By BassFan Staff

The fishing wasn't nearly as fast and furious as it was in practice, but the day-1 results at the Lake Dardanelle Bassmaster Elite Series seem to portray a lake that is going to give up some weight this week no matter what conditions are thrown at it.

And so far, it's seen just about everything.

After rainy, windy conditions muddied up the lake and had the water level fluctuating up and down earlier this week, a cold front and full moon Wednesday night had some wondering what impact this latest twist would have on the opening day of the fifth event of the season.

Virginian John Crews seemed unaffected as he bagged 22-09 to grab the day-1 lead. He's less than a pound ahead of Greg Hackney, who feels right at home in the dingy water conditions after catching 21-13.

Grant Goldbeck, who's made one 50-cut this year, was the other angler to crack the 20-pound plateau. He's 3rd with 20-01. Keith Combs, fresh off a third Toyota Texas Bass Classic victory last weekend, is locked in a tie for 4th with Jason Williamson with 19-14.

Here's a look at the Top 12 after 1 day of competition, with deficit margin from Crews indicated by red numbers in parentheses:

1. John Crews: 22-09
2. Greg Hackney: 21-13 (00-12)
3. Grant Goldbeck: 20-01 (2-08)
4 (tie). Keith Combs: 19-14 (2-11)
4 (tie). Jason Williamson: 19-14 (2-11)
6. Keith Poche: 19-09 (3-00)
7. Andy Montgomery: 19-07 (3-02)
8. James Niggemeyer: 19-00 (3-09)
9. Gerald Swindle: 18-12 (3-13)
10. Boo Woods: 18-08 (4-01)
11. Rick Clunn: 18-05 (4-04)
12. Chad Morgenthaler: 18-02 (4-07)

While the lake kicked out some solid weights, it wasn't kind to everybody, including those at the top of the Toyota Tundra B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year (AOY) points standings. Mark Davis, who's chasing his fourth career AOY title, caught 13-13 and is in 64th place, his lowest placement after any day of Elite Series competition since last season.

Jared Lintner, who trailed Davis by 42 points entering the event, is 69th after catching 13-05. Kevin VanDam, who has several Top-10 finishes at Dardanelle throughout his career, caught 11-01 and found himself in 94th after day 1.

If the day-1 weights hold up through day 2, it'll take nearly 30 pounds to earn a check (50th place) at a lake that some say is fishing small so far. The water temperatures dropped as much as 10 degrees since Tuesday in some places while the dirty waters seems to have the fish holding tight to bank cover, which will favor the flipping bite should those conditions prevail through the weekend.

The forecast for Friday is for sunny skies in the morning and partly cloudy conditions in the afternoon with temperatures reaching 71 and winds light and variable.

The Top 50 anglers after Friday's round will advance to Saturday. The field will be pared to 12 for Sunday, when the winner will be determined by highest cumulative weight.

Crews Picked Up Some Clues

> Day 1: 5, 22-09

Crews was coming off what he called a "fair practice" and felt like he could catch decent bags to start the event.

"I didn't know I'd catch the fish I caught today," he said. "It was spread out over most of the day. I think I got a little clued in as to what I'm looking for, though."

He said the colder morning air temps didn't seem to affect the fish and the water level seemed to remain mostly stable from yesterday.

"It hasn't gone more than a foot either way, so it wasn't a huge deal," he added.

He landed 15 keepers and was able to eliminate some water, but may have discovered a stretch that will be worth revisiting.

"I fished a bunch of water I didn't practice on and I didn't hit some stuff that I'd planned on hitting," he said. "It's not that was it was as good as what I fished today, but I just didn't go to it."

He said he caught his fish mostly in shallow water and has a couple baits that were key.

"In the clearest water, you can see maybe 6 inches so it's not rocket science that it'll be a shallow-water deal," he said. "I fished one stretch that I got some bites on in practice and then I caught one at the end of the stretch. I turned around and went back through it and caught three more and that clued me into what I needed to be doing.

"I'm not locked into anything. A couple of things have been consistent since Monday. It's just a matter of where you do it."

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

Greg Hackney plans to mix up his timing on day 2.

2nd: Quality, not Quantity for Hackney

> Day 1: 5, 21-13

Hackney was without a keeper until 9 this morning, but once he broke his dry spell he picked off quality bites all over the lake fishing "the way I like to fish."

He said he didn't catch near the number of fish he'd been catching in practice. The beefier fish were a good tradeoff, though.

"I had a slow start this morning and it still wasn't wide open, but I just got some quality bites," he said. "They'd really been biting better than they did today. If you look at the weights, they're about what I thought they'd be when they were biting like they were in practice."

He sensed the conditions may have repositioned some of the fish.

"It seemed a lot slower to me," he said. "I fished through three areas I had a lot of confidence in and didn't catch a single keeper. I went to some other stuff and while I didn't catch the numbers, I caught some good ones."

Tomorrow, he'll plan to alter his timing on a few places.

"I was running all over today and practice was so good, I was getting bit everywhere," he said. "I'm going to start in an area I didn't fish today. This morning, the places I ran to early I didn't catching anything so I'm going to go somewhere else and change up when I hit those spots."

3rd: Great Morning for Goldbeck

> Day 1: 5, 20-01

A scouting trip to Dardanelle before it went off limits seems to have paid off for Goldbeck.

"I came here for a couple days after Table Rock and I feel like I understand the lake a little more now," he said. "Not that I have it all figured out, but I love river fishing having grown up fishing the Potomac."

He caught three 3-pounders in the first 45 minutes this morning "doing something a lot different," he said.

He then transitioned to an area where he'd shook off some decent fish in practice and within 20 minutes he caught a 5-12 kicker and a 4 1/2-pounder. He culled up for a couple ounces later on, but used the balance of his day as another practice day.

"I just run-and-gunned all over the lake hoping to find stuff for multiple days," he said. "I think I figured out some more stuff."

He's hoping to get some traction early again tomorrow as he tries to stay in contention for the lead.

"I'm going to go to the meat first thing and see what I can do," he said. "I have some other stuff that's almost identical to it so I hope it's enough to keep me in it. I feel really good about tomorrow. I have high hopes that I can catch a bag in the high teens."

4th (tie): Combs Caught 'Em Everywhere

> Day 1: 5, 19-14

Combs said he's had to adjust his concept of what's a big fish this week coming off his win at Lake Fork last weekend, where he caught 110 pounds over 3 days.

"I had an awesome day today, but everything looks small," he laughed. "I'm throwing a pretty good-sized bait, too, but nothing like I was throwing last week. Dardanelle is fishing well right now."

He said today was his best day of the week, but he wasn't able to pinpoint a reason for it.

"I just caught better fish than I'd been catching," he said. "I just don't know if I can keep catching the same quality. I would think that with the current the stuff would replenish but any time you're dealing with current, timing is so critical.

"I know I fished areas today that other good anglers had already fished so I think I just timed it right. I guess if I timed it right again, I could bust another big bag, but the odds of doing it 4 days in a row are pretty slim."

He had a limit fairly quickly, then ran into a few bigger bites, including a 5-05 kicker and another in the 4-pound class.

"I hit about 10 areas and caught them everywhere," he said. "You can do a lot of things to catch fish right now. I would like to double back through some areas and then go from there tomorrow."

4th (tie): Williamson Happy With Start

> Day 1: 5, 19-14

Williamson said the lake seemed to fish small today, but he was really happy with his outcome.

"Practice wasn't that great for me," he said. "I shook some off in some areas, but it turns out they were good ones. It looks like a majority of guys are catching them up shallow. It'll be interesting to see what the weights will be tomorrow."

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

Jason Williamson had to weed through a lot of fish to catch his weight today.

He started the day with 12 rods on his front deck, but eventually narrowed his choices to six.

"I have a bait a lot of guys aren't throwing and I'm excited about that part," he said. "It's not hard to get bit. It's just hard to catch the big ones. I'm not really running a pattern where the big fish are. I'm weeding through a bunch of fish to get to where the big ones are."

He said he caught fish off wood, in grass and off rock today. A 5-04 kicker anchored his bag.

"These fish are pulled up with the water temp in the mid-60s," he said. "There are still some pre-spawners out there, but the majority are post-spawn."

6th: Poche Pleased

> Day 1: 5, 19-09

Keith Poche wasn't quite sure what to expect having never fished Dardanelle, but so far he likes what he's seen.

"It's been different every day," he said. "I had bites in different areas throughout practice and today I got bit in places I didn't get bit in during practice and vice versa. I went through some new areas and caught some good fish that helped me. I just kept circling around and caught some good ones.

"Timing was a big deal today, especially with the cold weather and all the mud passing through. I just happened to pull into some places when the big ones were there."

He figured he caught 10 keepers, well off what he'd been catching in practice, but his better fish came in the afternoon.

"I didn't whack a bunch of fish and I wasn't getting as many bites as I did in practice," he said. "At first, that was a little frustrating. I tried to stay focused and keep my confidence up in the areas I was in. I thought about scrapping what I was doing and go do something else, but I hung tough and it worked out."

He said one of the areas he was in had a slew of Elite Series boats in it.

"A lot of the guys who had a good day are fishing the stuff and the same area," he said. "We're all going behind each other and that goes back to it being a timing deal and pulling up on a stretch when those fish are there. There's a lot of pressure on these fish, though."

62nd: Short Hoping to Bounce Back

> Day 1: 5, 13-15

Kevin Short was hoping for a better day in his return to competition after he missed the Toledo Bend tournament.

"I didn't have a bad day," he said. "I caught a lot of fish, but I only got one good bite. I just needed four more like that one. I might've moved around too much trying to make those bites happen instead of letting them come to me. That's all hindsight, though, so we'll see what the weather and water level will do tomorrow and try to pay more attention to what's going on."

The first spot he went to today he noticed the water temperature had dropped 10 degrees since the last time he was there on Tuesday. The colder weather today seemed to helped the flipping bite, he said.

"It was a relatively shallow area and that had the shad turned off and it pushed them right down to the bottom," he said. "My main goal going out this morning was to focus on fishing and not get left too far behind. I've never won a 4-day tournament on the first day, but I sure have lost some. I really wanted to have 17 or 18 pounds. I just didn't get enough of those bites."

Notable

> Day 1 stats – 107 anglers, 102 limits, 1 fours, 1 threes, 2 twos, 1 ones.

> Chris Lane caught three fish for 8-09 while fishing out of a borrowed boat after his boat was found on fire in his hotel parking lot early Thursday morning. To read more about Lane's ordeal, click here.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., May 16 – Mostly Cloudy - 73°/47°
- Wind: From the NNW at 5 to 10 mph

> Sat., May 17 – Partly Cloudy - 70°/52°
- Wind: From the ENE at 5 to 10 mph

> Sun., May 18 – Partly Cloudy - 66°/57°
- Wind: From the E at 5 to 10 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. John Crews -- Salem, VA -- 5, 22-09 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 22-09

2. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 5, 21-13 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 21-13

3. Grant Goldbeck -- Boerne, TX -- 5, 20-01 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 20-01

4. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 5, 19-14 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 19-14

4. Jason Williamson -- Aiken, SC -- 5, 19-14 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 19-14

6. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 5, 19-09 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 19-09

7. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 5, 19-07 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 19-07

8. James Niggemeyer -- Van, TX -- 5, 19-00 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 19-00

9. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, AL -- 5, 18-12 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 18-12

10. Boo Woods -- Oneida, KY -- 5, 18-08 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 18-08

11. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 5, 18-05 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 18-05

12. Chad Morgenthaler -- Coulterville, IL -- 5, 18-02 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 18-02

13. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, OK -- 5, 17-11 -- 88
Day 1: 5, 17-11

14. Chris Zaldain -- San Jose, CA -- 5, 17-09 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 17-09

15. Matt Herren -- Trussville, AL -- 5, 17-08 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 17-08

16. David Walker -- Sevierville, TN -- 5, 17-07 -- 85
Day 1: 5, 17-07

17. Joel Baker -- Talala, OK -- 5, 17-04 -- 84
Day 1: 5, 17-04

17. Bradley Roy -- Lancaster, KY -- 5, 17-04 -- 84
Day 1: 5, 17-04

19. Pete Ponds -- Madison, MS -- 5, 17-01 -- 82
Day 1: 5, 17-01

20. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 16-15 -- 81
Day 1: 5, 16-15

21. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 5, 16-14 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 16-14

22. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 5, 16-13 -- 79
Day 1: 5, 16-13

23. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 5, 16-12 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 16-12

24. Randy Howell -- Springville, AL -- 5, 16-10 -- 77
Day 1: 5, 16-10

25. Casey Scanlon -- Lanexa, KS -- 5, 16-08 -- 76
Day 1: 5, 16-08

26. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 5, 16-07 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 16-07

27. Jeremy Starks -- Scott Depot, WV -- 5, 16-04 -- 74
Day 1: 5, 16-04

28. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 5, 16-03 -- 73
Day 1: 5, 16-03

29. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, TX -- 5, 16-01 -- 72
Day 1: 5, 16-01

30. Tracy Adams -- Wilkesboro, NC -- 5, 16-00 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 16-00

30. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 16-00 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 16-00

30. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, TX -- 5, 16-00 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 16-00

33. John Murray -- Phoenix, AZ -- 5, 15-15 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 15-15

33. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 5, 15-15 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 15-15

35. Brandon Card -- Caryville, TN -- 5, 15-13 -- 66
Day 1: 5, 15-13

35. Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 5, 15-13 -- 66
Day 1: 5, 15-13

37. Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, OK -- 5, 15-12 -- 64
Day 1: 5, 15-12

38. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 5, 15-11 -- 63
Day 1: 5, 15-11

39. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 5, 15-10 -- 62
Day 1: 5, 15-10

40. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, OK -- 5, 15-08 -- 61
Day 1: 5, 15-08

40. Fletcher Shryock -- New Philadelphia, OH -- 5, 15-08 -- 61
Day 1: 5, 15-08

42. Hank Cherry Jr -- Maiden, NC -- 5, 15-07 -- 59
Day 1: 5, 15-07

43. Kevin Hawk -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 15-06 -- 58
Day 1: 5, 15-06

43. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 5, 15-06 -- 58
Day 1: 5, 15-06

45. Marty Robinson -- Lyman, SC -- 5, 15-05 -- 56
Day 1: 5, 15-05

46. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 5, 15-03 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 15-03

46. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, AL -- 5, 15-03 -- 55
Day 1: 5, 15-03

48. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, AZ -- 5, 15-00 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 15-00

48. Jacob Powroznik -- Port Haywood, VA -- 5, 15-00 -- 53
Day 1: 5, 15-00

50. Tim Horton -- Muscle Shoals, AL -- 5, 14-14 -- 51
Day 1: 5, 14-14

50. Brandon Palaniuk -- Hayden, ID -- 5, 14-14 -- 51
Day 1: 5, 14-14

52. Nate Wellman -- Newaygo, MI -- 5, 14-13 -- 49
Day 1: 5, 14-13

53. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 5, 14-12 -- 48
Day 1: 5, 14-12

54. Paul Elias -- Laurel, MS -- 5, 14-09 -- 47
Day 1: 5, 14-09

55. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 5, 14-03 -- 46
Day 1: 5, 14-03

55. Morizo Shimizu -- Osaka JAPAN -- 5, 14-03 -- 46
Day 1: 5, 14-03

57. Chad Pipkens -- Holt, MI -- 5, 14-02 -- 44
Day 1: 5, 14-02

58. David Mullins -- Mt Carmel, TN -- 5, 14-01 -- 43
Day 1: 5, 14-01

59. Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, OH -- 5, 14-00 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 14-00

59. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 5, 14-00 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 14-00

59. Kelly Jordon -- Palestine, TX -- 5, 14-00 -- 42
Day 1: 5, 14-00

62. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 5, 13-15 -- 39
Day 1: 5, 13-15

62. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, AR -- 5, 13-15 -- 39
Day 1: 5, 13-15

64. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, AR -- 5, 13-13 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 13-13

64. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 5, 13-13 -- 37
Day 1: 5, 13-13

66. Gary Klein -- Weatherford, TX -- 5, 13-12 -- 35
Day 1: 5, 13-12

67. Jonathon VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 13-07 -- 34
Day 1: 5, 13-07

68. Davy Hite -- Ninety Six, SC -- 5, 13-06 -- 33
Day 1: 5, 13-06

69. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, CA -- 5, 13-05 -- 32
Day 1: 5, 13-05

70. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 5, 13-04 -- 31
Day 1: 5, 13-04

71. Russ Lane -- Prattville, AL -- 5, 13-03 -- 30
Day 1: 5, 13-03

72. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 5, 13-02 -- 29
Day 1: 5, 13-02

73. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 5, 13-01 -- 28
Day 1: 5, 13-01

74. Josh Bertrand -- Gilbert, AZ -- 5, 12-14 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 12-14

74. Michael Simonton -- Fremont, OH -- 5, 12-14 -- 27
Day 1: 5, 12-14

76. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, AL -- 5, 12-13 -- 25
Day 1: 5, 12-13

76. Derek Remitz -- Grant, AL -- 5, 12-13 -- 25
Day 1: 5, 12-13

76. J Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, GA -- 5, 12-13 -- 25
Day 1: 5, 12-13

79. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 5, 12-10 -- 22
Day 1: 5, 12-10

80. Michael Iaconelli -- Pitts Grove, NJ -- 5, 12-09 -- 21
Day 1: 5, 12-09

80. Jared Miller -- Norman, OK -- 5, 12-09 -- 21
Day 1: 5, 12-09

82. Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, TN -- 5, 12-05 -- 19
Day 1: 5, 12-05

83. Glenn Browne -- Ocala, FL -- 5, 12-01 -- 18
Day 1: 5, 12-01

83. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 5, 12-01 -- 18
Day 1: 5, 12-01

85. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, LA -- 5, 11-15 -- 16
Day 1: 5, 11-15

86. Boyd Duckett -- Guntersville, AL -- 5, 11-14 -- 15
Day 1: 5, 11-14

87. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, TX -- 5, 11-12 -- 14
Day 1: 5, 11-12

88. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, TX -- 5, 11-10 -- 13
Day 1: 5, 11-10

89. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 5, 11-07 -- 12
Day 1: 5, 11-07

90. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 5, 11-04 -- 11
Day 1: 5, 11-04

90. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, AR -- 5, 11-04 -- 11
Day 1: 5, 11-04

90. Randall Tharp -- Port Saint Joe, FL -- 5, 11-04 -- 11
Day 1: 5, 11-04

93. Shaw Grigsby Jr. Gainesville, FL -- 5, 11-03 -- 8
Day 1: 5, 11-03

94. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, MI -- 5, 11-01 -- 7
Day 1: 5, 11-01

95. Byron Velvick -- Boenre, TX -- 5, 10-09 -- 6
Day 1: 5, 10-09

96. Trevor Romans -- Plano, TX -- 5, 10-02 -- 5
Day 1: 5, 10-02

97. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 4, 09-15 -- 4
Day 1: 4, 09-15

98. Greg Vinson -- Wetumpka, AL -- 5, 09-14 -- 3
Day 1: 5, 09-14

99. David Smith -- Del City, OK -- 5, 09-13 -- 2
Day 1: 5, 09-13

100. Kenyon Hill -- Norman, OK -- 5, 09-11 -- 1
Day 1: 5, 09-11

101. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 5, 09-10 -- 0
Day 1: 5, 09-10

102. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 5, 09-06 -- 0
Day 1: 5, 09-06

103. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, KS -- 5, 08-14 -- 0
Day 1: 5, 08-14

104. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 3, 08-09 -- 0
Day 1: 3, 08-09

105. Joseph Sancho -- New Windsor, NY -- 2, 06-06 -- 0
Day 1: 2, 06-06

106. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, FL -- 2, 03-07 -- 0
Day 1: 2, 03-07

107. Mike Kernan -- Wylie, TX -- 1, 02-03 -- 0
Day 1: 1, 02-03