Day 1 on Lake Guntersville

See the teams battle on Lake Guntersville on Day 1 of the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship!

After 197 teams launched from Lake Guntersville State Park, we set out to find the teams battling it out on Wednesday morning. The first team we found was Thomas Hardwick and Tommy Williams.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - After 197 teams launched from Lake Guntersville State Park, we set out to find the teams battling it out on Wednesday morning. The first team we found was Thomas Hardwick and Tommy Williams.
Hardwick and Williams were one of the first teams we saw fishing offshore, but they were having a slow morning to start.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Hardwick and Williams were one of the first teams we saw fishing offshore, but they were having a slow morning to start.
As you can tell by this angler's attire, it was quite chilly this morning - especially on a bass boat flying down the lake.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - As you can tell by this angler's attire, it was quite chilly this morning - especially on a bass boat flying down the lake.
We arrive at the famous Spring Creek bridge just to see how it's going.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We arrive at the famous Spring Creek bridge just to see how it's going.
There was a ton of bait and white bass in the area and anglers caught numerous fish this morning.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - There was a ton of bait and white bass in the area and anglers caught numerous fish this morning.
But the team of Joe and Mac Lamar from Alabama were the first team to hook up with a bass.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - But the team of Joe and Mac Lamar from Alabama were the first team to hook up with a bass.
The Lamar brothers were fishing much slower than other competitors in the area.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The Lamar brothers were fishing much slower than other competitors in the area.
It yielded a pretty good bite. With one already in the livewell, the Lamar brothers were hoping to make this one No. 2.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - It yielded a pretty good bite. With one already in the livewell, the Lamar brothers were hoping to make this one No. 2.
It busts the surface and tries to get away, but as you can tell the bait is deep in its mouth and hooked well.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - It busts the surface and tries to get away, but as you can tell the bait is deep in its mouth and hooked well.
The battle ensues and they ready the net.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The battle ensues and they ready the net.
It is amazing how many fish have been caught by the bridges of Lake Guntersville and how they keep producing quality fish, no matter the season.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - It is amazing how many fish have been caught by the bridges of Lake Guntersville and how they keep producing quality fish, no matter the season.
The anglers get the bass up to the net, which teams are allowed to use during the first two days of competition. Once they split into individuals with a shot at the Classic, they won't have the luxury of a net.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The anglers get the bass up to the net, which teams are allowed to use during the first two days of competition. Once they split into individuals with a shot at the Classic, they won't have the luxury of a net.
Very solid keeper in the boat and the Lamar brothers are in business, while other anglers watch.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Very solid keeper in the boat and the Lamar brothers are in business, while other anglers watch.
Now that they've boated No. 2...
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Now that they've boated No. 2...
...they are on the lookout for No. 3.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - ...they are on the lookout for No. 3.
The riprap around bridges attracts fish, bait, heat and even anglers. We counted roughly six to eight competitor boats on every bridge, not counting fun fisherman and anglers from the shore.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The riprap around bridges attracts fish, bait, heat and even anglers. We counted roughly six to eight competitor boats on every bridge, not counting fun fisherman and anglers from the shore.
Here is the size of the white bass that were schooled-up around the bridge. The bridges, which act as funnels, attract all kinds of fish.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Here is the size of the white bass that were schooled-up around the bridge. The bridges, which act as funnels, attract all kinds of fish.
Soon after boating their second fish, the Lamar brothers are back at it with another on the line.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Soon after boating their second fish, the Lamar brothers are back at it with another on the line.
Number three in the boat. This one isn't a giant, but it will help them add to their growing livewell weight.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Number three in the boat. This one isn't a giant, but it will help them add to their growing livewell weight.
The consensus from teams throughout practice was that the numbers weren't as plentiful as usual, but the size was larger.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The consensus from teams throughout practice was that the numbers weren't as plentiful as usual, but the size was larger.
The Alabama anglers keep casting and working on their final two fish to fill their limit.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The Alabama anglers keep casting and working on their final two fish to fill their limit.
We head out towards the Browns Creek region.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We head out towards the Browns Creek region.
The Browns Creek bridge was just as popular as Spring Creek was.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The Browns Creek bridge was just as popular as Spring Creek was.
With even more teams running to grab their patch of fishing area.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - With even more teams running to grab their patch of fishing area.
Jason Wilson and Kelly Logan from North Carolina were fishing around this area, heaving big baits and fishing them as slow as possible.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Jason Wilson and Kelly Logan from North Carolina were fishing around this area, heaving big baits and fishing them as slow as possible.
Wilson and Logan hook up and the fight was on.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Wilson and Logan hook up and the fight was on.
They boat the bass and keep plugging away.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They boat the bass and keep plugging away.
They said this was their fourth keeper of the day and then recanted the statement. Wilson and Logan said this would've been their limit, but when they checked their fish earlier they realized one fish didn't look very healthy and so they released it to avoid any dead fish penalties that would result if the fish got worse later in the day. It swam away and they plugged away to try and fill their limit.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They said this was their fourth keeper of the day and then recanted the statement. Wilson and Logan said this would've been their limit, but when they checked their fish earlier they realized one fish didn't look very healthy and so they released it to avoid any dead fish penalties that would result if the fish got worse later in the day. It swam away and they plugged away to try and fill their limit.
They fished very slow on the bottom it seemed and they got hung up as a result of the rocks and structure that was around the base of the bridge.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They fished very slow on the bottom it seemed and they got hung up as a result of the rocks and structure that was around the base of the bridge.
We left Browns Creek and headed up the lake, we soon found Charlie Machek and Scott Wiley from Virginia.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We left Browns Creek and headed up the lake, we soon found Charlie Machek and Scott Wiley from Virginia.
They had two fish in the livewell earlier this morning, but their biggest bite got away.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They had two fish in the livewell earlier this morning, but their biggest bite got away.
Machek decides to check out some other areas on his electronics and soon after they headed out to try and fill their limit.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Machek decides to check out some other areas on his electronics and soon after they headed out to try and fill their limit.
Nearby was the team of Benny Roberts and Todd Nidiffer from Tennessee.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Nearby was the team of Benny Roberts and Todd Nidiffer from Tennessee.
They were fishing grass and ripping their baits through it. The key is finding a patch of grass that was alive and well, most seemed to be dead or stripped out from the coots eating it.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They were fishing grass and ripping their baits through it. The key is finding a patch of grass that was alive and well, most seemed to be dead or stripped out from the coots eating it.
The Tennessee anglers had a couple fish in the livewell, but not nearly the size they were catching throughout practice.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The Tennessee anglers had a couple fish in the livewell, but not nearly the size they were catching throughout practice.
We leave the Tennessee team and head towards the takeoff.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We leave the Tennessee team and head towards the takeoff.
We found a team who were excited to show us something they caught earlier in the day.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We found a team who were excited to show us something they caught earlier in the day.
That's a toad, but they weren't happy about a mistake they made earlier in the day, and they asked if we had Tournament Director Jon Stewart's phone number.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - That's a toad, but they weren't happy about a mistake they made earlier in the day, and they asked if we had Tournament Director Jon Stewart's phone number.
We gave it to them and they informed him they caught their sixth fish and continued to fish. After one cast they realized their mistake so they made the cull.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We gave it to them and they informed him they caught their sixth fish and continued to fish. After one cast they realized their mistake so they made the cull.
They will receive a 2-pound penalty, but they continued to fish and try to put the mistake behind them.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They will receive a 2-pound penalty, but they continued to fish and try to put the mistake behind them.
We moved up farther in Town Creek and saw Shawn Skobel and Logan Crayton hooked up. The Pennsylvania team battled what seemed to be a quality fish.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - We moved up farther in Town Creek and saw Shawn Skobel and Logan Crayton hooked up. The Pennsylvania team battled what seemed to be a quality fish.
The fight continued and his spinning rod was doing it's job to keep the fish hooked up.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - The fight continued and his spinning rod was doing it's job to keep the fish hooked up.
Once it surfaced they realized it wasn't a bass...
Photo: Ronnie Moore - Once it surfaced they realized it wasn't a bass...
...but instead it was a big drum.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - ...but instead it was a big drum.
They threw it back and continued to fish. They said they did have about a 16-pound bag at that point in the day.
Photo: Ronnie Moore - They threw it back and continued to fish. They said they did have about a 16-pound bag at that point in the day.