rd in the Toyota TTBAOY point standings.
Edwin Evers backs his boat down the ramp on Day One. Evers won last years Elite Series event held on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, 7 ounces.
Photo: James Overstreet - Edwin Evers backs his boat down the ramp on Day One. Evers won last years Elite Series event held on Lake Erie with a three-day total of 65 pounds, 7 ounces.
Terry Scroggins and Davy Hite did a little bait swapping before the Day One launch.
Photo: James Overstreet - Terry Scroggins and Davy Hite did a little bait swapping before the Day One launch.
The full field of contenders begins to get into position for the Day One launch of the Empire Chase presented by Farmer's Insurance.
Photo: James Overstreet - The full field of contenders begins to get into position for the Day One launch of the Empire Chase presented by Farmer's Insurance.
Go-time for Day One of the Empire Chase. The event is scheduled for four days of fishing, but many anglers feel there could be a cancellation of a day due to the boater safety issue created by high winds.
Photo: James Overstreet - Go-time for Day One of the Empire Chase. The event is scheduled for four days of fishing, but many anglers feel there could be a cancellation of a day due to the boater safety issue created by high winds.
Later flights of boats begin to jam into the launch area.
Photo: James Overstreet - Later flights of boats begin to jam into the launch area.
Takahiro Omori had a high boat number on Day One and sat in his boat visiting with his co-angler.
Photo: James Overstreet - Takahiro Omori had a high boat number on Day One and sat in his boat visiting with his co-angler.
Ken Cook's golden retriever took a dip in the cool waters of Lake Erie during the Day One launch.
Photo: James Overstreet - Ken Cook's golden retriever took a dip in the cool waters of Lake Erie during the Day One launch.
Elite Series anglers wind their way out of the harbor to begin Day One of the Empire Chase. With only two tournaments left on the schedule, there is the added pressure of qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic, and moving up in the TTBAOY point standings.
Photo: James Overstreet - Elite Series anglers wind their way out of the harbor to begin Day One of the Empire Chase. With only two tournaments left on the schedule, there is the added pressure of qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic, and moving up in the TTBAOY point standings.
Two competitors in the Empire Chase speed from the calm waters of the NFTA Boat Harbor and turn their boats toward the open waters of the 11th largest lake in the world: Lake Erie.
Photo: James Overstreet - Two competitors in the Empire Chase speed from the calm waters of the NFTA Boat Harbor and turn their boats toward the open waters of the 11th largest lake in the world: Lake Erie.
Marty Stone and John Crews talk about the day that lies ahead; they will leave the dock in the first and third positions on Day One of the Empire Chase.
Photo: Larry Towell - Marty Stone and John Crews talk about the day that lies ahead; they will leave the dock in the first and third positions on Day One of the Empire Chase.
Nick Gephardt with ESPNOutdoors.com talks to Mike Iaconelli about strategy and what wind would do to change that strategy on the 10,000 square mile Lake Erie.
Photo: Larry Towell - Nick Gephardt with ESPNOutdoors.com talks to Mike Iaconelli about strategy and what wind would do to change that strategy on the 10,000 square mile Lake Erie.
Alton Jones and Billy Brewer look at each other's electronics in map mode and discuss areas of Lake Erie and the day ahead.
Photo: Larry Towell - Alton Jones and Billy Brewer look at each other's electronics in map mode and discuss areas of Lake Erie and the day ahead.
Marty Stone puts custom touches on a crankbait prior to launch on the morning of Day One of the Empire Chase presented by Farmer's Insurance.
Photo: Larry Towell - Marty Stone puts custom touches on a crankbait prior to launch on the morning of Day One of the Empire Chase presented by Farmer's Insurance.
Gerald Swindle puts on his life preserver as he is backed into the water at the marina. Many of the pros will never remove their life preserver after they put it on this morning.
Photo: Larry Towell - Gerald Swindle puts on his life preserver as he is backed into the water at the marina. Many of the pros will never remove their life preserver after they put it on this morning.
Terry
Photo: Larry Towell - Terry "Big Show" Scroggins cinches a knot as he and co-angler Harry Potts get ready for Day One.
The Bassmaster Elite Series pros line up in order of take-off as the time for launch grows near.
Photo: Larry Towell - The Bassmaster Elite Series pros line up in order of take-off as the time for launch grows near.
A large flotilla of bass boats gathers in the marina just prior to the National Anthem and the launch of Day One.
Photo: Larry Towell - A large flotilla of bass boats gathers in the marina just prior to the National Anthem and the launch of Day One.
Mark Tucker makes final adjustments to gear as he speaks with fellow pro and local angler Paul Hirosky.
Photo: Larry Towell - Mark Tucker makes final adjustments to gear as he speaks with fellow pro and local angler Paul Hirosky.
Anglers stand for the national anthem before the Day One launch of the Empire Chase.
Photo: Larry Towell - Anglers stand for the national anthem before the Day One launch of the Empire Chase.
Marty Stone is the first Elite Series pro to launch on Day One. On Day Two the launch order will be reversed.
Photo: Larry Towell - Marty Stone is the first Elite Series pro to launch on Day One. On Day Two the launch order will be reversed.
Morizo Shimizu leads a flight away from the dock and out onto Lake Erie.
Photo: Larry Towell - Morizo Shimizu leads a flight away from the dock and out onto Lake Erie.
Brian Snowden has a special boat just for the tournament on Lake Erie. The deep-V hull design is primarily used by walleye fishermen.
Photo: Larry Towell - Brian Snowden has a special boat just for the tournament on Lake Erie. The deep-V hull design is primarily used by walleye fishermen.