And the Competition Begins:

Day One of The Bassmaster Classic

By Bruce Callis

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The first day of competition at the 2020 Academy Sport + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk was an exciting day. All 53 competitors took off and faced a stiff breeze all day. One angler, despite injury, emerged as the leader and placed himself ahead of the nearest competitor by almost 8 pounds. It was also the opening day of the Outdoors Expo 2020.

For the media, it is always a fun time. Some choose to ride along in the media boat following the anglers around to take pictures of their catches, while others decide to walk the Expo and check out the amazing exhibitors. Others sit glued to the live feeds and watch the BASSTrakk to see who is finding them and who is struggling. For those who decide to attend the Expo, we are given early admittance to the show along with life B.A.S.S. members. We conduct interviews with the anglers working the show and try our best to get a story that will allow you to feel like you are there. And we also try to find the exciting new products that are being unveiled at the Classic. We then make our way to the weigh in to watch the anglers come into the stadium and make their way onto stage

Darold Gleason was the first angler to take the stage for Day 1, and had a 5 fish limit that weighted 12 pounds 5 ounces. He held the lead and the big bass lead with a nice 4 pound 3 ounce bass. But, that lead didn’t last long as the next angler up, Drew Benton, bumped him into 2nd with a 5 fish limit weighing in at 15 pounds 3 ounces. But how long would it last and who would take the lead away.

It didn’t take long as Hank Cherry, the 6th angler, brought a huge bag to the scales with a 5 fish limit weighing 29 pounds and 3 ounces anchored by a 7 pound 2 ounce bass to take the Big Bass lead. And thus the bar was set high.

But that was challenged by John Crews Jr and Clent Davis, who each produced a 5 fish limit weighing 21 pounds 8 ounces. Hank held the lead still, once everyone weighed in, but lost the big bass to Todd Auten who caught a huge bass weighing in at 7 pounds and 9 ounces. And the stage was set for day 2 to begin Saturday morning.

Saturday will set up to be a different day for the anglers with the the winds out of the North at 5-10 mph and a bright sunny day with a high around 58, a big change for the anglers. They should find favorable conditions to make better runs around the lake. It should also allow anglers to better fish areas. One condition that will change for some is the ability to feel the bites. The winds Friday were “creating such a big bow in the line that it made it impossible to properly fish the baits.” Many said that they were fishing the right spots, but that the wind made it difficult to fish the area properly. Most were going back to the same areas because they knew the big bass they needed were there.

With the field being cut down to the top 25 anglers after day 2, it should be an exciting day. The BASSTrakk and live feeds from B.A.S.S. should start to show a lot action early and often. Will someone find that magic spot that has the big bass staged up on it? Will Hank be able to make his magic happen. Only time will tell.


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