By BassFan Staff

Brandon Palaniuk described the bass in Cayuga Lake as being highly cooperative.

"I think they eat here no matter what the conditions are," he said. "They might change up a little bit and they won't bite just anything, but I don't think they ever get to the point where they really shut down."

The Idahoan enticed well over a dozen keepers to chomp on day 1 of the final regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series event of 2014 and the first tour-level derby to ever take place at Cayuga. His 20-10 sack paced the field, but a dozen competitors are less than 2 pounds back.

Mark Davis, who led the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year race for most of the campaign's first half, reasserted himself with a 20-07 haul that had him tied for 2nd. He shared that position with Mike Kernan, whose mercurial rookie season has seen him notch two finishes in the tees and two others below 100th place.

Current AOY leader Greg Hackney boxed 20-05 to settle into 4th. There was another tie right behind him as Jacob Powroznik and Casey Scanlon both caught 20-04.

Here's a look at the jam-packed Top 12, with red numbers in parentheses indicating deficit margin behind the leader:

1. Brandon Palaniuk: 20-10
2. (tie) Mark Davis: 20-07 (0-03)
2. (tie) Mike Kernan: 20-07 (0-03)
4. Greg Hackney: 20-05 (0-05)
5. (tie) Jacob Powroznik: 20-04 (0-06)
5. (tie) Casey Scanlon: 20-04 (0-06)
7. Todd Faircloth: 20-02 (0-08)
8. Edwin Evers: 19-12 (0-14)
9. Kevin Short: 19-06 (1-04)
10. Brent Chapman: 19-01 (1-09)
11. Nate Wellman: 18-15 (1-11)
12. (tie) Matt Herren: 18-11 (1-15)
12. (tie) David Walker: 18-11 (1-15)

The weather conditions in western New York were definitely conducive for fishing. A series of thunderstorms in the area produced rain for much of the morning and after a period of sunshine, the clouds and breeze returned for the afternoon.

Hackney came in with a 1-point lead over Aaron Martens in the AOY race. Martens (64th with 12-14) had a less-than-stellar day. So did Skeet Reese (tied for 58th, 13-04), who started the day at No. 3 in the points.

However, their struggles paled in comparison to Jason Christie, the top-ranked angler in the world who came in at No. 6 in the points. He managed just two keepers and is mired in 103rd.

Most of the leaders said they caught about a dozen keepers with only a few smallmouths mixed in with all the largemouths. As expected, the north end of the lake received the bulk of the angling pressure.

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

Mark Davis had been on a bad run recently, but regained some momentum with a 20 1/2-pound stringer.

More thunderstorms are predicted for day 2, but mostly in the afternoon. Wind shouldn't be a big factor, as its forecast to blow from the east (the long, narrow lake is oriented almost directly north and south) at 7 mph.

The field will be reduced to the Top 50 following the weigh-in, with only the Top 12 advancing to the final day. The winner will be determined Sunday based on highest 4-day weight.

Palaniuk Surprised

> Day 1: 5, 20-10

Palaniuk described his practice session as merely "decent" and his day-1 weight was more than he'd anticipated.

"I thought 20 pounds was possible, but I wasn't really expecting that," he said. "My goal was 17 pounds a day and I would've been happy with that. I thought that would put me in contention for a chance to win and based off practice it was doable, but I wasn't really sure. I had a real random practice."

He estimated that he caught 14 or 15 keepers, including a 5 1/4-pounder that bit at mid-day.

"There wasn't just one period of time when they bit. I just slowly culled up throughout the whole day – a half-ounce here and a half-ounce there. I made my last cull at 3 o'clock and I had a 3:15 check-in."

He opted to remain tight-lipped for now in regard to his pattern, but said he moved around a lot during the day.

"I burned a lot of gas and I had some company in a few areas."

2nd: Davis Lost Nothing

> Day 1: 5, 20-07

Davis got 13 keeper bites and landed every one of them.

"I knew I was around the kind of fish to catch that kind of weight, but there's no guarantees you're going to catch them here – they're kind of fickle," he said. "I think the weather helped a little bit; largemouth usually bite pretty good with that kind of thing going on."

He had no qualms with talking about how he caught his fish. His bag contained two specimens in the 5-pound class.

"I'm throwing a lot of Texas-rigged soft-plastics in the deep grass. I got most of them on a Strike King Ocho – it's real simple fishing.

"There was a couple guys out there with me and one of them is also in the Top 10. It wasn't like some of the areas, though, that are just inundated with people. I've got a backup plan that should also work, but I'll definitely start on that grass again and see what happens there."

After logging four consecutive Top-4 finishes earlier this year, he's fared no better than 80th in any of the last three.

"I had a bad run and it's good to be back in the mix again. It's nice to get things back on track."

2nd: Great Start for Kernan

> Day 1: 5, 20-07

Kernan came in at No. 58 in the points, so his sack laid a strong foundation form moving inside the Top 50 and qualifying for the AOY Championship.

"This was a really good start," he said. "Now I just need another good day to keep me up there."

He handled 12 or 13 keepers, including a 6-pounder. He broke off one that he didn't see, but he said it "definitely had some weight."

"I have a couple areas where I know the 4-pounders live. The 6 I caught today was really a bonus fish. Even though you're fishing and area that's got them that big, you can't count on catching one."

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

Mike Kernan's 20-07 sack could help him qualify for next month's AOY Championship.

He said he was around a lot of guys who were flipping early in the day, but he was doing something different. He relocated and pulled out his own flipping stick when the sun came out and culled up three times on a 4 1/2-inch Strike King Coffee Tube.

"When I finished flipping my areas I had 25 minutes left (before check-in) and my run back only took me 10 minutes. I went and flipped another place right near the launch and caught a 3 1/2-pounder, so it was a good day, for sure."

"I'll pretty much do the same thing tomorrow, but I don't think I'll spend so much time on that first deal."

4th: Hackney's Action Off and On

> Day 1: 5, 20-05

Hackney's day was dissimilar to some other leaders in that his bites were sporadic and the fish in his areas seemed more finicky than they'd been during practice.

"I had a primary plan, but that didn't work," he said. "I really caught them different today than I did in practice. To me they were really moody, but of course the weather was totally different today."

A 5 1/4-pounder was the biggest of the 10 keepers he boated.

"I had a couple opportunities to really help myself that I lost and I think that stemmed from them just biting different. It'd been like one bit, they'd get it. Today they wouldn't get it as good or maybe not get it at all.

"I did catch two smallmouth, though, and that was the first I'd seen of them all week."

He said he fished around other competitors, but none were doing the same thing he was.

"I'll probably start tomorrow the same way I did this morning, but I'll have to feel the weather out and let the fish tell me what they want. I caught them two or three different ways in practice and I think it's going to be one of those deals where it's going to be different every day.

"To have a chance to win, you're going to have to be able to change."

103rd: Christie got Spun Out

> Day 1: 2, 6-04

Christie had his worst day on the water in quite awhile.

"I started in an area where I thought I could catch big ones and I caught a 3 1/2-pounder, but then I lost like three in a row," he said. "From that point on I fished too fast.

"I wasn't getting a ton of bites in practice – I was just getting what I thought were some better bites. I just felt like I was behind schedule all day long today. I haven't spun out in a long time, but I did that today.

He's determined to have a far better day 2.

"Tomorrow it's personal. I don't think there's a bunch I can change up, so I'll go to a couple of the places I fished today and then go to some new water.

"It's hard to tell here with all the pickerel, but I know I had 10 bites that I should've landed and I landed two. That's not acceptable, but it happens sometimes."

Notable

> Day 1 stats – 106 anglers, 99 limits, 3 fours, 1 three, 3 twos.

> A 6-06 bruiser caught by Powroznik was the biggest fish of day 1.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., Aug. 22 – P.M. T-Storms - 79°/64°
- Wind: From the E at 7 mph

> Sat., Aug. 23 – Showers - 79°/58°
- Wind: From the SE at 7 mph

> Sun., Aug. 24 – Mostly Sunny - 81°/59°
- Wind: From the ESE at 6 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Brandon Palaniuk -- Hayden, ID -- 5, 20-10 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 20-10

2. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, AR -- 5, 20-07 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 20-07

2. Mike Kernan -- Wylie, TX -- 5, 20-07 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 20-07

4. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 5, 20-05 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 20-05

5. Jacob Powroznik -- Port Haywood, VA -- 5, 20-04 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 20-04

5. Casey Scanlon -- Lanexa, KS -- 5, 20-04 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 20-04

7. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 5, 20-02 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 20-02

8. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 5, 19-12 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 19-12

9. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 19-06 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 19-06

10. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, KS -- 5, 19-01 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 19-01

11. Nate Wellman -- Newaygo, MI -- 5, 18-15 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 18-15

12. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 5, 18-11 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 18-11

12. David Walker -- Sevierville, TN -- 5, 18-11 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 18-11

14. Josh Bertrand -- Gilbert, AZ -- 5, 18-09 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 18-09

15. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 5, 18-04 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 18-04

16. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, AR -- 5, 17-12 -- 85
Day 1: 5, 17-12

16. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, OK -- 5, 17-12 -- 85
Day 1: 5, 17-12

18. Marty Robinson -- Lyman, SC -- 5, 17-03 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 17-03

18. Jonathon VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 17-03 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 17-03

20. Paul Elias -- Laurel, MS -- 5, 17-01 -- 81
Day 1: 5, 17-01

21. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, CA -- 5, 17-00 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 17-00

22. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 5, 16-12 -- 79
Day 1: 5, 16-12

23. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 5, 16-05 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 16-05

24. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 5, 16-03 -- 77
Day 1: 5, 16-03

25. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 5, 16-02 -- 76
Day 1: 5, 16-02

26. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 5, 16-01 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 16-01

26. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 5, 16-01 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 16-01

28. James Niggemeyer -- Van, TX -- 5, 15-12 -- 73
Day 1: 5, 15-12

28. Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, CA -- 5, 15-12 -- 73
Day 1: 5, 15-12

30. Derek Remitz -- Grant, AL -- 5, 15-12 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 15-12

31. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 5, 15-11 -- 70
Day 1: 5, 15-11

32. Kevin Hawk -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 15-10 -- 69
Day 1: 5, 15-10

33. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 5, 15-08 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 15-08

34. Michael Iaconelli -- Pitts Grove, NJ -- 5, 15-01 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 15-01

35. Brandon Card -- Caryville, TN -- 5, 14-14 -- 66
Day 1: 5, 14-14

36. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 14-12 -- 65
Day 1: 5, 14-12

37. Russ Lane -- Prattville, AL -- 5, 14-10 -- 64
Day 1: 5, 14-10

37. Morizo Shimizu -- Osaka JAPAN -- 5, 14-10 -- 64
Day 1: 5, 14-10

39. Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, TN -- 5, 14-07 -- 62
Day 1: 5, 14-07

39. Davy Hite -- Ninety Six, SC -- 5, 14-07 -- 62
Day 1: 5, 14-07

41. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 5, 14-06 -- 60
Day 1: 5, 14-06

41. Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, AL -- 5, 14-06 -- 60
Day 1: 5, 14-06

43. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, TX -- 5, 14-05 -- 58
Day 1: 5, 14-05

44. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 14-04 -- 57
Day 1: 5, 14-04

44. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 14-04 -- 57
Day 1: 5, 14-04

46. Chad Morgenthaler -- Coulterville, IL -- 5, 14-02 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 14-02

47. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, FL -- 5, 14-01 -- 54
Day 1: 5, 14-01

48. Boyd Duckett -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 14-00 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 14-00

48. Randall Tharp -- Port Saint Joe, FL -- 5, 14-00 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 14-00

50. Tracy Adams -- Wilkesboro, NC -- 5, 13-15 -- 51
Day 1: 5, 13-15

50. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 5, 13-15 -- 51
Day 1: 5, 13-15

52. J Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, GA -- 5, 13-11 -- 49
Day 1: 5, 13-11

53. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 5, 13-10 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 13-10

54. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, TX -- 5, 13-09 -- 47
Day 1: 5, 13-09

55. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 5, 13-08 -- 46
Day 1: 5, 13-08

56. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 5, 13-07 -- 45
Day 1: 5, 13-07

56. David Mullins -- Mt Carmel, TN -- 5, 13-07 -- 45
Day 1: 5, 13-07

58. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 5, 13-04 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 13-04

58. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 5, 13-04 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 13-04

58. Jeremy Starks -- Scott Depot, WV -- 5, 13-04 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 13-04

61. Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, KY -- 5, 13-03 -- 40
Day 1: 5, 13-03

62. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 5, 12-15 -- 39
Day 1: 5, 12-15

62. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 5, 12-15 -- 39
Day 1: 5, 12-15

64. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 5, 12-14 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 12-14

64. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 5, 12-14 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 12-14

64. Fletcher Shryock -- New Philadelphia, OH -- 5, 12-14 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 12-14

67. Chad Pipkens -- Holt, MI -- 5, 12-12 -- 34
Day 1: 5, 12-12

68. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 5, 12-11 -- 33
Day 1: 5, 12-11

69. Joseph Sancho -- New Windsor, NY -- 5, 12-08 -- 32
Day 1: 5, 12-08

70. Jared Miller -- Norman, OK -- 5, 12-06 -- 31
Day 1: 5, 12-06

71. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, LA -- 5, 12-03 -- 30
Day 1: 5, 12-03

72. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 5, 12-02 -- 29
Day 1: 5, 12-02

73. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 5, 12-01 -- 28
Day 1: 5, 12-01

74. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, AZ -- 5, 11-13 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 11-13

75. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 5, 11-12 -- 26
Day 1: 5, 11-12

75. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 5, 11-12 -- 26
Day 1: 5, 11-12

77. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 5, 11-11 -- 24
Day 1: 5, 11-11

77. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, TX -- 5, 11-11 -- 24
Day 1: 5, 11-11

79. David Smith -- Del City, OK -- 5, 11-09 -- 22
Day 1: 5, 11-09

80. Glenn Browne -- Ocala, FL -- 5, 11-02 -- 21
Day 1: 5, 11-02

81. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 5, 11-01 -- 20
Day 1: 5, 11-01

82. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 5, 10-13 -- 19
Day 1: 5, 10-13

83. Tim Horton -- Muscle Shoals, AL -- 5, 10-11 -- 18
Day 1: 5, 10-11

83. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, AL -- 5, 10-11 -- 18
Day 1: 5, 10-11

85. Byron Velvick -- Boenre, TX -- 5, 10-10 -- 16
Day 1: 5, 10-10

86. Pete Ponds -- Madison, MS -- 5, 10-06 -- 15
Day 1: 5, 10-06

87. Gary Klein -- Weatherford, TX -- 5, 10-05 -- 14
Day 1: 5, 10-05

88. Shaw Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 5, 10-04 -- 13
Day 1: 5, 10-04

89. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, AL -- 5, 10-03 -- 12
Day 1: 5, 10-03

90. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 09-15 -- 11
Day 1: 5, 09-15

91. Jason Williamson -- Aiken, SC -- 5, 09-12 -- 10
Day 1: 5, 09-12

92. Hank Cherry Jr -- Maiden, NC -- 5, 09-08 -- 9
Day 1: 5, 09-08

93. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, AL -- 5, 09-00 -- 8
Day 1: 5, 09-00

94. Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, OH -- 5, 08-15 -- 7
Day 1: 5, 08-15

95. Kenyon Hill -- Norman, OK -- 5, 08-12 -- 6
Day 1: 5, 08-12

96. Trevor Romans -- Plano, TX -- 5, 08-08 -- 5
Day 1: 5, 08-08

97. Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 5, 08-07 -- 4
Day 1: 5, 08-07

98. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, OK -- 5, 08-05 -- 3
Day 1: 5, 08-05

99. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 4, 08-02 -- 2
Day 1: 4, 08-02

100. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 5, 08-01 -- 1
Day 1: 5, 08-01

101. Grant Goldbeck -- Boerne, TX -- 2, 07-05 -- 0
Day 1: 2, 07-05

102. Kelly Jordon -- Palestine, TX -- 4, 06-05 -- 0
Day 1: 4, 06-05

103. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 2, 06-04 -- 0
Day 1: 2, 06-04

104. Boo Woods -- Oneida, KY -- 4, 05-12 -- 0
Day 1: 4, 05-12

105. Joel Baker -- Talala, OK -- 3, 05-11 -- 0
Day 1: 3, 05-11

106. John Murray -- Phoenix, AZ -- 2, 04-11 -- 0
Day 1: 2, 04-11