The boats are refueled and parked for the night on the soft green grass and clover at one end of the small-plane airstrip that is the Gaston’s Resort front yard, and the anglers have dined, stowed all their equipment for the next day’s start, and retired for the day. Most have headed for their cabins to relax and recoup, to mentally prepare for another competition day.
Colorado Boater Sean Hinton (correction: of Morrison,) is sitting in 21st overall with 3 bass and 6 lb. 12 oz. That places Sean 10 lb. 9 oz behind overall leader Marc Snyder (20 lb. 5 oz., Northern Division) and 8 lb. 4 oz. behind the Southwest Division leader Jeff Erickson of AZ who has 15 lb. even. Total Day 1 results can be found at www.bassfederation.com.
The Colorado Co-Angler, Brandon White, brought in 2 bass for a total weight of 4 lb. 12 oz. today, which places him in 20th Place among Non-Boaters. He has to make up 7 lb. 10 oz. to catch SW Division and Overall Co-Angler leader Karl Beltz of AZ, who has 13 lb. 6 oz.
But it is still possible for both of these anglers to catch up on this lake. The biggest bag today was over 20 lbs. and with the reports of more and more bass moving up and getting active the bags may actually get bigger tomorrow. And there are always the kicker-fish that can be found, a few 6 lb’ers and you’re right back in it.
It seems the biggest factor is the water level conditions. After a steadily climbing water level, over 8 feet in the week before the start of the event, (including a 1 foot rise in level on the practice day yesterday,) on the first competition day the water level actually went the other way and dropped at least 1 foot. This likely caused most of the bass that were moving up with the rise to do an about face and move back out. Also the water clarity has dirtied up with the reverse in levels and this has made it harder to locate cruising or bedding fish. And the bass do WANT to be shallow; right in the marina area where we are launching and picking up boats, there are visible bass nosed up shallow everywhere. Most are reporting catching lots of fish, including some species not targeted like stripers, white bass, gar, and Brandon caught a blue catfish.
The lake has the capability to produce limits of 25 lbs. easily, if the right ones can be found. Fat females either staging or already on a bed will be needed to get weights like that.
Let’s hope these guys can do it tomorrow. At stake are entries into the BFL All-American for the top anglers from each Division and an entry into the Forrest Wood Cup/FLW Championship for the overall winners in each category. The overall winner among boaters also wins the $100,000 “Living the Dream” package: the use of a wrapped Chevy Truck and a wrapped Ranger Boat for one year, paid entry fees into FLW Tour events and travel expense money. Somebody will win this at the final weigh-in on Saturday, and it all started by joining a local bass club.