(Editor's note: The official day-1 press release from this event had to be constructed hastily due to severe weather that was headed for the Lindale, Texas area, and it contained some inaccuracies. Professional Anglers Association president Mark Davis said the team totals listed next to the captains' names on the PAA website were accurate, and those were used for this story. Day-1 photos were not available, also due to weather conditions.)
Alton Jones' team caught the biggest sack of the morning flight and followed it up with a solid afternoon bag to take the lead after day 1 of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Fork.
Russ Lane caught two fish that weighed more than 8 pounds apiece this morning, and he and Kyle Mabry went on to post 48-04 to give Jones' squad the early advantage. Jones and Steve Daniel added 36-04 in the afternoon for an 82-00 total.
David Walker's team was also solid at both ends (45-04, 36-04), and they're 2nd with 81-08. Then there's a 13-pound drop down to Terry Scroggins' 3rd-place team at 68-12 (36-12, 32-00).
Gary Klein's team rebounded from a 17-08 morning to catch 44-08 this afternoon, and they're 4th with 62-00. Luke Clausen's team completes the Top 5 with 56-12 (23-12, 32-00).
Here's the rest of the Top 10, with only the captain's name listed:
6. Chris Baumgardner: 55-08
7. Takahiro Omori: 54-00
8. Chad Morgenthaler: 52-08
9. Morizo Shimizu: 50-12
10. (tie) Kevin VanDam: 50-08
10.. (tie) Jeff Reynolds: 50-08
Winds that blew a steady 15 mph out of the east (and gusted to 25 at times) made it tough to fish unprotected, offshore areas, but some of the leaders still managed to catch some good fish away from the bank. It's predicted to blow from the opposite direction tomorrow, so teams whose best water was unfishable today might fare better, and those that made hay on day 1 might find the going tougher.
Jones' team is fishing both deep and shallow, and the captain thinks they're prepared for any condition that could arise. Walker's squad is on a specific pattern, and the leader is confident it'll work in numerous spots around the lake.
Scroggins team is reliant upon a single school that he said contains hundreds of quality fish. If he hadn't lost a couple of big ones today, his team would be closer to the Top 2.
None of the 40 teams were able to weigh the 20-fish maximum (five per angler). Jones' team weighed 16, Walker's 18 and Scroggins' 17.
For awhile, there was a question as to whether the afternoon flight would occur as the storm front continued to move toward Fork and officials considered shortening the day due to safety concerns. Chad Morgenthaler's team took full advantage of the reprieve with a day-best 49-00 that offset a 3-00 morning and left them in 7th place.
The field will be cut to the Top 5 teams after tomorrow's weigh-in, and all 20 remaining anglers will fish both flights on Sunday.
Jones' Leadoff Crew Connects
Jones said the key to his team's stellar morning was a place Lane had found during practice.
"He knew he had a little sweetspot, but he didn't stay long because he didn't want anybody to see him, and he really didn't know what all was there," he said. "(Lane and Mabry) hit it hard this morning and it was strong, but it's an early bite."
Jones discovered a shallow pattern in practice, and they alternated between that and Lane's deep stuff throughout both flights. "We've got things going both deep and shallow, so that should help us if conditions change."
Jones and Daniel each caught a 6-12 during the afternoon session.
They'll go with the same pairings during the same flights tomorrow.
"It's a lot of fun to have four pros working together when you know they're all telling the truth. Everybody's happy and we haven't had any arguments about boats or anything else.
"Everything worked well, so there's no reason to change it."
2nd: Walker's Lineup Solid
Walker's squad was solid throughout the day: Dan Morehead caught 25 pounds, Joe Thomas 20, Walker 19 and Johnny Lesesne 17.
"Dan and Joe caught them real good in the morning, and they came back and described to us what they were doing," he said. "After that, I knew I had a place I wanted to try, and it panned out. (The fish) were there too."
He thinks tomorrow might be even better.
"I'm really confident that we can get 20 fish. I caught four and Johnny caught four in the 2nd half today, and I was kind of surprised we didn't get more bites.
"Generating a lot of bites seemed to be difficult, but the ones we got were quality. We didn't lose any of them, and that'll usually put you up pretty high."
3rd: Scroggins' School Produces
Scroggins and Chris Daves pounded a big group of fish the captain had found in practice in the morning, and Frank Ippoliti and James Niggemeyer did the same in the afternoon. The result was solid weights all around.
"The conditions weren't really favorable to fish where we did," he said. "Because it was so windy, you couldn't just sit back and stay on them.
"But there's still 200 or 300 fish there, so we'll try to go out and catch some more tomorrow and hopefully make the finals."
He was one fish short of a limit, and he lost two that would've really helped. One was a 7-pounder that spit a Carolina rig and the other was a 4-pounder that threw a crankbait.
He'd hoped to sight-fish for a monster he'd located in practice, but conditions didn't permit it.
"With the clouds and rain and wind, I couldn't see it at all, and I can usually see them as good as anybody."
4th: Klein's Team Confident
Klein's team flipped and pitched for most of the day.
"We're running a real good pattern," he said. "We're not in any specific area, but we're running down certain stretches and we know what we're looking for. We're catching both pre- and post-spawn fish in the 8- to 13-foot zone."
He fished with Clay Dyer in the morning, and Chad Brauer fished with Sandy Melvin in the afternoon. They compiled their weight on just 14 fish.
"The biggest fish we had was a 7-04 that I caught. The rest were all just quality 4- to 6-pounders.
"We're just putting the trolling motor down and fishing, and we're getting a bite about every 20 minutes. If you had the full 8 hours to fish, you could put together a nice bag."
6th: Baumgardner Looking, Fishing
Chris Baumgardner's team caught some sight-fish and picked up some they couldn't see while traveling between beds.
Ray Sedgwick and Terry Segraves fished the morning, and Baumgardner and Rose took the afternoon flight.
"It seemed to work out, so we'll do it the same way tomorrow and hopefully we'll catch them again," he said. "Ray caught them better than anybody (else on the team) today – he got some big bites.
"Mark and I caught them pretty good, but we never got a big one."
He's a bit concerned about the weather forecast for tomorrow.
"When the wind changes directions, the places we fished today might just get hammered."
36th: Changes for Snowden's Crew
Brian Snowden's team will try different pairings tomorrow after catching just 21-12 today. They're in 36th place.
He fished with Luke Estel today, and Curt Lytle fished with Tony Chachere.
"I'll fish with Tony tomorrow and we'll stick to a little deeper water," he said. "Curt and Luke both like to fish shallow, so they can fish together.
"Since this is kind of a fun thing and we didn't catch what we needed (to be in contention), we'll try to get to know each other a little better tomorrow."
He's looking forward to the expected change in wind direction.
"Maybe it'll help us and hurt (the leaders)."
> Walker, who quit fishing the Bassmaster Tour after 2005, has enjoyed the reunion with old friends from that circuit. "It doesn't seem like it's FLW vs. BASS. A lot of these guys I haven't seen for a long time and we'd lost contact, and it's good to be back with them."
> There are 19 teams within 20 pounds of the 5th-place cut spot, which equates to only a pound per fish if a team catches the maximum.
Here's the Weather Channel's forecast for the tournament days.
> Sat, April 14 – Cloudy/Windy – 57°/39°
- Wind: From the NW at 20 mph
> Sun, April 15 – Sunny – 69°/43°
- Wind: From the N/NW at 12 mph
Day 1 Standings
1. Alton Jones, Russ Lane, Steve Daniel, Kyle Mabry (Team 4) -- 82-00
2. David Walker, Dan Morehead, Joe Thomas, Johnny Lesesne (Team 20) -- 81-08
3. Terry Scroggins, Chris Daves, Frank Ippoliti, James Niggemeyer (Team 40) -- 68-12
4. Gary Klein, Chad Brauer, Sandy Melvin, Clay Dyer (Team 36) -- 62-00
5. Luke Clausen, Shaw Grigsby, Sean Hoernke, Tim Dungan (Team 27) -- 56-12
6. Chris Baumgardner, Terry Segraves, Ray Sedgwick, Mark Rose (Team 14) -- 55-08
7. Takahiro Omori, Charlie Weyer, Glen Chappelear, Gerry Gostenik (Team 29) -- 54-00
8. Chad Morgenthaler, Mike Hawkes, David Dudley, Darryl Burkhardt (Team 28) -- 52-08
9. Morizo Shimizu, Cliff Pace, Brad Wall, Rick Ash (Team 10) -- 50-12
10. Kevin VanDam, Matt Reed, Dave Lefebre, Theron Caldwell (Team 24) -- 50-08
10. Jeff Reynolds, Bobby Lane, Keith Williams, Jason Reyes (Team 25) -- 50-08
12. Mike Wurm, Mark Tyler, Pete Gluszek, Travis Loyd (Team 16) -- 50-04
13. Andy Morgan, Bradley Stringer, Danny Correia, Mark Burgess (Team 18) -- 50-00
14. Peter Thliveros, Scott Suggs, Tim Carroll, Randy Alexander (Team 7) -- 49-12
15. Kelly Jordon, Ray Scheide, Woo Daves, Ben Matsubu (Team 32) -- 49-04
16. Dean Rojas, Yuzuke Miyazaki, Elton Luce Jr., Chuck Economou (Team 15) -- 48-08
17. Jay Yelas, Randy Blaukat, Jimmy Mason, Shawn Hagler (Team 11) -- 46-12
18. Randy Howell, Mike O'Shea, Bud Pruitt, Chip Hawkins (Team 17) -- 46-08
19. Bernie Schultz, Terry Butcher, Marcel Veenstra, Mark Rizk (Team 23) -- 46-00
20. Charlie Hartley, Tom Mann Jr., Doug Garrett, Robert Collett (Team 3) -- 43-00
21. Tommy Biffle, Clark Wendlandt, David Fritts, Randy Dearman (Team 22) -- 42-12
22. Larry Nixon, Paul Elias, Randy Yarnall, Dalton Bobo (Team 13) -- 42-04
23. Zell Rowland, Mark Davis, Wes Thomas, Chris Bielert (Team 26) -- 40-08
24. Aaron Martens, Pete Ponds, Todd Auten, Glen Delong II (Team 12) -- 39-04
25. Denny Brauer, Matt Herren, Jon Bondy, Sam Swett (Team 33) -- 35-04
26. Dave Wolak, Gary Yamamoto, Les Phelps, Mary DeVincenti (Team 1) -- 33-12
27. John Crews Jr., Kevin Short, John Sappington, O. T. Fears III (Team 34) -- 32-12
28. Todd Faircloth, Anthony Gagliardi, Jeff Connella, Vince Hurtado (Team 21) -- 31-04
29. Edwin Evers, Ron Shuffield, Brooks Rogers, Tommy Stiles (Team 30) -- 31-00
30. Art Ferguson III, David Wharton, Jonathan Newton, Cody Bird (Team 37) -- 30-12
31. Mike Iaconelli, Mark Menendez, Dave Mansue, Frank Lannom (Team 2) -- 29-08
32. Mike McCelland, Rick Morris, Dave Smith, Micah Sepko (Team 5) -- 29-00
32. Guy Eaker, Ish Monroe, Tommy Martin, Tim Loper (Team 35) -- 29-00
34. Kevin Wirth, Frank Scalish, Kurt Dove, Rich Tauber (Team 6) -- 28-00
34. Jeff Kriet, Jimmy Mize, Darren Schwenkbeck, Tony DaDante (Team 19) -- 28-00
36. Brian Snowden, Curt Lytle, Luke Estel, Tony Chachere (Team 31) -- 21-12
37. Tim Horton, Mark Tucker, Jerry Williams, Brian Penso (Team 38) -- 16-00
38. Lee Bailey Jr., Terry Baksay, Roger Boler, Charlie Ingram (Team 9) -- 20-04
39. Jason Quinn, Ken Cook, Kevin Lasyone, Homer Humphreys (Team 39) -- 15-12
40. Brent Chapman, Paul Hirosky, Jack Wade, Harold Allen (Team 8) -- 13-08