Monroe leads first day of Okeechobee Elite Series stop
|Courtesy of B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina|
Ish Monroe claimed the first-day lead of the Bassmaster Elite Series stop on Lake Okeechobee.
So good was his day, Monroe was able to cull a 6-plus-pounder, trading it in for what turned out to be his largest, a 7-11.
He said he caught every fish by flipping a creature bait called the D Bomb — made by Missile Baits, a company owned by one of his fellow Bassmaster Elite Series pros, John Crews. Monroe rigged it for a large profile, “and those big ones just seemed to hit it,” he said.
All his fish came from an area he knew about from previous Okeechobee tournaments. He expected it to produce, but it exceeded his expectations Thursday.
“I thought it would be good for 20 pounds, which I’ve caught there before. But I never caught what I did today,” he said.
Trailing Monroe was Hite, 1999 Bassmaster Classic champ and two-time Bassmaster Angler of the Year from Ninety Six, S.C. Hite’s sack of 25-9 was the result of a midday recovery from a slow start.
“At 10 o’clock, I had a limit that weighed probably 9 pounds, and I kept fishing really hard,” he said. He changed areas, and his day turned around.
“When I did get some quality bites, I put every single one of them in the boat, including that 7-pounder,” Hite said.
That was the 7-4 that anchored his bag. He almost lost it when it got hung up in some reeds, but he went to it, scooped it out and boated it without trouble.
“That almost never happens that way,” he said.
Nate Wellman of Newaygo, Mich., was third with 22-3. In fourth place was 2012 Bassmaster Classic champ Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala., with 21-15. In fifth place was Lane’s brother, Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., just 12 ounces behind with 21-3.
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No one, including Howell really thought he had a shot.
“I didn’t expect to have the chance to win after the first day, and especially after yesterday,” Howell said.
But he whacked the bass today, putting 29 pounds, 2 ounces on the scales to seal the 2014 Bassmaster Classic championship and pocketing the $300,000 first-place prize.">Howell changes fishing area, claims 2014 Bassmaster Classic
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“I went to cranking rocks this afternoon,” Cherry said.
That strategy yielded quick results, and the Bassmaster Elite Series pro built a 17-pound, 7 ounce stringer.
But it wasn’t enough to make the cut: Cherry wrapped up the tournament in 27th place, only two places out of the cut.">Cherry improves weight, misses Bassmaster Classic cut
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Emcee Dave Mercer announced Evers needed 20 pounds, 9 ounces to claim the lead, and that’s exactly what the scales read.
The stringer brought Ever’s two-day weight to 47 pounds, 6 ounces.">Evers edges out Tharp for Day 2 lead in Bassmaster Classic
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“The fish are in some places I haven’t seen them in five to seven years,” the Florida pro said. “Every time I fish a tournament here this time of year, I make a point to check these places — and the fish haven’t been there in years.”">Tharp leads after first day of Bassmaster Classic
Posted on February 21 at 8:45 pm by
“I had one pretty good day, and then I had two not-so-good ones,” Cherry said after leaving the weigh-in stage. “But after Wednesday I thought I was going to kill it;it was that good.”
Unfortunately, he was thrown a curve ball when a severe storm system rolled through the area and dumped inches of rain and kicked up high winds — a combination that turned all of Cherry’s spots to mud pits.">Cherry has tough day on Bassmaster Classic’s first day
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