Remains Steady, Takes Lead on Tough, Rainy Day Two at 2009
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – (Feb. 21, 2009) – With rain
falling mid-afternoon and temperatures dropping Saturday, Jami
Fralick of Martin, S.D., stayed as cool as the water around him to
move up from second place into the lead on Day Two of the 39th
Bassmaster Classic on the Red River.
Fralick’s two-day total of 38 pounds, 9 ounces gave him a thin
cushion of 8 ounces over 2007 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the
Year Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif. Reese moved up from 13th place,
thanks to his Saturday bag, a five-fish limit of 22 pounds, 9 ounces
that gave him 38-1 overall.
Only the top 25 contenders advanced to Day Three and will compete
for the $500,000 top prize. Adding to the suspense of Sunday’s final
round of competition, the record overall weight at a Bassmaster
Classic – 56 pounds, 2 ounces – could fall.
Fralick, who qualified for his second Classic via the Bassmaster
Central Open division, has been flipping a jig around grass and
laydowns in one location. He credited his success in part to the
fact that he fishes the Red River regularly, second only to his home
waters in South Dakota, becoming quite comfortable on the Red’s Port
Lake in particular.
“I really just try to keep everything on a pretty even keel,”
Fralick said. “I didn’t approach this tournament any differently
than I approach any other.”
While Fralick enjoyed relative solitude in his spot Friday, a few
more anglers arrived Saturday. With the field cut to 25 for the
final day of competition, he said he felt sure he would have to
share Sunday only with Brian Snowden of Reeds Spring, Mo., who is in
sixth with 34 pounds, 13 ounces.
Reese’s Saturday haul – caught on a white Lucky Craft Redemption
spinnerbait – was just shy of being the big bag of the day, an honor
that went to fellow Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Ashley of
Donalds, S.C., with a 22-11 haul.
“I had a game plan and it somewhat paid off a little bit better than
I anticipated today. What’s going to happen tomorrow with this cold
front is a whole other story,” Reese said. “I made an adjustment in
some water and actually fished where I was supposed to be fishing,
the really pretty water where the bass really were. I caught them
and thought, well, why didn’t I fish here yesterday?”
As Day One leader, 2007 Classic champ Boyd Duckett of Demopolis,
Ala., and several other front-runners struggled, Edwin Evers of
Talala, Okla. (36-3), Kelly Jordon of Mineola, Texas (35-15) and
Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala. (35-10), remained consistent,
capitalizing on an aggressive bite that Martens called a “rampage.”
“These fish, when they get a cold snap like this, they go on a
feeding binge,” Martens said. “The conditions aren’t right for
spawning, so they go ahead and start feeding again. If you were on
them today, they were biting aggressively.”
Martens added that the bite would stay strong regardless of the
changing weather conditions. Sunday’s temperature forecast for
Sunday’s 7:15 a.m. launch was in the low 30s.
“The weather before we got here was really, really warm,” Evers
said. “Air temperature changes a lot more quickly than water
temperature, so what’s really changing for our bodies is not
changing the water like you think it would.”
Most of the top five anglers believe a bag of 20 pounds or more will
“Somebody’s going to bring in 20 pounds tomorrow,” Fralick said.
“This place just has a bunch of 4-pound class fish in it.”
Added Reese: “I think this tournament is going to be won in the last
The 2008 Toyota Tundra Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year
Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., who made history Friday in
becoming the first woman to fish the Bassmaster Classic, finished
the tournament in 47th place with a two-day total of 12 pounds, 2
The 2008 Classic Champion, Alton Jones of Waco, Texas, made the cut
in 21st place with 26-1 overall, while two-time Classic champion
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., the 2008 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster
Angler of the Year, finished 30th with 23-11. Bassmaster Elite
Series pro Timmy Horton of Muscle Shoals, Ala., withdrew from the
competition at the start of Day Two because of illness.
The public is invited to attend the final launch and weigh-in and
witness the crowning of the 2009 Classic champion.
The 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 Sunday at 3:30 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.
Sponsors of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic: Toyota Trucks, Berkley,
BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries,
Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.
For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With
its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament
trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans.
Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS
Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive Web properties
in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is
committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally,
television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant
content – from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage –
to passionate audiences.
The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament
trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens,
Women’s Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate
celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network,
the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events
BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000
members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues
related to conservation and water access. The organization is
headquartered in Celebration, Fla.
Courtesy of BASS Inc.