Rides Lucky Charm to Day One Lead at 2009 Bassmaster Classic
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – (Feb. 20, 2009) – After a
jolt of frost at Friday morning’s launch for Day One of the 39th
Bassmaster Classic, 51 competitors settled into their strategies for
big bass on the Red River, but only one of them came back with
20-plus pounds. Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Ala., the 2007 Bassmaster
Classic champion, racked up a five-fish limit of 20 pounds, 3 ounces
to take the lead on Day One in the three-day Super Bowl of bass
The 2009 Bassmaster Classic kicked off with temperatures in the low
30s as the crowd started gathering at Red River South Marina before
5 a.m. CT for the 7:15 a.m. launch. The early birds were greeted
with a live broadcast of Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio
and ESPN2 from the docks with host Mike Golic and occasional co-host
Duckett, who used a LaserLure crankbait and a pitching bait all day,
edged fellow Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jami Fralick of Martin,
S.D., by 1 pound. Fralick brought in a limit weighing 19-3, while
Elite pros Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Okla., (18-4) and Aaron Martens
of Leeds, Ala., (18-1) finished third and fourth, respectively. BASS
Federation Nation qualifier Terry Fitzpatrick of Waukon, Iowa,
rounded out the top five, weighing in a limit at 18-0.
Martens had the big bass of the day, a 7-pound, 1-ounce largemouth.
Duckett, known for wearing bright red shoes during competition
because he considers them lucky, might’ve gotten his hot start
because of a lucky four-leaf clover charm his mother overnighted to
him from Austin, Texas, or it might have been that he camped out for
the day in two locations.
“You can’t really do a whole lot of running here, it takes so long
to get back,” said Duckett, who won the Classic on his home waters
two years ago on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Ala.
Unlike Duckett and Roumbanis, Fralick, who’s fishing one spot with a
jig around grass and laydowns, spent most of his day without
company. He had a limit before 9 a.m. and culled out two smaller
fish before noon.
“I think the whole thing is just the area that I’m fishing,” Fralick
said. “It’s not getting pressure, so the fish are aggressive.”
Fralick, who battled down to the wire in the Bassmaster Central Open
division to qualify for the Classic, said the excitement of fishing
his second Classic was enough to keep him anxious about the
overnight wait for the Day Two launch.
Saturday’s forecast includes a high chance of rain around noon.
“I don’t think the rain will matter,” Duckett said. “It’ll probably
make them swim some, and they were pretty stuck to the stumps today,
so I’ll probably catch more on my crankbait than I do on my pitching
Fralick said Friday’s early morning wind helped his bite, and an
overcast Day Two could help even more.
“In the half hour when the wind laid down, I didn’t get bit,” he
said. “So on a cloudy, windy day, they may really bite.”
Duckett said spectator boat traffic compounded the challenges of
fishing the Red River.
“You can’t catch a fish around the spectator boats,” Duckett said.
“If it made a difference, I trolled away from them today. That’s
probably going to play into things tomorrow. Back in these stump
fields, all that banging and knocking around hurts, so we’re going
to have to make some changes tomorrow.”
Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., who made history Friday in
becoming the first woman to fish the Bassmaster Classic, ended Day
One in 46th place with two fish and an overall weight of 3 pounds, 6
Two-time Classic champion Kevin VanDam, the 2008 Toyota Tundra
Bassmaster Angler of the Year, was in 45th place after weighing in
four fish for a total of 4-4. Alton Jones, the 2008 Bassmaster
Classic champion, was 22nd with a limit weighing 13-5.
The public is invited to attend all launches and weigh-ins and
witness the crowning of the 2009 Classic champion, who will claim a
first-place prize of $500,000 on Sunday. The total Classic payout is
Daily launches presented by the Red River Waterway Commission are
set for 7:15 a.m. at the Red River South Marina, Highway 71 South in
Bossier City. The daily weigh-ins will be at the CenturyTel Center,
2000 CenturyTel Center Drive, Bossier City. CenturyTel’s doors will
open at 3:30 p.m., except on Saturday, Feb. 21, when a free concert
by Zac Brown Band will begin at 3 p.m.
The 2009 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s
Sporting Goods continues at the Shreveport Convention Center, 400
Caddo St. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public.
ESPN2, ESPN360.com and Bassmaster.com are providing extensive
coverage of the three-day competition. ESPN Classic will feature
five hours of Bassmaster Classic specials Sunday, Feb. 22, starting
at 1 p.m. ET. Schedules are posted at www.Bassmaster.com.
Courtesy of BASS Inc.