For the most part, Jason Williamson’s first day of the 2018 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell, S.C. went as planned, and his five-fish limit weighing 15-pounds, 5-ounces has him in an 11th place tie with Dustin Connell of Alabama. His biggest fish was around four pounds.
Williamson, from Wagener, S.C. said he only had two fish by lunchtime, and lost a good one early on that got him a little bit mentally off track, but he recovered to get five in the livewell, then lost a good one at the very end of the day that he said would have given him another pound or so.
“The day went pretty much as planned. I got a little off track and had to make a couple of minor adjustments, but around mid-day, I got back on track. The way I’m fishing, I’m not getting a lot of bites, but they are the right bites,” he said.
The only thing that didn’t go Williamson’s way today — besides losing two fish — was that he didn’t catch fish at his first spot like he thought he would. Still, he said he feels good going into day two.
“I’m comfortable. I’m fishing the way I want to, and that means a lot. Hopefully I can capitalize on the areas that I didn’t today.
Williamson, who is fishing in his third Bassmaster Classic, said he looks for tomorrow to be an even better day.
“I think tomorrow will be better. They’re calling for cloud cover and it’s always better under those conditions,” he said.
Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C. is currently in 14th place after weighing in five fish that weighed 15 pounds. His day started slow as well, and was surprised that his fish weighed as much as they did.
“My day started off slow. I started off deep, then went shallow, then went back deep, and then shallow. I probably spent too much time going back and forth. And today, the fish didn’t bite my jig. Not at all. Not a single time. I probably threw that too long today too, but maybe they’ll bite it tomorrow,” said Ashley, who won the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, which was also held at Lake Hartwell.
“I’m surprised my bag weighed as much as it did. I thought I had about 13 pounds,” he said.
Like Williamson, Ashley expects tomorrow will be a better day.
“Tomorrow it’s going to be cloudy. That’ll make the fishing better for everybody.
Hank Cherry of Maiden, N.C. is currently in 32nd place after weighing in 12-8, and is looking for a better day tomorrow.
“Today was not the start I wanted. I lost the first couple of fish. Tomorrow we’ve got some rain and some wind, and I’m really looking forward to it. That suits my style of fishing a little better,” said Cherry, who is fishing his fourth Bassmaster Classic.
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma leads that 52-angler field. He finished the day with 20-14, and was the lone angler to break the 20-pound mark on the day. Hot on his tail is another Oklahoma angler, Talala’s Edwin Evers sits in second with 19-9.
Jordan Lee of Grant, Alabama is currently third with 18-10, followed by Newport Beach, California’s Brent Ehrler in fourth with 17-8, and Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tennessee is in fifth place with 16-8.
Of the 52 anglers, 51 caught a limit of five bass each. Skeet Reese sits in 52nd place after coming to the scales empty-handed.