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Johnson grabs early lead at Red River Open

Johnson grabs early lead at Red River Open

The Red River’s dropping water level created problems for some anglers on day 1 of the Red River Bassmaster Central Open, but Jimmy Johnson of Ganado, Texas, found the conditions to his liking.

“I think it actually helped me,” said Johnson. “It let me see a little bit more of the stuff I was fishing. Visibility is only about 4 inches, so when it dropped about 3 inches, I saw something new to fish.”

The Texan relied on the newly revealed cover to catch a 16-05 sack.

“The big fish were a surprise,” he said. “The fish just grew a little bit. I had a limit before 8:30 and had a 4-pounder by then. When you get that limit early, you just relax, and then you just go to work.”

FLW Tour pro Randall Tharp grabbed the No. 2 slot with 15-14. His bag contained a 7-pounder.

“I have a place where I can catch a limit fairly easily, and today it took until about 9 o’clock,” Tharp said. “I feel like I can go back there and do that again, which will get me fishing another day. Where the big ones are, though, is just hard to get a bite. I fished for 4 hours in that area and had two bites, but both (of those) fish came to the weigh-in.”

Here are the totals for the initial Top 12:

1. Jimmy Johnson: 16-05
2. Randall Tharp: 15-14
3. Chad Wiley: 14-12
4. Mike Iaconelli: 14-09
5. Roy Sanford: 14-07
6. Craig Schuff: 14-02
7. Jerry Hester: 13-14
8. Lucas Ragusa: 13-10
9. Scott Martin: 13-08
10. Clark Wendlandt: 13-04
11. (tie) Duane Pittman: 13-00
11. (tie) Roger Richter: 13-00

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