Live from the Tennessee River and Decatur Ala., the Bass Masters Elite final regular season points tournament is underway.
The top ten is as usual tight and all are trying to retain that rank to make it the final finale post season. A long, hot day for these guys.
The day started with the first flight leaving just after 6am and returning around 3 p.m. This year the Elite in Decatur has 99 anglers fishing Thursday and Friday. On Friday the cut will go to the top 50.
Thursday's weight winner goes to Arthur Defoe from Knoxville, Tenn. Defoe weighed in 5 fish for 18 pounds 6 ounces.
Marty Robinson from Lyman, S.C., is tournament leader "Big Fish" at 6 pounds 1 ounce. Marty weighed in 12 pounds, 14 ounces and rounding out the top 30 solidly.
Kevin VanDam as usual had a nice showing and he will have to really stumble and give away the overall angler of the year award. Kevin weighed in the bag limit of 5 fish for 15 pounds six ounces placing 8th over all in points today.
The Current Season Standings are as follows...(these stats come from the ESPN website under the Bassmaster section.
Today's Round 1 top 10 looks like this
|1||Arthur DeFoe||5||18- 6||5||18- 6|
|2||David Walker||5||18- 2||5||18- 2|
|3||Chad Griffin||5||18- 1||5||18- 1|
|4||Paul Elias||5||17- 5||5||17- 5|
|5||Russell Lane||5||16- 6||5||16- 6|
|6||Travis Manson||5||16- 2||5||16- 2|
|8||Kevin VanDam||5||15- 6||5||15- 6|
|9||Bernard Schultz||5||15- 1||5||15- 1|
Quite a little shakeup in position after day one. Defoe comes in first, Hite, a 10th place finish, and VanDam just ahead in 8th.
However, the other current top ten Elites finished as follows. Defoe is the current contender for the rookie angler of the year.
Losing ground in Arkansas last week due to a poor finish, Keith Combs is now contending and putting some pressure on Defoe.
All scores will be final and settled after the Sunday weigh in. It could be very interesting and surprising.
Edwin Evers-43 - 5 fish 11 pounds 10 ounces
Stephen Kennedy -16- 5 fish for 14 pounds and four ounces.
Terry Scroggins finished in the 18th position with 5 fish and 14 pounds.
Gerald Swindle -46-5 fish and 11 pounds 8 ounces
Casey Ashley -54 and 5 fish for 10 pounds four ounces. (Casey has been sick this week with a cold. He and Marty and their families stay with my parents when they fish the area.)
Right now, he is on the bubble out. But Friday is another day. I have faith that he will be in the thick of it. He wants to at least hold his points ground going into the post season.
Alton Jones-came in 79 -5 fish 8 lbs 8ounces-he has a big hole to dig out of. A close family member, Bucky Garner is his marshal.
Aaron Martens placed 56- 5 fish for 10 pounds 2 ounces.
So, with all that it appears that... it's a foot race to the finish.
On a personal note, it is always such a pleasure to be a part of this ESPN DIXIE DUEL with the Bass Masters Elite and conclusion to the season of regulated tournament play. It's always an exciting fun filled week long of fun and events.
One thing is for certain there are lots of stories and tales being told with a hint of a little exaggeration. Fishing is just the hobby; the real job is story telling and descriptive narration.
The guys love coming to Decatur, Ala., because the fishing is top water fun and plenty of fish to be had. Today out of 99 anglers only 3 did not reach the 5 fish limit. That is a lot of fish caught in one day. Pretty dang close to 500.
Well it's 4 hours until day 2 is underway and should be another action packed day. If you live close to the Decatur, Ala., area come out and support these guys.There is a lot of things to do during the day.
Vendors have booths set up, there is food, great music and ESPN has a nice big TV stage for live weigh in's set up. The tournament is being held at Ingall's Harbor on Highway 20 about two miles from the Highway 31 and 20 intersection just below the River Bridge in Decatur, Ala.
If you want to see more pictures from the fishing tournament and some of the more personal side of the man behind the boat check them out on my facebook profile.
Casey Ashley, former Rookie of the Year, just cut a new six-song country CD. His theme song Fisherman appeared on the outdoor ESPN CD a couple of years ago.
He has that Kenny Chesney type sound,complete with the Southern Boyish good looks and a smile that just lights up a room and is contagious. He wrote all songs on the CD.
I am not sure where you can purchase one at this time but if you are interested, I can get you the information or give you his contact info.
Casey finished the first day right outside the top 50 and we need him to have a big day tomorrow to secure his post season fish ... Staying in the top eight is his threshold.
Current points leader ready to launch.
Last minute bait thought.
Charley Hartley's last-minute pre-launch changes.
Alton Jones will have a big make up day on day 2.
Skeet Reese last pass through safety.
Marty Robinson next in line to launch.
The Redneck Remedy: Billy McCaghren Jr.
Jason Williamson and Under Armour...coolest design in the show.
David Mercer and Casey Ashley.
Kevin VanDam weighs in.