Tharp leads after first day of Bassmaster Classic
Local knowledge helps FLW Forrest Wood Cup champion rise to the top
Randall Tharp is leading the 2014 Bassmaster Classic after the first day, and he's confident there are plenty of fish for him to maintain and even extend his lead.
Randall Tharp said local knowledge was one of the keys to his 27-pound, 8-ounce showing today that put him in lead of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic on Alabama’s Lake Guntersville.
“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.”
But in his fall practice he found the fish were stacked up.
“There were schools of fish in them,” Tharp said.
Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers goes into the second day of competition in second place with 26-3, while Tennessee’s David Walker was in third with 24-13. Fred Roumbanis of Oklahoma was tied for fourth position with South Carolina’s Casey Ashely with 23-2.
Maidens's Hank Cherry struggled today to put 15-9 on the scales, claiming the 29th slot.
Tharp is fishing areas scattered all over the lake, and he caught numbers of fish.
“I fished all over this lake,” Tharp said. “The longest I sat in one spot today was maybe 30 minutes.”
The run-and-gun approach yielded about 20 keepers.
However, he said he expected to catch heavier fish.
“I wanted to catch 30 pounds,” Tharp said. “I had one of the best days of practice I’ve ever had in our three days of (Classic) practice.”
He said he mixed up a few lures to build his sack of bass.
“I’ve got a couple of key baits,” Tharp said. “I weighed fish on maybe three baits; I caught fish on five baits.”
Evers said he had a few key stretches, but believes he should be able repeat that success elsewhere if needed.
“I think it’s a pattern I’m fishing,” he said.
He’s using a lipless crankbait and a Mega Big Bass Flip Slap to put together his fish.
Walker said he had to mix things up.
“It’s not so much just one pattern,” he said. “There’s too much changing this time of year.”
Instead, he had different baits that worked for different patterns.
And he said he was happy things were tight at the top of the leaderboard — there’s less than 4 pounds separating him from Tharp.
“This is Guntersville,” Walker said. “After today, I’m actually pleased it is going to be tight like that because this lake is prime for someone to just walk away with it.”
Roumbanis, whose stringer included a 9-pound, 3-ounce bass, fished a jig pattern. Ashely worked a protected area, picking off fish from a spawning flat.
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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
Posted on February 23 at 8:45 pm by
“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
Posted on February 22 at 8:47 pm by
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
Posted on February 22 at 8:12 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
Posted on February 21 at 7:28 pm by
Posted on January 27 at 8:02 pm by North Carolina Sportsman
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