Sunday, July 21, 2024

From Feast to Famine by Bruce Callis


From Feast to Famine

The Diet Mountain Dew Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville is in the books and Skeet Reese managed to pull out a victory. Michael Iaconelli, the leader the first 3 days, had a slim 2 pound 2 ounce lead entering the final day over Reese, but managed to only land one bass weighing 2 pounds 15 ounces to spiral down to 12th place. He was the only angler on the final day not to bring in a limit.
Reese, fishing in and near Seibold Creek, found himself in 11th place following day 2, made a big move to 2nd on the 3rd day with a big 25 pound bag, and on the final day caught another big bag of 25 pounds to pull out the victory over roommate Byron Velvick. It was Velvick who helped Reese out by turning him on to the winning bait, a 7 inch Basstrix Swimbait. Byron also scored a victory with the Bass Pro Shops Big Bass award for having the biggest single bass for the tournament. Not a bad weekend for them both.
It was a story of feast to famine for Iaconelli, fishing in Seibold Creek, who started with a 28 pound bag on day 1 to take the lead. But day 2 only produced a little shy of 25 pounds, and day 3 was even worse, only producing 16.7 pounds. Day 4 found Ike back in the same area, but not finding the bites to win. A bittersweet pill to swallow indeed. His 12th place finished did however help him to move in to 9th place in the Angler of Year race.
Virginia had its bright stars shining this weekend too. John Crews fell on day 3 from 9th to 13th, missing the cut by less than a pound. But with his great showing, he took over the top position in the AOY race by 8 points over Greg Vinson. Last year’s Rookie of the Year, Jacob Powroznik finished up with a 19th place showing, missing the cut by 3 pounds.
John Crews also led the charge on making everyone aware that April is “National Autism Awareness Month.” Each pro angler flew a special “Fishin’ with a Mission” flag on their light poles aimed at raising awareness for autism by request of John. The flags will be autographed by the anglers and then auctioned to raise money for a nonprofit group who is focused on autism. John also wore a specially made autism awareness jersey during the tournament. It too will be auctioned off.
Siebold Creek was responsible for both the victory and the bittersweet pill of defeat. As anglers, when do we decide it’s time to move to another area? In a single day event, it becomes even more important to make a quick decision. But when we are in an area for 3 days and the bites become harder and harder to come by, when do we decide it’s time to switch gears and make the bold decision? Would we be bold and turn around like Randy Howell did in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic or would we go back in hopes of the bite turning on finally in our area? What would you do? Feast or famine?

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