By BassFan Staff

After 76th- and 91st-place finishes to begin the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series season, Greg Vinson is in need of a high placement at Bull Shoals Lake to get himself back into contention for next year's Classic. He laid a strong foundation for just such a showing on weather-delayed day 1.

The red-headed Alabamian caught a 16-13 sack on a post-frontal day when the fish bit better than many had expected, a phenomenon that could likely be attributed to strong winds. His stringer was a pound better than anyone else in the 100-angler field managed, although nearly 70 percent of them cracked double digits.

Skeet Reese sacked 15-13 to claim the No. 2 position. Reigning Classic champion Cliff Pace was next with 15-02.

The blistering-hot Jason Christie, winner of last week's FLW Tour event just downstream at Beaver Lake, scaled 14-15 to grab a share of 4th. He's tied with Randy Howell.

Here's how the early Top 12 stacks up, with deficit margin from the leader denoted by red numbers in parentheses:

1. Greg Vinson: 16-13
2. Skeet Reese: 15-13 (1-00)
3. Cliff Pace: 15-02 (1-11)
4. (tie) Jason Christie: 14-15 (1-13)
4. (tie) Randy Howell: 14-15 (1-13)
6. Terry Scroggins: 14-14 (1-14)
7. Casey Scanlon: 14-13 (2-00)
8. Brent Chapman: 14-09 (2-04)
9. Brian Snowden: 14-08 (2-05)
10. (tie) Cliff Prince: 14-03 (2-10)
10. (tie) Jeremy Starks: 14-03 (2-10)
12. (tie) Fred Roumbanis: 14-00 (2-13)
12. (tie) Chris Zaldain: 14-00 (2-13)

The storm that passed through parts of Arkansas on Thursday and caused a 24-hour delay to the beginning of the event left the lake level about 2 feet higher than when the competitors concluded practice on Wednesday. That was bad news for those who'd planned on sight-fishing, as the high water, combined with wind that blew in excess of 20 mph throughout the day, made seeing anything beneath the surface extremely difficult.

Anglers didn't have to see the fish to catch them, though. Some reported boating as many as 40 and only 15 competitors failed to weigh a limit. The difference between 1st place and 50th was just a little over 5 pounds.

The sky remained gray for the first several hours of the morning, then gave way to sun for the rest of the day. The day-2 forecast calls for mostly fair skies with an increase of about 10 degrees in the high air temperature (to 68). The wind is expected to simmer down to about 9 mph out of the southeast.

The field will be trimmed to the Top 50 after the weigh-in, and then to the Top 12 the following day. The winner will be determined Monday based on highest cumulative weight.

Two 4s for Vinson

> Day 1: 5, 16-13

Many anglers have lamented about the difficulty of catching fish weighing in excess of 3 pounds this week. Vinson's stringer contained a pair that topped 4.

"I made a good decision or a good guess, whatever you want to call it, based on what I thought might happen with the changed conditions," he said. "I did not have a good practice – I don't think I caught a limit of largemouths on any of the 3 days. I just went back to a few areas that seemed like they'd be right for today. I still feel like I'm trying to adapt."

He caught eight or nine keepers and his sack contained four largemouths and one smallmouth. The two that exceeded 4 pounds were his first and last keepers of the day.

He has no idea whether his tactics will hold up on day 2.

"I'll just have to see how it goes and try to build on what I did today. With the water levels and the temperatures continually changing, you never know what might happen.

"A lot of times you think you can just go back and pick up where you left off the day before, but that's not always the case. You have to be able to adjust."

3rd: All 3s for Pace

> Day 1: 5, 15-13

Like Vinson, Pace brought four largemouths and a smallmouth to the scale. All five of his fish were in the 3-pound class.

"I thought we'd catch them with the weather we had today," he said. "But that weather's going to go away and there's going to be some changes in the days to come. What I did worked out today, but tomorrow's a new day and it might be a different story if we don't have any wind."

He stressed the importance of keeping an open mind as the environmental variables continue to be altered.

"The key to today was the technique, and that's almost always the case on lakes that are this clear. The techniques change with the weather, though, because the weather changes the fish. It can be very different from one day to the next and the guy who wins this thing is going to have to make a lot of adjustments.

"For me to stay up there, I can't be stubborn."

4th: Christie Covered Water

> Day 1: 5, 14-15

Christie's ravaging of White River impoundments continued as he's now in contention for victories in consecutive weeks on two different circuits.

"I didn't have a good practice and I just fished the conditions today," he said. "It was blowing hard and that took out sight-fishing, which is what I wanted to do. I just put on moving baits and covered a lot of water.

He handled about a dozen keepers. He weighed all largemouths and the biggest was a 3 1/2-pounder.

"I think I'm going to have to adjust again tomorrow. In practice I tried to fish some of the same way I did today and didn't do any good. It was the wind that allowed me to fish that way today.

"Tomorrow I'll probably have to change again. I'll definitely start out doing what I did today, but if I'm not getting bit I'm not going to die with it."

4th: No Smallies for Howell

> Day 1: 5, 14-15

Howell fished today in a special St. Louis Rams-themed jersey that'll be auctioned off on eBay next week, with the proceeds going to charity. It was just a one-day affair, but he can't be blamed if he's reluctant to go back to his regular shirt.

"I think I'm going to have to keep (the Rams jersey) in the boat with me, at least," he said.

All five of the fish he brought to the scale were within an ounce or 2 of the 3-pound mark. Four were largemouths and the other was a spotted bass.

"I had a lot of fish marked, but with the wind blowing hard and the water up 2 feet, it really changed a lot of stuff. I had to figure out where they went and I moved around and made a few adjustments and started catching some.

"The key here is being consistent and catching them every day. I'll have to keep moving and keep adjusting."

He threw several baits, including a Senko, a crankbait and a prototype Jerry Rago-designed Livingston Lures swimbait.

"(Brent) Chapman and I had similar weights and we both caught some on that swimbait. It'll be coming out pretty soon and we're just trying to make sure it's working right.

"So far it's working really good."

98th: Palaniuk's Fish Vanished

> Day 1: 2, 3-08

Brandon Palaniuk, who dominated last year's Bull Shoals event, finds himself just two places from the bottom after day 1. He had an exceptionally good practice, but said the new conditions changed everything.

"It was night and day," he said. "I went from possibly winning again to a bunch of non-existent fish. I spent all day trying to locate them because I knew if I did, it would be lights out."

He said he'd been on a huge population of fish weighing up to 6 pounds.

"There were literally hundreds of them – it was crazy. Some were spawning and a lot of them were just staging up. I just don't know where they went.

"Now I'm so far down, I need to weigh a 20-pound bag to even think about making the cut. I'll have to go back to that area because it's the only one I know where I have a chance of weighing 20."

Notable

> Day 1 stats – 100 anglers, 85 limits, 2 fours, 5 threes, 6 twos, 2 ones.

Weather Forecast

> Sat., April 20 – Mostly Sunny - 68°/43°
- Wind: From the SE at 9 mph

> Sun., April 21 – Partly Cloudy - 70°/44°
- Wind: From the SE at 13 mph

> Mon., April 22 – Cloudy - 71°/51°
- Wind: From the S/SE at 8 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, AL -- 5, 16-13 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 16-13

2. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 5, 15-13 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 15-13

3. Cliff Pace -- Petal, MS -- 5, 15-02 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 15-02

4. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 5, 14-15 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 14-15

4. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 5, 14-15 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 14-15

6. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 5, 14-14 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 14-14

7. Casey Scanlon -- Lenexa, KS -- 5, 14-13 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 14-13

8. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, KS -- 5, 14-09 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 14-09

9. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 5, 14-08 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 14-08

10. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 5, 14-03 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 14-03

10. Jeremy Starks -- Scott Depot, WV -- 5, 14-03 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 14-03

12. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, OK -- 5, 14-00 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 14-00

12. Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, CA -- 5, 14-00 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 14-00

14. Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, KY -- 5, 13-15 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 13-15

15. Casey D Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 5, 13-13 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 13-13

15. BJ Haseotes -- Centerville, MA -- 5, 13-13 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 13-13

17. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 5, 13-12 -- 84
Day 1: 5, 13-12

18. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, OK -- 5, 13-11 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 13-11

18. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 5, 13-11 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 13-11

18. Pete Ponds -- Madison, MS -- 5, 13-11 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 13-11

21. Matt Greenblatt -- Port St Lucie, FL -- 5, 13-09 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 13-09

21. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 13-09 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 13-09

23. Gary Klein -- Weatherford, TX -- 5, 13-05 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 13-05

23. Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 5, 13-05 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 13-05

25. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 5, 13-03 -- 76
Day 1: 5, 13-03

26. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 5, 13-02 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 13-02

26. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, TX -- 5, 13-02 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 13-02

26. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, AL -- 5, 13-02 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 13-02

29. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 5, 12-15 -- 72
Day 1: 5, 12-15

30. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, LA -- 5, 12-13 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 12-13

31. Jonathon VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 12-12 -- 70
Day 1: 5, 12-12

32. Josh Bertrand -- Gilbert, AZ -- 3, 12-11 -- 69
Day 1: 3, 12-11

33. Michael Iaconelli -- Pitts Grove, NJ -- 5, 12-08 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 12-08

34. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 5, 12-07 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 12-07

34. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, AR -- 5, 12-07 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 12-07

34. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 5, 12-07 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 12-07

37. J Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, GA -- 5, 12-06 -- 64
Day 1: 5, 12-06

38. Paul Elias -- Laurel, MS -- 5, 12-05 -- 63
Day 1: 5, 12-05

38. Shaw E Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 5, 12-05 -- 63
Day 1: 5, 12-05

40. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, AR -- 5, 12-04 -- 61
Day 1: 5, 12-04

40. Kelly Jordon -- Palestine, TX -- 5, 12-04 -- 61
Day 1: 5, 12-04

42. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 5, 12-02 -- 59
Day 1: 5, 12-02

43. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 5, 12-00 -- 58
Day 1: 5, 12-00

44. Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, OH -- 5, 11-15 -- 57
Day 1: 5, 11-15

44. Nate Wellman -- Newaygo, MI -- 5, 11-15 -- 57
Day 1: 5, 11-15

46. Hank Cherry -- Maiden, NC -- 5, 11-13 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 11-13

46. Kevin Hawk -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 11-13 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 11-13

48. Jami Fralick -- Martin, SD -- 5, 11-12 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 11-12

49. Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, TN -- 5, 11-11 -- 52
Day 1: 5, 11-11

49. Kevin Ledoux -- Choctaw, OK -- 5, 11-11 -- 52
Day 1: 5, 11-11

51. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 5, 11-10 -- 50
Day 1: 5, 11-10

51. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, CA -- 5, 11-10 -- 50
Day 1: 5, 11-10

53. Boyd Duckett -- Demopolis, AL -- 5, 11-09 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 11-09

53. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 5, 11-09 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 11-09

53. Jason Williamson -- Aiken, SC -- 5, 11-09 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 11-09

56. James Niggemeyer -- Van, TX -- 5, 11-08 -- 45
Day 1: 5, 11-08

57. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 5, 11-07 -- 44
Day 1: 5, 11-07

58. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 5, 11-05 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 11-05

59. Kenyon Hill -- Norman, OK -- 5, 11-04 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 11-04

59. Russ Lane -- Prattville, AL -- 5, 11-04 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 11-04

59. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 5, 11-04 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 11-04
59. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, TX -- 5, 11-04 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 11-04

63. Derek Remitz -- Grant, AL -- 5, 11-00 -- 38
Day 1: 5, 11-00

64. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 5, 10-15 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 10-15

65. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 5, 10-13 -- 36
Day 1: 5, 10-13

66. Jason Quinn -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 5, 10-12 -- 35
Day 1: 5, 10-12

67. Brandon Card -- Caryville, TN -- 5, 10-06 -- 34
Day 1: 5, 10-06

68. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, AL -- 5, 10-05 -- 33
Day 1: 5, 10-05

69. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 5, 10-03 -- 32
Day 1: 5, 10-03

70. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, FL -- 5, 09-13 -- 31
Day 1: 5, 09-13

70. Morizo Shimizu -- Osaka JAPAN -- 5, 09-13 -- 31
Day 1: 5, 09-13

72. Chad Pipkens -- Holt, MI -- 5, 09-09 -- 29
Day 1: 5, 09-09

73. John Murray -- Phoenix, AZ -- 5, 09-05 -- 28
Day 1: 5, 09-05

74. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 5, 09-04 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 09-04

74. David Walker -- Sevierville, TN -- 5, 09-04 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 09-04

76. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, AL -- 5, 09-01 -- 25
Day 1: 5, 09-01

77. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 5, 09-00 -- 24
Day 1: 5, 09-00

78. John Crews -- Salem, VA -- 5, 08-15 -- 23
Day 1: 5, 08-15

79. Matt Herren -- Trussville, AL -- 5, 08-12 -- 22
Day 1: 5, 08-12

79. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 5, 08-12 -- 22
Day 1: 5, 08-12

81. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 5, 08-11 -- 20
Day 1: 5, 08-11

82. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, AR -- 4, 08-08 -- 19
Day 1: 4, 08-08

83. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 08-05 -- 18
Day 1: 5, 08-05

84. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 07-14 -- 17
Day 1: 5, 07-14

85. Marty Robinson -- Lyman, SC -- 3, 07-13 -- 16
Day 1: 3, 07-13

86. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 4, 07-11 -- 15
Day 1: 4, 07-11

87. Jared Miller -- Norman, OK -- 5, 07-09 -- 14
Day 1: 5, 07-09

88. Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, OK -- 3, 07-06 -- 13
Day 1: 3, 07-06

89. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 3, 07-01 -- 12
Day 1: 3, 07-01

90. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 2, 06-14 -- 11
Day 1: 2, 06-14

91. Timmy Horton -- Muscle Shoals, AL -- 5, 06-12 -- 10
Day 1: 5, 06-12

92. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 3, 06-03 -- 9
Day 1: 3, 06-03

93. Chip Porche -- Bixby, OK -- 3, 05-03 -- 8
Day 1: 3, 05-03

94. Davy Hite -- Ninety Six, SC -- 2, 05-03 -- 7
Day 1: 2, 05-03

95. Fletcher Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 2, 05-01 -- 6
Day 1: 2, 05-01

96. David Smith -- Del City, OK -- 2, 04-01 -- 5
Day 1: 2, 04-01

97. Clark Reehm -- Shreveport, LA -- 2, 03-14 -- 4
Day 1: 2, 03-14

98. Brandon Palaniuk -- Rathdrum, ID -- 2, 03-08 -- 3
Day 1: 2, 03-08

99. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, TX -- 1, 01-08 -- 2
Day 1: 1, 01-08

100. Grant Goldbeck -- Boerne, TX -- 1, 01-01 -- 1
Day 1: 1, 01-01

Big Bass

Day 1: Greg Vinson -- 4-07