Monday, May 20, 2024

Sumrall smashes big limit for Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on St. Johns River

Date:

Louisiana’s Caleb Sumrall takes the lead on Day 1 of the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. John’s River with a total of 28 pounds, 8 ounces.

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 18, 2024

Sumrall smashes big limit for Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on St. Johns River 

Elite_eventLogo_2024_StJohnsRiver_ForDarkLightBackgrounds_HighRes.png

PALATKA, Fla. — A little bit of water can make big things happen. Leveraging that logic, Caleb Sumrall sacked up a massive Day 1 limit of 28 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River.

“That was the best day of fishing in my life,” the pro from New Iberia, La., said. “I’m trying not to get too excited because I don’t know what’s left on my spot.”

Leading Cory Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, by 5-5, Sumrall said he fished in Salt Springs and focused on sight fishing for bedding bass. Notably, Sumrall had not initially intended to fish this area, largely due to his take-off order.

“I was boat 99 today, so I didn’t even start there because I figured it would be loaded with boats,” he said. “But when I got in there around 9 o’clock, there was just one boat in there. I rolled up in there and immediately got a bite, then got another bite. I culled about every hour.”

Typically, a late arrival on a key area relegates an angler to picking through the leftovers. Today, Sumrall benefitted from recent meteorological factors.

“What I think saved me was Wednesday’s practice was really windy,” he said. “I think the guys that were in there looking for fish couldn’t see them.

“The wind came in fluctuations today. I’m looking for the ones that are out a little farther. I think that was the key to catching a big bag.”

With an outgoing tide in the morning, Sumrall fared well by working with the falling water. His best action came in the afternoon, as he drew upon his Southern Louisiana tidal bass fishing know-how.

“I think the tide was key and I think a couple other guys that fished (in Salt Springs) didn’t key in on something specific,” Sumrall said. “Anytime you’re fishing for spawning fish on a tide, 6 inches (of water) over their head is a big deal.

“That can make them go to lock (onto the bed) and bite. There can be a window where those fish go to snapping. I really think that was key. From 11 to 2 is when I got some really good bites.”

Sumrall said he caught his bed fish by pitching a mix of Texas-rigged plastics. Patience, he said, was essential, but a couple of persnickety fish tested his resolve.

“I fished the slowest I’ve fished in my entire life,” he said. “I was just calm and in my zone and I got the bites.

“I worked on one fish for about two hours. Then, I switched to a Missile Baits 48 and on the first cast, I got her to eat it.

Sumrall said he’ll return to Salt Springs for Friday’s second round. He’s not sure what to expect, but the potential is too great to resist.

“I have to go back; it would be silly not to,” he said. “I have boat No. 5 (for Day 2) so I could be the first one in there. Today, I saw an 8-pounder and a 10.

“If the weather remains stable and the wind lays down, there’s the potential for a 35-pound bag — easily.”

Johnston is in second place with 23-3. Notwithstanding his well-documented northern prowess, which included a century belt for catching 100 pounds of smallmouth during his second-place finish at the 2022 Elite at the St. Lawrence River, Johnston said the St. Johns suits his background.

“I grew up fishing just like this — flipping reeds, flipping pads, flipping matted vegetation,” Johnston said of his youth, prior to smallmouth coming into prominence. “There were no smallmouth that played when I was younger, so I grew up fishing largemouth.”

Day 1 saw Johnston employing many of his early fishing lessons. His success required mobility and a diverse bait selection.

“I ran all over (the fishery) and checked a bunch of stuff,” he said. “I had a good bag by about 10 o’clock, so I ran back and covered a bunch of new water.”

Johnston said he got bit on reaction baits early and then switched to flipping later in the day. His targets varied from docks, to pads, to mats.

Wes Logan of Springville, Ala., is in third place with 22-0. Spending his day in the Little Lake George area, he fished various targets including shellbars, wood, pads and docks.

Catching his bass on mix of winding baits and flipping, Logan said the afternoon hours proved most productive.

“I lost some big fish earlier and I don’t know why they came off,” he said. “I don’t know if the sun helped, or maybe it was the tide changing, but later in the day, when they ate it, they ate it.

“I haven’t figured out the windows yet, but you can tell when they start biting. They’re really eating.”

Jake Whitaker of Hendersonville, N.C., is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 7-15.

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 391 points. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., is in second with 347, followed by Cory Johnston with 334, Chris Johnston of Otonabee, Canada, with 324, and Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, with 305.

McKinney also leads the race for Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Palatka City Dock & Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held back at the ramp at 3 p.m., with only the Top 50 anglers advancing to Semifinal Saturday.

Bassmaster LIVE will be streaming on Bassmaster.com all four days and coverage will also be available on FS1 Saturday and Sunday.

The event is being hosted by the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

2024 MAXAM Tire Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River 4/18-4/21
St. Johns River, Palatka  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

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

1.  Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  28-08  103
  Day 1: 5   28-08   
2.  Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA          5  23-03  102
  Day 1: 5   23-03   
3.  Wes Logan              Springville, AL          5  22-00  101
  Day 1: 5   22-00   
4.  Matt Arey              Shelby, NC               5  21-00  100
  Day 1: 5   21-00   
4.  Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            5  21-00  100
  Day 1: 5   21-00   
6.  Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL           5  20-14   98
  Day 1: 5   20-14   
7.  Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  20-13   97
  Day 1: 5   20-13   
8.  Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC       5  20-06   96   $1,000.00
  Day 1: 5   20-06   
9.  Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            5  19-15   95
  Day 1: 5   19-15   
10. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  19-05   94
  Day 1: 5   19-05   
11. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  19-04   93
  Day 1: 5   19-04   
12. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  19-04   92
  Day 1: 5   19-04   
13. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC            5  19-01   91
  Day 1: 5   19-01   
14. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX             5  18-08   90
  Day 1: 5   18-08   
15. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                5  18-07   89
  Day 1: 5   18-07   
16. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL              5  17-15   88
  Day 1: 5   17-15   
17. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                 5  17-14   87
  Day 1: 5   17-14   
18. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN           5  17-11   86
  Day 1: 5   17-11   
19. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN  5  17-09   85
  Day 1: 5   17-09   
20. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  17-06   84
  Day 1: 5   17-06   
21. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  17-01   83
  Day 1: 5   17-01   
22. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI        5  16-14   82
  Day 1: 5   16-14   
23. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA  5  16-09   81
  Day 1: 5   16-09   
24. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  16-09   80
  Day 1: 5   16-09   
25. Todd Auten             Clover, SC               5  16-05   79
  Day 1: 5   16-05   
26. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT           5  16-04   78
  Day 1: 5   16-04   
27. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            5  16-02   77
  Day 1: 5   16-02   
28. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        5  16-01   76
  Day 1: 5   16-01   
29. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  15-13   75
  Day 1: 5   15-13   
30. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL             5  15-12   74
  Day 1: 5   15-12   
30. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  15-12   74
  Day 1: 5   15-12   
32. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN             5  15-11   72
  Day 1: 5   15-11   
33. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX           5  15-02   71
  Day 1: 5   15-02   
34. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            5  15-00   70
  Day 1: 5   15-00   
35. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         4  14-13   69
  Day 1: 4   14-13   
36. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI             5  14-08   68
  Day 1: 5   14-08   
37. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            5  14-05   67
  Day 1: 5   14-05   
38. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  14-03   66
  Day 1: 5   14-03   
38. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  14-03   66
  Day 1: 5   14-03   
40. Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL              5  14-02   64
  Day 1: 5   14-02   
40. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH             5  14-02   64
  Day 1: 5   14-02   
42. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA             5  13-15   62
  Day 1: 5   13-15   
42. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL               5  13-15   62
  Day 1: 5   13-15   
44. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX            5  13-11   60
  Day 1: 5   13-11   
44. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  13-11   60
  Day 1: 5   13-11   
46. Frank Talley           Belton, TX               5  13-10   58
  Day 1: 5   13-10   
47. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  13-09   57
  Day 1: 5   13-09   
47. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              5  13-09   57
  Day 1: 5   13-09   
49. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK             5  13-08   55
  Day 1: 5   13-08   
50. John Cox               Debary, FL               5  13-07   54
  Day 1: 5   13-07   
50. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          5  13-07   54
  Day 1: 5   13-07   
52. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH              5  13-06   52
  Day 1: 5   13-06   
52. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                  5  13-06   52
  Day 1: 5   13-06   
54. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               5  13-02   50
  Day 1: 5   13-02   
54. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX              5  13-02   50
  Day 1: 5   13-02   
56. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL            5  13-01   48
  Day 1: 5   13-01   
56. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK              5  13-01   48
  Day 1: 5   13-01   
58. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  12-15   46
  Day 1: 5   12-15   
58. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI                5  12-15   46
  Day 1: 5   12-15   
60. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  12-14   44
  Day 1: 5   12-14   
60. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA             5  12-14   44
  Day 1: 5   12-14   
62. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN           5  12-13   42
  Day 1: 5   12-13   
63. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  12-12   41
  Day 1: 5   12-12   
64. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA              5  12-08   40
  Day 1: 5   12-08   
65. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            5  12-07   39
  Day 1: 5   12-07   
66. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA  5  12-06   38
  Day 1: 5   12-06   
67. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK            5  12-01   37
  Day 1: 5   12-01   
67. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA            5  12-01   37
  Day 1: 5   12-01   
69. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI               5  11-15   35
  Day 1: 5   11-15   
70. Seth Feider            New Market, MN           5  11-14   34
  Day 1: 5   11-14   
70. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  11-14   34
  Day 1: 5   11-14   
72. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  11-12   32
  Day 1: 5   11-12   
73. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC              5  11-10   31
  Day 1: 5   11-10   
74. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA             5  11-01   30
  Day 1: 5   11-01   
75. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  11-00   29
  Day 1: 5   11-00   
76. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN            5  10-15   28
  Day 1: 5   10-15   
77. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA                5  10-14   27
  Day 1: 5   10-14   
78. John Garrett           Union City, TN           5  10-13   26
  Day 1: 5   10-13   
79. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY          5  10-12   25
  Day 1: 5   10-12   
80. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  10-09   24
  Day 1: 5   10-09   
80. Logan Parks            Auburn, AL               5  10-09   24
  Day 1: 5   10-09   
82. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR              5  10-07   22
  Day 1: 5   10-07   
83. Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC           5  10-06   21
  Day 1: 5   10-06   
84. Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME             5  10-05   20
  Day 1: 5   10-05   
85. David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL            5  10-04   19
  Day 1: 5   10-04   
86. Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL             5  09-14   18
  Day 1: 5   09-14   
87. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN          5  09-12   17
  Day 1: 5   09-12   
88. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI               5  09-10   16
  Day 1: 5   09-10   
89. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  09-08   15
  Day 1: 5   09-08   
90. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                5  09-01   14
  Day 1: 5   09-01   
91. Mike Huff              London, KY               5  08-15   13
  Day 1: 5   08-15   
92. Bryan New              Leesville, SC            5  08-14   12
  Day 1: 5   08-14   
92. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  08-14   12
  Day 1: 5   08-14   
94. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN             5  08-12   10
  Day 1: 5   08-12   
95. Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               2  08-09    9
  Day 1: 2   08-09   
96. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  08-05    8
  Day 1: 5   08-05   
97. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              5  07-13    7
  Day 1: 5   07-13   
98. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  07-11    6
  Day 1: 5   07-11   
99. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN         5  06-13    5
  Day 1: 5   06-13   
100. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA  5  06-11    4
  Day 1: 5   06-11   
101. Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN       3  05-11    3
  Day 1: 3   05-11   
102. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL            5  05-09    2
  Day 1: 5   05-09   
103. JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC         2  04-06    1
  Day 1: 2   04-06   
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS 
Day
 1   Jake Whitaker            Hendersonville, NC  07-15      $1,000.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        99       506      1411-00
———————————-
          99       506      1411-00



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