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Mississippi River Elite Series

Brent Chapman -- Competition Recap
Saturday, June 23, 2012

True Image Promotions
Photo: True Image Promotions

> Day 1: 5, 14-03
> Day 2: 5, 12-11
> Day 3: 5, 13-07

I'm a little frustrated. Everybody loses fish at an event like this, but I lost some key ones and I only missed the Top 12 by a pound and a half, and the ones I lost would've easily put me in there. From a strategy standpoint things went right, but I just didn't execute well. The weights are so close and 3-pounders are so hard to come by, and when you finally get that kind of bite you can't afford to lose it. I lost a real good one today and a couple yesterday, and that was reflected in my bags.

The consistent bite for me was in Pool 9 and only me, Mike McClelland and Jamie Fralick were in there (on day 3). It's nice when you basically have a whole pool to yourself. I caught about half my fish swimming a jig, about a quarter on a frog and the other quarter on a Tightlines UV Beaver.

It's nice to get out of there with a respectable finish and stay on top in the race for the Angler of the Year. Now there's only two tournaments left for me to try to stay on top. With the anglers who are around me, I'm definitely going to have to catch them in these next two to have a shot.

Aaron Martens – Practice Wrapup
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I found some fish and I've caught a lot of keepers, but it's just hard to catch one over 3 pounds. There's a lot of "2sies." I don't know if I found what I need to win, but I think I can do okay and I'm excited about fishing. Today and yesterday we had 30 mph winds and a lot of stuff that looks good, you couldn't hardly fish it. It was totally blown out.

I'm going to stay in Pool 8. In 3 days I didn't even see half of it and that there's two other pools that are close to the same size is unbelievable. It's like six California Deltas. Even if I'd done nothing but run wide-open every day, I wouldn't have seen more than 75 percent of Pool 8. There are so many little fingers and bays and canals – it's like a maze.

Guys are going to catch fish doing a lot of things. I've got like five different patterns going, just because of the way the place fishes. A lot of guys will be doing different types of fishing during the day.

Brent Chapman – Practice Wrapup
Wednesday, June 20, 2012

All I can say is it's been windy, windy, windy. Even with that, though, I'm excited about the tournament. There's going to be a lot of fish caught in this deal.

People always ask about luck in this sport, and I think this is one where luck will play a factor. Guys are going to catch a lot of fish in a day, and it's going to come down to who gets the big bite or a couple of them throughout the tournament.

I'm definitely going to be running (down to Pool 9). I saw a few people during my 2 days down there, but I don't know how many will be down there tomorrow and that's kind of out of my control. I found enough down there that I should have some stuff to myself.

We've had to deal with a lot of red tape as far as rules and regulations with the three different states we're dealing with, but even with that, I think this is going to be an awesome tournament.

Aaron Martens – Practice Day 1
Monday, June 18, 2012

B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

This is the first time I've been here, and the place is very large. I fished very fast and very hard and it seems like I didn't go anywhere compared to what's here. It's kind of overwhelming.

I got a lot of bites, but a lot of 12- to 14-inchers. The big ones seem to be grouped up and if you can catch a good one, there's usually more there. I need to spend time trying to find more groups of quality fish.

This is one of those places where I wish I'd come ahead and pre-fished – there's just too much water to cover in 2 1/2 days. There's lots of water that isn't good.

Brent Chapman – Practice Day 1
Monday, June 18, 2012

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Photo: True Image Promotions

I came up and pre-fished twice – last fall for a day, and then a month ago for several days. After I came that day last fall I was thinking that was good enough, but then I got to thinking that it wasn't and I was glad I came back again. A lot of guys are going to spend a lot of time in practice just learning how to get around.

I was surprised that I could hardly get a bite in an area that I thought was going to be really good. I'm going to have to cover a lot of water. You can find a fair amount of fish, but quality bites will be a challenge.

I got a couple decent bites, anyway – it's kind of hard to say when you're not catching all of them and that kind of stuff. I'm going to try to find areas where I can get a lot of bites and I'll worry about weeding them out after the tournament starts.

Today was a terrible day to get around because it was so windy. It probably blew 20 to 30 mph and the water got muddied up, and it's probably not helping the fishing. If we can survive this practice, maybe the weather will cooperate a little better and make for a decent tournament.

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