Crews is steady as she goes on Lake Dardanelle –


Crews is steady as she goes on Lake Dardanelle

John Crews

Seigo Saito
Crews has competed on Dardanelle just twice before, in the 2007 and 2009 Elite events.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — “Steady” was the first word John Crews came up with when asked about his first day of competition in the May 15-18 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Dardanelle.

“One good one here, one good one there, and at the end of the day, it was looking really nice,” Crews said.

“Rock steady” is a more accurate description of Crews’ Thursday performance. The pro from Salem, Va., weighed a five-bass limit of 22 pounds, 9 ounces, for a lead of 12 ounces over Greg Hackney.

An Arkansas native who now lives in Gonzales, La., Hackney took second place with 21-13.

Grant Goldbeck of Boerne, Texas, trailed Crews by 2-8. His 20-1 weight earned third place. Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, fresh off his third victory in the annual Toyota Texas Bass Classic, weighed 19-14 to tie at fourth place with Jason Williamson of Aiken, S.C.

Crews said he weighed three cookie-cutter bass bookended by a 5-3 anchor and his smallest, a 3 3/4-pounder. He worked a string of about a dozen areas along what he described as a “big stretch” of the lake.

“I’m just bouncing around,” he said. At many of his stops, he had the water to himself, a situation he hopes will continue for three more days.

“I don’t think the fishing pressure is going to be too terribly bad,” Crews said.

Crews said he has competed on Dardanelle just twice before, in the 2007 and 2009 Elite events. The results were 1) “so-so” and 2) “terrible,” he said. This time around he figured something out within the first hour of competition.

“I’d been fishing one way most of the morning. Then I changed baits and caught a 4 1/2 or 5, and I saw what it was on (cover), so that clued me in a little bit into what I should be doing,” he said.

He credited some of his success not to lessons learned, but to the lake itself.

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