Schmitt’s Adjustment Yields Day 1 Lead At Bassmaster Elite Series Event On Mississippi River

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August 27, 2022
Bryan Schmitt of Deale, Md., is leading after Day 1 of the 2022 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River with 17 pounds, 10 ounces.
Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

August 26, 2022

Schmitt’s Adjustment Yields Day 1 Lead At Bassmaster Elite Series Event On Mississippi River

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LA CROSSE, Wis. — Put Bryan Schmitt on a grassy river and he’s a happy man, even when a little meteorological meddling requires an adjustment.

Such was the case, as the Potomac River stick from Deale, Md., overcame a water quality issue and caught a limit of 17 pounds, 10 ounces to lead Day 1 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River.

“It was a blessed day; I almost missed it,” Schmitt said. “I had a pretty good practice and never went back to these fish and they changed (because of muddy inflow from Thursday night’s rain). It took me a while to change with them.

“They didn’t want what I did in practice. But I was lucky enough to make the right presentation, and once it happened, I was like, ‘I see what’s happening.’ Tomorrow’s going to be windy and they might be getting back on what I did in practice.”

Schmitt withheld specifics, but he said one particular presentation — a slower technique — with a new Missile Baits plastic delivered all of his weight. He had his limit by about 10 a.m. and stopped fishing around 1:30.

Anchoring his bag with a 4-2 largemouth, Schmitt said his fish came off three different grassy spots, all within eyesight of one another. Each, he said, comprised nearly identical habitat.

One of the challenges he faced was the proliferation of tiny baitfish moving through the grass.

“You’ll see the little baitfish running through and every now and then, you’ll see one (come up and eat), but they are devils to (try and) trick,” Schmitt said. “There’s a bunch of bait where I’m fishing.”

Schmitt said he’ll return to his main trio on Saturday, but he’s holding another spot for insurance.

“I have one little deal that I’m saving, and I’ll go to it in a heartbeat if I need to,” he said. “It’s grass, but it’s a different scenario — it has smallmouth on it.”

Schmitt, who came into the event 11 spots out of the qualifying cut for the 2023 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic, to be held in Knoxville, Tenn., March 24-26, said his day began with an encouraging prophecy.

“I needed this, and when you need something a lot in this sport, it doesn’t always happen. My marshal got on my boat this morning and he said, ‘Bryan, you’re going to be leading after today,’” Schmitt said. “It was just a blessed day; I’m not expecting anything like that again.

“I’m blown away. This is what I love doing — I love fishing rivers with grass, so I’m going to try to keep it going.”

Matt Herren of Ashville, Ala., is in second place with 16-8. He also struggled with muddy water, but when Herren located a narrow lane of clean water running through a broad grassbed, he found a pile of bass ready to feed.

“I have some stuff that I didn’t fish because of the muddy water, so I did what I call ‘the roundup tour’ to try to see what has changed and what hasn’t changed,” Herren said. “I caught every one of my fish in that clean water on a 3/16-ounce Ned rig.

“I stayed there and caught them on every cast for two hours. After that, I just went and looked around. I locked through and checked another pool to see what’s going on.”

Looking ahead to Day 2, Herren said he’s not sure when or if the water will clear up enough for him to exploit the areas he had identified prior to the muddy inflow. He’s planning to start with what he found during the second half of his opening round and hopefully expand.

“Fifteen to 16 pounds a day here is good,” Herren said. “If you do that every day, you’ll have a chance.”

Drew Benton of Blakely, Ga., is in third place with 16-5. Also a fan of river fishing, Benton caught bass by throwing a Big Bite Baits swimbait around current seams and working a new Northland frog over weed mats.

“The key was working the frog really fast,” Benton said. “It’s getting late in the year and these fish have seen a bunch of frogs, and it feels like the faster you can work it the better to get a reaction bite.”

Benton fared best over duckweed-laden grass mats with hollowed-out caverns beneath the surface layer.

“There are a lot of mats out there and 90% of them are choked out,” Benton said. “You’ve got to find the ones that are hollow. You can tell by the type of vegetation that the duckweed is blown into.

“If it’s eelgrass, you can get bit in that stuff, but it’s not going to be as hollow as coontail or milfoil or pads.”

Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 5-8.

In dramatic pursuit of his second Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year title, Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, leads the race with 713 points. Brandon Lester of Fayetteville, Tenn., who notched his first Elite win on Pickwick Lake in June, is in second with 699. Chris Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, is in third with 698, followed by Benton with 680 and Chris Zaldain of Fort Worth, Texas, with 673.

Jay Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis., leads the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings with 611 points. Missouri pro Cody Huff is second with 539 points, followed by Japan’s Masayuki Matsushita with 476.

Both races will be decided this week, with the AOY winner earning $100,000 and the ROY claiming a $10,000 bonus.

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. CT at Copeland Park. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 3 p.m., with only the Top 47 anglers advancing to Semifinal Sunday. FS1 will broadcast live with the leaders beginning at 7 a.m. before coverage resumes on Bassmaster.com.

The tournament is being hosted by Explore La Crosse.

2022 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River 8/26-8/29
Mississippi River, La Crosse  WI.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                5  17-10  100
Day 1: 5   17-10
2.  Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  16-08   99
Day 1: 5   16-08
3.  Drew Benton            Blakely, GA              5  16-05   98
Day 1: 5   16-05
4.  Jeff Gustafson         Keewatin Ontario CANADA  5  16-04   97
Day 1: 5   16-04
4.  Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA  5  16-04   97
Day 1: 5   16-04
6.  Bryan New              Saluda, SC               5  15-15   95
Day 1: 5   15-15
7.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  15-11   94   $1,000.00
Day 1: 5   15-11
8.  KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              5  15-10   93
Day 1: 5   15-10
9.  Matt Arey              Shelby, NC               5  15-08   92
Day 1: 5   15-08
10. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  15-03   91
Day 1: 5   15-03
11. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX           5  14-15   90
Day 1: 5   14-15
12. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                 5  14-13   89
Day 1: 5   14-13
12. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  14-13   89
Day 1: 5   14-13
14. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX             5  14-09   87
Day 1: 5   14-09
15. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH             5  14-07   86
Day 1: 5   14-07
16. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  14-05   85
Day 1: 5   14-05
17. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN             5  14-05   84
Day 1: 5   14-05
18. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC            5  14-01   83
Day 1: 5   14-01
18. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK             5  14-01   83
Day 1: 5   14-01
20. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  13-15   81
Day 1: 5   13-15
21. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland AUSTRALIA     5  13-14   80
Day 1: 5   13-14
21. Masayuki Matsushita    Tokoname-Shi JAPAN       5  13-14   80
Day 1: 5   13-14
23. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN         5  13-13   78
Day 1: 5   13-13
24. Daisuke Aoki           Minamitsurugun Yamanash  5  13-11   77
Day 1: 5   13-11
25. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  13-09   76
Day 1: 5   13-09
25. Chad Pipkens           DeWitt, MI               5  13-09   76
Day 1: 5   13-09
27. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA              5  13-09   74
Day 1: 5   13-09
28. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            5  13-07   73
Day 1: 5   13-07
29. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  13-06   72
Day 1: 5   13-06
29. Patrick Walters        Summerville, SC          5  13-06   72
Day 1: 5   13-06
31. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA             5  13-03   70
Day 1: 5   13-03
32. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              5  13-02   69
Day 1: 5   13-02
33. Jay Przekurat          Stevens Point, WI        5  13-01   68
Day 1: 5   13-01
34. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          5  12-14   67
Day 1: 5   12-14
35. Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            5  12-13   66
Day 1: 5   12-13
35. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  12-13   66
Day 1: 5   12-13
37. Todd Auten             Lake Wylie, SC           5  12-12   64
Day 1: 5   12-12
38. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA             5  12-11   63
Day 1: 5   12-11
39. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  12-08   62
Day 1: 5   12-08
40. Mike Huff              London, KY               5  12-05   61
Day 1: 5   12-05
41. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                  5  12-03   60
Day 1: 5   12-03
41. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC       5  12-03   60
Day 1: 5   12-03
43. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            5  12-02   58
Day 1: 5   12-02
43. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            5  12-02   58
Day 1: 5   12-02
43. Cory Johnston          Cavan CANADA             5  12-02   58
Day 1: 5   12-02
46. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               5  12-00   55
Day 1: 5   12-00
46. Kyle Welcher           Opelika, AL              5  12-00   55
Day 1: 5   12-00
48. Joshua Stracner        Vandiver, AL             5  11-15   53
Day 1: 5   11-15
49. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  11-14   52
Day 1: 5   11-14
50. John Cox               Debary, FL               5  11-09   51
Day 1: 5   11-09
50. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI                5  11-09   51
Day 1: 5   11-09
52. Michael Iaconelli      Pittsgrove, NJ           5  11-08   49
Day 1: 5   11-08
53. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  11-07   48
Day 1: 5   11-07
54. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA                5  11-05   47
Day 1: 5   11-05
54. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  11-05   47
Day 1: 5   11-05
56. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  11-04   45
Day 1: 5   11-04
57. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL            5  11-03   44
Day 1: 5   11-03
57. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  11-03   44
Day 1: 5   11-03
59. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL             5  11-01   42
Day 1: 5   11-01
60. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  10-13   41
Day 1: 5   10-13
61. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC              5  10-10   40
Day 1: 5   10-10
62. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            5  10-08   39
Day 1: 5   10-08
62. David Fritts           Lexington, NC            5  10-08   39
Day 1: 5   10-08
64. Seth Feider            New Market, MN           5  10-07   37
Day 1: 5   10-07
65. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        5  10-06   36
Day 1: 5   10-06
66. Darold Gleason         Many, LA                 5  10-02   35
Day 1: 5   10-02
67. Taku Ito               Chiba JAPAN              5  10-01   34
Day 1: 5   10-01
68. Kenta Kimura           Osaka JAPAN              5  09-13   33
Day 1: 5   09-13
69. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  09-12   32
Day 1: 5   09-12
70. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  09-10   31
Day 1: 5   09-10
71. David Williams         Newton, NC               5  09-09   30
Day 1: 5   09-09
72. Gary Clouse            Winchester, TN           5  09-08   29
Day 1: 5   09-08
73. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               4  09-06    0
Day 1: 4   09-06
74. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI             4  08-07   27
Day 1: 4   08-07
75. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  08-05   26
Day 1: 5   08-05
76. Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            4  07-14   25
Day 1: 4   07-14
77. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL             4  07-08   24
Day 1: 4   07-08
78. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           4  07-07   23
Day 1: 4   07-07
79. Josh Douglas           Isle, MN                 4  06-12   22
Day 1: 4   06-12
80. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                3  06-10   21
Day 1: 3   06-10
81. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               4  06-06   20
Day 1: 4   06-06
82. Wes Logan              Springville, AL          3  06-01   19
Day 1: 3   06-01
83. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN           2  05-15   18
Day 1: 2   05-15
84. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            3  05-14   17
Day 1: 3   05-14
85. Frank Talley           Temple, TX               3  05-10   16
Day 1: 3   05-10
86. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               3  05-06   15
Day 1: 3   05-06
87. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            3  05-05   14
Day 1: 3   05-05
88. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          2  04-12   13
Day 1: 2   04-12
89. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              2  04-02   12
Day 1: 2   04-02
90. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              2  03-08   11
Day 1: 2   03-08
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Brock Mosley             Collinsville, MS    05-08      $1,000.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        73       419      1038-04
———————————-
73       419      1038-04

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