By BassFan Staff

Brett Hite began the 2014 FLW Tour campaign with a victory at Lake Okeechobee. Now it looks like he's bent on closing it with a triumph at Kentucky Lake.

The veteran from Arizona, who also has a Bassmaster Elite Series win this year, caught a 24-14 sack on day 1. A 7-plus-pound bite allowed the Arizona veteran to separate himself from a large pack of anglers who registered sacks in the low 20s.

If he prevails, he'll match the feat achieved by Jason Christie in 2013 of winning three tour-level events in a year. Christie, incidentally, is one of the competitors with a chance to prevent Hite from equaling that feat, as he weighed 22-01 to settle into 7th.

A familiar name is in the No. 2 slot Randy Haynes, the winner of last month's Rayovac Series derby at this venue and a contender anytime, anywhere that fish have moved to the ledges. Right behind him is Scott Martin, whose 22-08 stringer put him in 3rd.

Charlie Ingram and Tom Redington are tied for 4th with 22-06. Ingram is looking to move up at least seven places in the standings to secure a Forrest Wood Cup berth and Redington is seeking his career-best placement (he was 8th in last year's finale at Chickamauga).

Here's a look at the complete Top 10, with deficit margins from the leader indicated by red numbers in parentheses:

1. Brett Hite: 24-14
2. Randy Haynes: 22-11 (2-03)
3. Scott Martin: 22-08 (2-06)
4. (tie) Charlie Ingram: 22-06 (2-08)
4. (tie) Tom Redington: 22-06 (2-08)
6. Michael Neal: 22-04 (2-10)
7. Jason Christie: 22-01 (2-13)
8. Skip Johnson: 22-00 (2-14)
9. Jim Moynagh: 21-06 (3-08)
10. Andy Morgan: 21-04 (3-10)

Did you catch the final name on that list? Morgan, the defending Angler of the Year, took a big step to securing a second straight points crown today. His bag put him 15 slots ahead of his only serious challenger, Cody Meyer, and Morgan came into the event with an 8-point edge. It appears as if Meyer, who caught 19-04, will need to move up at least a handful of places on day 2 to extend the race to the weekend.

Twenty-one anglers weighed at least 20 pounds on an overcast day when the Tennessee Valley Authority pulled little water for power generation. If the flow picks up tomorrow, it could take a 40-pound aggregate to make the Top-20 cut.

FLW/Brian Lindberg
Photo: FLW/Brian Lindberg

Randy Haynes ran around a lot to compile his 22-11 stringer.

The day-2 weather forecast for the Paris, Tenn. area calls for scattered thunderstorms and a high temperature of just 81 degrees. A light breeze (6 mph) should blow from the south.

The winner will be determined Sunday based on highest cumulative weight.

Hawg Helped Hite

> Day 1: 5, 24-14

Hite caught his 7 1/4-pounder, which was the biggest fish of the day, at about 8:30. His bag also included a 6-pounder and one that approached 5.

"I started with a flurry this morning and then it slowed down," he said. "I had a couple of two- or three-fish flurries after that, but by about 11 I stopped fishing (his primary area). I just kind of hung out there and guarded the spot."

He had virtually no company as he boated 15 keepers

"It's an area that's got a lot of fish in it. One guy started there with me, but he kind of got spun out. He wasn't in the right position and he didn't want to mess me up. We talked afterward and he said he'd let me have it tomorrow, and I really appreciate that."

He's employing standard ledge-fishing tactics.

"I had a decent first day (of practice), but then the second day was absolutely horrible and I only found one spot. I caught them pretty decent on the third day and I actually found the spot where I caught them today at 6:30 Tuesday evening.

"I've got two really good spots that I didn't go to that aren't far away. I'm only going to burn one spot at a time when you've caught 24 pounds off one place, there's no reason to go to another one and start catching fish you might need later."

2nd: Haynes in Hunt Again

> Day 1: 5, 22-11

Haynes needs to move up 8 places or so on the points list to make the Forrest Wood Cup, and today he laid a more-than-solid foundation to accomplish that.

"You just never really know what you're going to catch on this lake," he said. "You come to a place in the evening (during practice) and the current's going and it's easy to get bites, then you come back the next day and there's not a fish around.

"I really don't think I'm on the fish to win, but after today I can't help but get a little bit excited."

He boxed a solid limit (17 or 18 pounds) early in the day, and then upgraded several times.

"It was just one here and one there. I got kind of fortunate because I really didn't catch a lot of fish, but I got some bigger bites. I had a couple of opportunities that didn't work out I was just off a little bit. The (time) windows for catching these fish are just very small right now."

He visited a lot of different places and will continue that pattern throughout the event.

"Every place I've ever caught one before I either looked at or fished. I'm looking for fish that are moving and I'm fishing shallow ledges to deep."

3rd: Martin Mixed it Up

> Day 1: 5, 22-08

Martin fished a lot of different places and threw a variety of baits en route to compiling his 22 1/2-pound stringer. Included among his offerings were a dropshot, a jig, a worm and a crankbait.

FLW/Brian Lindberg
Photo: FLW/Brian Lindberg

Scott Martin had a nice bag that would've been better had he not lost a big bite on his third cast.

"My practice was pretty consistent, but I still wasn't sure what to expect today," he said. "In fact I kind of freaked out last night not knowing how many spots I'd be able to get on or the size of fish I was going to catch.

"One of my spots had quite a few boats, but the others I wasn't really sharing and I caught fish all day."

His bag was topped by a pair of 5 1/2-pounders. He said he lost one early that was considerably larger.

"On my third cast I had one that was at least 7 and I got it right to the boat, and then it just got off. It was one of those things that happen."

Accurate casts at precise angles were a big key for him.

"I caught 25 or 30 keepers and my (co-angler) only caught one fish, and he's a good fisherman. It just shows how important that positioning and getting them fired up are."

4th: Redington Caught Quality

> Day 1: 5, 22-06

Redington was the 13th-place finisher in last month's Kentucky Lake Rayovac. He said it was easier to catch great quantities of fish at that time, but the quality of his bites today was high.

"I had a 17 1/2-pound limit in about an hour and a half, so I caught that pretty quick," the Texan said. "The rest of the day I didn't get the numbers, but when I got a bite it was usually a good one. I just upgraded a little at a time."

He had a 5 1/2-pounder in his bag and none of the quintet was under 3 1/2.

"Some people are complaining about how the lake is off, but I've guided on Lake Fork for long enough to know that they're pretty easy to catch when they first come out (to deep water), then they get tougher after people have beat on them. Now, even if you're graphing over the top of them, they'll start to flake out and move off the ledge.

"These fish get a lot of pressure in the summer and you need to do something different to get them to react."

7th: Christie Caught 'Em Late

> Day 1: 5, 22-01

Christie compiled most of his weight during the latter part of the day. He threw several baits, including a prototype Booyah offering.

"I didn't know how much I could cast because I didn't fish 30 minutes in practice," he said. "I spent almost all my time idling and looking.

"I don't think there's anyplace on this lake that somebody else isn't fishing, so it's all about timing. You may fish a place three times and not catch any, then come back a fourth time and catch two or three. These schools are real spooky and if you catch a couple, they're gone. They'll move and it's hard to relocate them."

He ended up catching about a dozen keepers, including a 5-pounder.

"I'm going to have to run some of the same stuff tomorrow. It's hard here to waste a lot of time looking you can go 5 hours without finding a school. It's difficult to locate them real quick especially ones that haven't been picked on in the last 30 minutes."

159th: Tough Day for Surman

> Day 1: 1, 1-11

Nothing went right today for veteran Mike Surman.

"I pulled up where I wanted to start and there were already two guys there catching the heck out of them," he said. "Then I got into a bad rotation the whole day. Every time I tried to go somewhere, somebody was sitting there.

"It's a typical ledge deal and if you get on the wrong rotation, it's brutal."

He had just the one keeper bite, but caught about a dozen short fish.

"I caught a couple giants in practice and it was frustrating not getting to fish those places."

Notable

> Day 1 stats 162 anglers, 131 limits, 10 fours, 7 threes, 9 twos, 2 ones, 3 zeroes.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., June 27 Scattered Thunderstorms - 81/68
- Wind: From the S at 6 mph

> Sat., June 28 Scattered Thunderstorms - 81/70
- Wind: From the S at 10 mph

> Sun., June 29 Scattered Thunderstorms - 85/71
- Wind: From the SSW at 10 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, Az -- 24-14 (5)

2. Randy Haynes -- Counce, Tn -- 22-11 (5)

3. Scott Martin -- Clewiston, Fl -- 22-08 (5)

4. Charlie Ingram -- Centerville, Tn -- 22-06 (5)

4. Tom Redington -- Royse City, Tx -- 22-06 (5)

6. Michael Neal -- Dayton, Tn -- 22-04 (5)

7. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, Ok -- 22-01 (5)

8. Skip Johnson -- Goodells, Mi -- 22-00 (5)

9. Jim Moynagh -- Carver, Mn -- 21-06 (5)

10. Andy Morgan -- Dayton, Tn -- 21-04 (5)

11. David Dudley -- Lynchburg, Va -- 21-02 (5)

12. Scott Canterbury -- Springville, Al -- 21-00 (5)

13. Jason Lambert -- Pickwick Dam, Tn -- 20-15 (5)

14. Michael Wooley -- Collierville, Tn -- 20-12 (5)

15. Micah Frazier -- Newnan, Ga -- 20-11 (5)

16. Tim Malone -- Gatlinburg, Tn -- 20-10 (5)

16. Bryan Thrift -- Shelby, NC -- 20-10 (5)

18. Brent Ehrler -- Redlands, Ca -- 20-09 (5)

18. Brandon Hunter -- Benton, Ky -- 20-09 (5)

20. Clent Davis -- Montevallo, Al -- 20-06 (5)

21. Greg Bohannan -- Bentonville, Ar -- 20-02 (5)

22. Richard Peek -- Centre, Al -- 19-15 (5)

23. Andrew Upshaw -- Tulsa, Ok -- 19-08 (5)

24. Brent Long -- Iron Station, NC -- 19-05 (5)

25. Cody Meyer -- Auburn, Ca -- 19-04 (5)

25. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, Ok -- 19-04 (5)

27. John Murray -- Phoenix, Az -- 19-03 (5)

28. Matt Arey -- Shelby, NC -- 19-01 (5)

28. Robbie Dodson -- Harrison, Ar -- 19-01 (5)

30. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 18-15 (5)

30. Jason Reyes -- Huffman, Tx -- 18-15 (5)

32. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 18-14 (5)

32. Mark Rose -- West Memphis, Ar -- 18-14 (5)

34. Jeff Sprague -- Point, Tx -- 18-09 (5)

35. Luke Clausen -- Spokane, Wa -- 18-08 (5)

35. Rich Dalbey -- Greenville, Tx -- 18-08 (5)

37. Gary Yamamoto -- Palestine, Tx -- 18-06 (5)

38. Alex Davis -- Albertville, Al -- 18-05 (5)

38. Jerry Reagan -- Byrdstown, Tn -- 18-05 (5)

40. Jason Williamson -- Wagener, SC -- 18-01 (5)

41. Shad Schenck -- Waynetown, In -- 17-15 (5)

42. Jay Yelas -- Corvallis, Or -- 17-09 (5)

43. Jeff Gustafson -- Keewatin, On -- 17-07 (5)

43. Troy Hollowell -- Paducah, Ky -- 17-07 (5)

45. Ramie Colson Jr -- Cadiz, Ky -- 17-05 (5)

45. Barry Wilson -- Birmingham, Al -- 17-05 (5)

47. Brandon Coulter -- Knoxville, Tn -- 17-03 (5)

47. Mark Daniels Jr -- Fairfield, Ca -- 17-03 (5)

49. Keith Amerson -- Selmer, Tn -- 17-02 (5)

50. Nick Prvonozac -- Warren, Oh -- 17-01 (5)

50. Jacob Wheeler -- Indianapolis, In -- 17-01 (5)

52. John Voyles -- Petersburg, In -- 17-00 (5)

53. Travis Loyd -- Kinmundy, Il -- 16-15 (5)

53. Tom Monsoor -- La Crosse, Wi -- 16-15 (5)

55. Philip Jarabeck -- Lynchburg, Va -- 16-14 (5)

55. Scott Suggs -- Bryant, Ar -- 16-14 (5)

55. Austin Terry -- San Angelo, Tx -- 16-14 (5)

58. Anthony Gagliardi -- Prosperity, SC -- 16-13 (5)

59. James Christian -- Dickson, Tn -- 16-12 (5)

59. Dave Lefebre -- Erie, Pa -- 16-12 (5)

61. Charlie Evans -- Gilbertsville, Ky -- 16-11 (5)

62. Wesley Strader -- Spring City, Tn -- 16-10 (5)

63. Ryan Davidson -- Huntington, WV -- 16-09 (5)

64. Lionel Botha -- Okeechobee, Fl -- 16-08 (5)

65. Peter Thliveros -- Saint Augustine, Fl -- 16-05 (5)

66. Jayme Rampey -- Liberty, SC -- 16-04 (5)

66. Rusty Trancygier -- Hahira, Ga -- 16-04 (5)

68. Bill Day -- Frankfort, Ky -- 16-02 (5)

68. Richard Lowitzki -- Hampshire, Il -- 16-02 (5)

70. Jim Dillard -- West Monroe, La -- 16-00 (5)

71. Adrian Avena -- Vineland, NJ -- 15-15 (5)

72. John Cox -- Debary, Fl -- 15-11 (5)

72. Shawn Murphy -- Nicholasville, Ky -- 15-11 (5)

72. Jim Tutt -- Longview, Tx -- 15-11 (5)

75. JT Kenney -- Palm Bay, Fl -- 15-09 (5)

75. Colby Schrumpf -- Highland, Il -- 15-09 (5)

77. Jeff Barth -- Marshfield, Wi -- 15-08 (5)

77. Terry Bolton -- Paducah, Ky -- 15-08 (5)

77. Brad Knight -- Wartburg, Tn -- 15-08 (5)

80. Matt Greenblatt -- Port St Lucie, Fl -- 15-07 (5)

80. Rex Huff -- Corbin, Ky -- 15-07 (5)

80. Blake Nick -- Adger, Al -- 15-07 (5)

80. Darrel Robertson -- Jay, Ok -- 15-07 (5)

84. Kevin Stewart -- Elk Grove, Ca -- 15-05 (5)

85. Clayton Batts -- Macon, Ga -- 15-04 (5)

85. Matt Herren -- Ashville, Al -- 15-04 (5)

87. Stetson Blaylock -- Benton, Ar -- 15-03 (5)

87. Dan Morehead -- Paducah, Ky -- 15-03 (5)

89. Matthew Stefan -- Junction City, Wi -- 14-15 (5)

90. Zach Caudle -- Shreveport, La -- 14-11 (5)

90. David Fritts -- Lexington, NC -- 14-11 (5)

92. Drew Benton -- Panama City, Fl -- 14-10 (5)

92. Shinichi Fukae -- Palestine, Tx -- 14-10 (5)

92. Kerry Milner -- Bono, Ar -- 14-10 (5)

95. Casey Martin -- New Hope, Al -- 14-08 (5)

95. Ishama Monroe -- Hughson, Ca -- 14-08 (5)

97. Dion Hibdon -- Sunrise Beach, Mo -- 14-07 (5)

98. Tony Davis -- Williston, Fl -- 14-06 (5)

98. George Kapiton -- Inverness, Fl -- 14-06 (5)

98. Rob Kilby -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 14-06 (5)

101. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, La -- 14-05 (5)

102. Stuart Arthur -- Benton, Mo -- 14-03 (5)

102. Troy Morrow -- Eastanollee, Ga -- 14-03 (5)

104. Brandon Cobb -- Greenwood, SC -- 14-02 (5)

105. James Watson -- Waynesville, Mo -- 14-01 (5)

106. Randy Blaukat -- Joplin, Mo -- 13-13 (5)

106. Larry Nixon -- Bee Branch, Ar -- 13-13 (5)

108. Todd Hollowell -- Fishers, In -- 13-12 (5)

109. Koby Kreiger -- Bokeelia, Fl -- 13-11 (5)

109. Ray Scheide -- Dover, Ar -- 13-11 (5)

111. Robert Behrle -- Hoover, Al -- 13-08 (5)

111. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, Tx -- 13-08 (5)

113. Darrell Davis -- Dover, Fl -- 13-07 (5)

113. Tommy Martin -- Hemphill, Tx -- 13-07 (5)

115. Wade Leblanc -- Gonzales, La -- 13-04 (5)

115. Bill McDonald -- Greenwood, In -- 13-04 (5)

117. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, Al -- 12-15 (4)

118. Kyle White -- Tightwad, Mo -- 12-13 (5)

119. Guido Hibdon -- Sunrise Beach, Mo -- 12-12 (5)

119. Randall Tharp -- Port Saint Joe, Fl -- 12-12 (5)

121. Shane Lehew -- Charlotte, NC -- 12-11 (5)

122. Ray Meredith -- Smiths Grove, Ky -- 12-05 (4)

123. Ryan Chandler -- Hebron, In -- 12-03 (5)

124. Spencer Shuffield -- Bismarck, Ar -- 12-02 (5)

125. Rodney Thomason -- Maumelle, Ar -- 12-01 (5)

126. RC Cooper -- Nashua, Nh -- 11-12 (5)

127. Troy Gibson -- Eufaula, Al -- 11-09 (5)

128. Terry Segraves -- Kissimmee, Fl -- 11-08 (4)

129. Jason Meninger -- Gainesville, Ga -- 11-01 (5)

130. Travis Fox -- Rogers, Ar -- 10-14 (5)

130. Payden Hibdon -- Sunrise Beach, Mo -- 10-14 (5)

132. Jason Quinn -- Rock Hill, SC -- 10-11 (5)

133. Glenn Chappelear -- Acworth, Ga -- 10-06 (4)

134. Jimmy Houston -- Cookson, Ok -- 10-03 (5)

135. Christopher Brasher -- Longview, Tx -- 9-15 (5)

136. Jimmy Brewer -- Marshall, Tx -- 9-10 (4)

137. Tommy Robinson -- Westland, Mi -- 9-03 (4)

138. Drew Montgomery -- Denver, NC -- 8-14 (4)

139. David Smith -- Del City, Ok -- 8-07 (3)

140. Stephen McKinnie -- Umatila, Fl -- 8-06 (4)

141. Justin Morton -- Etoile, Tx -- 8-02 (4)

142. Chad Grigsby -- Maple Grove, Mn -- 8-00 (2)

143. Clark Reehm -- Huntington, Tx -- 7-14 (3)

144. Dustin Grice -- Robinson, Tx -- 7-13 (2)

145. Jonathan Newton -- Rogersville, Al -- 7-11 (3)

146. Chris Neau -- New Orleans, La -- 7-10 (3)

147. Vic Vatalaro -- Kent, Oh -- 7-05 (4)

148. Andrew Luxon -- Richmond, Ky -- 7-02 (3)

149. Bob Morin -- Seymour, Tn -- 6-02 (2)

150. Leon Williams -- Fairdale, Ky -- 5-14 (3)

151. John Devere -- Berea, Ky -- 5-01 (2)

152. Marc Evans -- Angola, In -- 5-00 (3)

153. Harry Moore -- Valley, Al -- 4-02 (2)

154. Chris Baumgardner -- Gastonia, NC -- 4-00 (2)

154. Patrick Bone -- Cleveland, Ga -- 4-00 (2)

156. Alton Wilhoit -- Harrah, Ok -- 3-13 (2)

157. Robert Collins -- Morrow, Oh -- 3-10 (2)

158. Scott Wiley -- Bay Minette, Al -- 2-03 (1)

159. Mike Surman -- Boca Raton, Fl -- 1-11 (1)

Rick Cotten -- Guntersville, Al -- 0-00 (0)

Shirley Crain -- Fort Smith, Ar -- 0-00 (0)

Tony Dumitras -- Winston, Ga -- 0-00 (0)

Big Bass

Day 1: Brett Hite -- 7-05 -- $500