DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

BRANDON PALANIUK LEADS AFTER DAY ONE AT La CROSSE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 06/20/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush - Photos by Dave Rush

La Crosse, WI – It didn’t take long to establish a day one leader at the Elite Series tournament on the Mississippi River. Brandon Palaniuk was the first angler to cross the stage in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and he never relinquished his lead. With a limit of four smallmouth and one largemouth weighing 18-4, the Idaho pro opened up a lead of over two pounds over his closest pursuer. 

Kevin Hawk finished the day in 2nd place with an even 16 pounds.  The 2010 Forrest Wood Cup champion and 2013 Elite Series rookie turned a potentially bad situation into a positive, as he caught the majority of his limit while he was waiting for a barge to pass through the lock.  

John Crews was the only other angler in the field to break the 15 pound mark, ending the day in 3rd place with a limit weighing 15-7.   Cliff Pirch finished in 4th with 14-11, and Brandon Card rounded out the top five with 14-9.  

Overall, 74 anglers crossed the stage with a limit, and 79 anglers broke the 10 pound mark on Thursday.  The weights are closely grouped together, as 20th and 60th place are separated by just two pounds.  

The 5 Day One Facts from the Mississippi River: 
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (June 20-23)
Location:  Mississippi River – La Crosse, Wisconsin   
Leader/weight:  Brandon Palaniuk (18-4)
50th place weight: (Tie) Ish Monroe (12-2), (Tie) Rick Morris (12-2)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place: 4-0

1st Place: Brandon Palaniuk (18-4)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“Practice was not good for me.  I’d caught some big fish during practice, but I never got on anything solid.  I still felt like I was going to catch them.   I felt like the fish that I was fishing for were going to bite today.  I don’t really know how to explain it other than to say that I had confidence that I was going to catch fish for some reason.”  

Brandon PalaniukHow would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I fished a bunch of new water and culled fish from new water today.  I think that I’m doing something a little bit different than most of the guys, but I’m sure there are a few others doing it.  If I can keep that deal to myself and it if it pans out, I think that I’ll have a shot at winning.  

“I caught fish all day long and I had four smallmouth today and one largemouth today.   I think that I culled seven times over the course of the day, and all of the fish that I weighed-in today were between 3 ½ to 4 pounders. The biggest fish that I had today were all smallmouth.  I knew that I had to at least get to the 13 pound mark, so getting two or three big bites here goes a long way."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I fished a new area today and I ended up catching a bonus largemouth that I weighed-in.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“There really wasn’t a challenging aspect to the day today because what I had planned to do worked out.  The most surprising deal was probably catching the largemouth that I weighed-in.  It was in a new area that I hadn’t fished.  I was just pre-fishing and I ended up getting a big bite.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I put everything that I hooked in the boat today with the exception of a few pike and mudfish.” 

2nd Place: Kevin Hawk (16-0)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I knew that I was going into an area where there wasn’t a big concentration of fish, so I knew that I would probably be fishing for a total of five to eight bites.  I was hoping to execute on all of them.  Luckily, I did just that and I had five big bites.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I locked through first thing this morning, and I caught one keeper right before I went into the lock.  I locked through and fished for an hour and a half and didn’t catch anything.  I decided to lock back, and I ran all the way back to the lock only to find a barge sitting in the lock. 

“I turned around and went back to my area and caught one right away that was close to 4 pounds.  I decided to stay there and see what happened, and I averaged about one bite an hour after that.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key moment to my day was the fact that there was a barge in the lock.  If it hadn’t been there, I would have locked back through instead of returning to the area where I caught my fish.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was really surprised that I didn’t get any frog bites.  I had several good bites in practice, but I only had one blowup today.  The fish hit it four times and I finally hooked it, but it came off at the boat after I had it pegged for a while.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“Other than getting a little nervous this morning and trying to jump ship after I had locked through, I settled down after I caught my first good keeper.  I ran through my areas a little quickly in the morning.  Once I realized that I was fishing too fast, I would just pick up and put down my Power-Poles every 20 feet and fish very methodically.”

3rd Place: John Crews (15-7)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t set the hook a whole lot during practice.  I caught some fish, but I felt like I had found some areas that were pretty decent.  I really didn’t know what they held, so I feel fortunate to have what I caught.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I caught a 2 ½ pounder right off the bat, and then I went about 45 minutes without a bit this morning.  I lost a good fish and then I caught another keeper.  It was pretty steady until 11:00.  I caught probably 12 to 15 keepers over the course of the day with another dozen short fish.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key was when I put the two big ones in the boat in a small stretch.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was a little surprised with my weight.  I caught a 4-10, so that was a little bit of a surprise and a big bonus that I’ll take.  I also caught a 3 ½ pounder about 50 yards away from that big fish.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I lost a few fish that would have given me a little bit more weight. Tomorrow, hopefully I can capitalize and put everything in the boat.   I’m really pleased with my decision making, though. The more you fish certain areas, the more you learn about them.” 

4th Place: Cliff Pirch (14-11)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I had seen a few nice fish in practice, so I was hoping to do well. Overall my practice wasn't that great, so I really was unsure going into today.  I thought that fishing was going to be a lot tougher than it actually ended up being today."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"The fish that I caught today were a lot different than the fish I had been catching in practice.  The water dropped a little bit today in my area, and I was fortunate to make the right adjustments and catch what I did today.  I really didn't go through a lot of fish like a lot of the guys said they did today, but I was able to catch a few nice fish which is the key here."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Really, the first half of my day was key.  The area I was in had a lot of activity this morning, and I was able to capitalize on the first half of the day and catch the ones I weighed in."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"I was really surprised at how well the river fished today. Based on my practice I really wasn't expecting to do as well as I did."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I pretty much put everything in the boat that I had hooked.  I did have several miss my bait, but as far as losing them, I was fortunate not to have that happen today."

5th Place: Brandon Card (14-9)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I was just trying to get a 3 pound bite, and I was fortunate enough to get three of them.  That is what you need to do here to keep pace, so I am happy with how it turned out."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"Most of my weight came early in the day.  I was able to catch about 20 fish in the first part of the day, and that allowed me to go and check some other places that didn't pan out.  At least I got that out of the way today, so tomorrow I will probably just concentrate on my primary spot."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"I caught two 3 pounders within about five minutes of each other, so that was definitely the key moment to my day."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Seeing just how many other anglers were fishing the same spots I was fishing.  I knew that there would be some other guys in the area, but seeing just how many was a big surprise."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"My execution was pretty good today,  I didn't lose any fish that I think would have helped me. As far as decision making goes I probably wasted time today running around, but I just needed to eliminate those spots so it actually served a purpose."

 

DAY ONE STANDINGS

Place PRO ANGLER Day 1
FishWeight
1 Brandon Palaniuk 5 18- 4
2 Kevin Hawk 5 16- 0
3 John Crews 5 15- 7
4 Cliff Pirch 5 14-11
5 Brandon Card 5 14- 9
6 Todd Faircloth 5 14- 5
6 Bobby Lane 5 14- 5
6 Casey Scanlon 5 14- 5
9 Aaron Martens 5 14- 4
9 Skeet Reese 5 14- 4
9 Fred Roumbanis 5 14- 4
12 Takahiro Omori 5 14- 3
13 Paul Elias 5 14- 1
14 Tommy Biffle 5 14- 0
14 Matthew Herren 5 14- 0
16 Randy Howell 5 13-14
17 Cliff Crochet 5 13-12
17 J Todd Tucker 5 13-12
19 Ott DeFoe 5 13-10
20 Michael Simonton 5 13- 9
21 Chris Lane 5 13- 7
21 Marty Robinson 5 13- 7
23 Billy McCaghren 5 13- 6
23 Kevin VanDam 5 13- 6
23 Greg Vinson 5 13- 6
26 Edwin Evers 5 13- 5
26 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 13- 5
28 Bradley Roy 5 13- 4
29 Rick Clunn 5 13- 3
30 Josh Bertrand 5 13- 1
31 Keith Combs 5 12-15
31 Alton Jones 5 12-15
33 Dean Rojas 5 12-14
34 Shaw E Grigsby 5 12-13
35 Grant Goldbeck 5 12-12
36 Jamie Horton 5 12-10
37 Stephen Kennedy 5 12- 9
37 James Niggemeyer 5 12- 9
39 James Elam 5 12- 8
39 David Walker 5 12- 8
41 Jason Christie 5 12- 7
41 Matt Greenblatt 5 12- 7
41 Cliff Pace 5 12- 7
44 Casey Ashley 5 12- 6
45 Michael Iaconelli 5 12- 5
46 Davy Hite 5 12- 4
46 Kevin Short 5 12- 4
46 Dennis Tietje 5 12- 4
46 Nate Wellman 5 12- 4
50 Ishama Monroe 5 12- 2
50 Rick Morris 5 12- 2
52 Timmy Horton 5 12- 1
52 Jason Quinn 5 12- 1
54 Mark Davis 5 12- 0
54 Jeremy Starks 5 12- 0
56 Bill Lowen 5 11-14
56 John Murray 5 11-14
56 Chris Zaldain 5 11-14
59 Brent Chapman 5 11-10
60 Boyd Duckett 5 11- 8
60 Britt Myers 5 11- 8
60 Keith Poche 5 11- 8
63 David Smith 5 11- 7
64 Pete Ponds 5 11- 5
64 Fletcher Shryock 5 11- 5
66 Stephen Browning 4 11- 5
67 Gary Klein 5 11- 4
68 Chip Porche 5 11- 3
69 Jami Fralick 5 10-15
70 Bernie Schultz 5 10-14
71 Scott Rook 5 10-12
72 Zell Rowland 5 10- 9
73 Jonathon VanDam 5 10- 8
74 Morizo Shimizu 5 10- 7
75 Cliff Prince 5 10- 4
76 Derek Remitz 5 10- 3
76 Gerald Swindle 5 10- 3
78 Kelly Jordon 5 10- 2
79 Hank Cherry 5 10- 1
80 Mike McClelland 5 9-15
81 Charlie Hartley 5 9-14
82 Brian Snowden 5 9-10
83 Chad Pipkens 5 9- 8
84 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 9- 7
85 Jeff Kriet 5 9- 6
86 Greg Hackney 4 9- 6
87 Jared Lintner 4 9- 0
88 Scott Ashmore 4 8- 8
89 Jason Williamson 3 8- 8
90 Kenyon Hill 4 8- 0
90 Andy Montgomery 4 8- 0
92 Jared Miller 4 7-13
93 Byron Haseotes 3 7- 7
94 Kevin Ledoux 3 7- 5
95 Russell Lane 3 6- 7
96 Kelley Jaye 3 5-12
97 Kurt Dove 3 5- 8
98 Matt Reed 3 4-12
99 Terry Scroggins 2 4-10