DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

BRANDON PALANIUK LEADS AFTER DAY TWO AT La CROSSE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 06/21/2013

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

La Crosse, WI – A two hour rain delay and strong winds didn’t prevent Brandon Palaniuk from extending his lead on Friday at the Elite Series tournament on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wisconsin. 

After opening the tournament with a mixed bag limit of four smallmouth and one largemouth weighing a total of 18-4, the Idaho pro brought in a limit weighing 19-3 on Friday for a total weight of 37-7 heading into the weekend.   He will launch his Skeeter on Saturday morning with a 6 pound lead.  

Alabama’s Aaron Martens did his best to stay within striking distance of the streaking Palaniuk by maximizing the largemouth bite on the Mississippi. With 17-3 on Friday, Martens’ two day total weight of 31-7 has him in 2nd place. 

Like Palaniuk, Oklahoma’s Tommy Biffle relied primarily on smallmouth on Friday to finish the day in 3rd place with a total weight of 30 pounds, and John Crews remained in the top five after bringing in 13-1 on Friday for a total weight of 28-8.  2012 Mississippi River champion, Todd Faircloth, rounded out the top five with 28-4.  

The 5 Day Two Facts from the Mississippi River: 
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (June 20-23)
Location:  Mississippi River – La Crosse, Wisconsin   
Leader/weight:  Brandon Palaniuk (18-4, 19-3: 37-7)
50th place weight: Stephen Browning (23-5)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place: 10-1

1st Place: Brandon Palaniuk (18-4, 19-3: 37-7)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I had no idea what to expect.  The conditions were on the completely opposite end of the spectrum (from yesterday), so I had no idea what the fish were going to do.”

Brandon PalaniukHow would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“When I lost the first five fish of the morning, I was very close to spinning out.  I didn’t know what the weather was going to do, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the weather made the bite better for me.  I think that the conditions with the cloud cover and the rain allowed the fish to be more active for me.  With the way that I’m catching them, they were more willing to bite.

“The first keeper that I landed was close to 4 pounds, and that really got me pumped up.  I had just made a move and I also caught a 5-8 and 2 pounder there.  I left my second area with four fish for probably 15 pounds.  I made one move back to another area and ended up catching my fifth fish and culled once. 

“I fished 13 or 14 different spots today.  I have a milk run where you can pull up and either catch them or not catch them.  My best spot today was a spot where I didn’t catch a fish yesterday.  It’s a big timing deal.  You have to pull up when the fish are ready to feed.  I think that I culled a total of six or seven times today.”  

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key moment was catching that first 4 pounder.  After I had lost 15 pounds worth of fish, to get the first big one in the boat was a huge confidence booster.  I was able to settle down and catch a 5-8 within the next 10 minutes.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“When the wind blew, it was blowing against the current.  Anytime you’re fishing a river system with current and the wind blows against it, it’s bad because slows the current down and changes the fish.  I was a little bit nervous about that, but there was so much water moving through the system that I don’t think it affected the bite as much.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I lost the very first five fish that I hooked within the first 30 minutes of the morning.  That made me extremely nervous because I only had four bites there yesterday, and I didn’t know if I was going to get another bite after losing all those this morning.  I saw all the fish and they were the same size as the ones that I caught, so they were all 3 to 4 pounders. They were all smallmouth and they just came off.  I did everything that I could think of.  I finally just realized that there was nothing that I could do about it.”

2nd Place: Aaron Martens (14-4, 17-3: 31-7)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really wasn’t sure, but I knew that I had one big school of fish that I was hoping were still there with the bad weather that we had this morning.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“The weather moved the fish a little bit.  I was concerned when I pulled up and didn’t get any bites in the first three or four casts, but I started fan casting around and found them again.  It probably took me about 10 minutes to relocate the fish.  I did it fast, because that’s my job. 

“I had most of my weight by 10 or 11 in the morning, but I had 14 pounds in the first 30 minutes.  Later in the day, I went searching around and looking for new stuff.  I probably caught a 12 or 13 pound limit, but I didn’t catch anything else that would have helped me.  I did a lot of graphing and covering a lot of water looking for new schools.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“There really wasn’t a key moment.  I caught three good ones first thing.  My biggest fish actually came when I was fishing a school of smaller fish.  I threw up there thinking I’d catch a 12 incher, and I ended up catching a 3 ¾ pounder. It was kind of a fluke, but I’m hoping that there are more big ones there.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The weather repositioned the fish today.  Once I found them, it made sense again.  It worries me that (Brandon Palaniuk) is catching smallmouth, because I feel like I’d have a better chance of catching him if he was catching largemouth.  If I catch another 17 pounds tomorrow and he comes in with another 18 pounds, then it’s kind of over.  Those smallmouth are bigger fish and they’re a little bit more consistent.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I didn’t lose any that would have cost me.” 

3rd Place: Tommy Biffle (14-0, 16-0: 30-0)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I thought that I’d catch’em about like I caught’em.  I have one  good spot where I can catch between 16 and 18 pounds if they’re there.  The smaller fish were there yesterday, but the bigger ones were there today.” 

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I pulled up to my spot and I caught two 4 pounders in three casts and then caught one or two others and left.  I spent most of the day fishing for largemouth, but I have a smallmouth area where I go to if I need to catch them.  Today, I had four smallmouth and one largemouth. 

“I had a limit of largemouth just after 8:00, so I decided that I needed to catch a 3 or 4 pounder so I went to my best spot and caught the big ones in a few throws.  In practice, I found one spot where I could have had 18 pounds of smallmouth in just a few throws.  I have one spot like that, and chances are that he (Palaniuk) probably has three or four spots like that.  We’ll just have to see what happens.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key moment was definitely catching those two big smallmouth in three throws.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most challenging thing is the fact that the smallmouth may not be on my spot when I get there.  They’re notorious for moving and not being there.  I really thought that I’d have 16 to 18 pounds in the first 10 minutes yesterday, and the good ones just weren’t there. They were there today, though.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I put everything in the boat.” 

4th Place: John Crews  (15-7,13-1: 28-8)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I knew that I was going to have to make some changes today based on the conditions.  I was expecting to have to adapt to the weather, but I thought I would have been able to catch about what I did on day one. "

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I fished a lot of baits today that I never fished in practice today until the weather calmed down.  Once that happened I went back to what had been working for me during practice and on day one.  I probably caught 15 keepers today, and was able to cull up several times throughout the day."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Just figuring out how to adapt to the changing weather conditions was the key for me.  Once I figured that out the day went pretty well for me."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Figuring out how to deal with the weather conditions was challenging.  The weather really hurt one of my areas.  I had to figure out what the fish were doing and also change locations several times, so that was challenging. "

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 a couple of fish miss my bait that may have helped, but I really don't know for sure."

5th Place: Todd Faircloth (14-5,13-15: 28-4)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I was really excited heading into today before we had the delay.  I thought the conditions were going to play into my hands, but the amount of wind that we ended up having really threw me a curve ball today.  It just really made it difficult to be efficient out there on the water today."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"Some of my stuff was fishable today after the big winds and rain we had and some of it wasn't.  I really just had to move around and make the most out of what the conditions allowed me to do.  I caught most of my weight early in the day, and after that it was pretty slow for me."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"I had a really good flurry early in the day which was my key moment of the day.  I was able to catch a good limit pretty early which allowed me to settle down for the rest of the day."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Having less time to fish this morning was challenging, but the biggest deal was the wind.  It really made it about impossible to fish the areas the right way, and blew out some of my areas all together."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"My execution was pretty good today. As far as the decision making, I am not giving myself a good grade.  I probably should have moved around some more today and check some different things to give myself some more options heading into day three."

DAY TWO STANDINGS

 

Place ELITE PRO ANGLER Day 1Day 2 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeight
1 Brandon Palaniuk 5 18- 4 5 19- 3 10 37- 7
2 Aaron Martens 5 14- 4 5 17- 3 10 31- 7
3 Tommy Biffle 5 14- 0 5 16- 0 10 30- 0
4 John Crews 5 15- 7 5 13- 1 10 28- 8
5 Todd Faircloth 5 14- 5 5 13-15 10 28- 4
6 Brandon Card 5 14- 9 5 13- 9 10 28- 2
7 Fred Roumbanis 5 14- 4 5 13- 6 10 27-10
8 Greg Vinson 5 13- 6 5 14- 1 10 27- 7
9 Ott DeFoe 5 13-10 5 13-13 10 27- 7
10 Randy Howell 5 13-14 5 13- 8 10 27- 6
11 Takahiro Omori 5 14- 3 5 12- 9 10 26-12
12 Cliff Crochet 5 13-12 5 13- 0 10 26-12
13 Scott Rook 5 10-12 5 15-11 10 26- 7
14 Cliff Pirch 5 14-11 5 11-12 10 26- 7
15 Skeet Reese 5 14- 4 5 12- 1 10 26- 5
16 Casey Scanlon 5 14- 5 5 11-14 10 26- 3
17 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 13- 5 5 12-13 10 26- 2
18 Keith Combs 5 12-15 5 13- 2 10 26- 1
19 Bobby Lane 5 14- 5 5 11- 9 10 25-14
20 Alton Jones 5 12-15 5 12-14 10 25-13
21 Dean Rojas 5 12-14 5 12-14 10 25-12
22 Kevin Hawk 5 16- 0 5 9-11 10 25-11
23 Edwin Evers 5 13- 5 5 12- 6 10 25-11
24 Josh Bertrand 5 13- 1 5 12- 8 10 25- 9
25 Kevin VanDam 5 13- 6 5 12- 2 10 25- 8
26 David Walker 5 12- 8 5 13- 0 10 25- 8
27 Cliff Pace 5 12- 7 5 13- 0 10 25- 7
28 Matthew Herren 5 14- 0 5 11- 4 10 25- 4
29 Michael Simonton 5 13- 9 5 11- 5 10 24-14
30 Billy McCaghren 5 13- 6 5 11- 4 10 24-10
31 Shaw E Grigsby 5 12-13 5 11-13 10 24-10
32 Paul Elias 5 14- 1 5 10- 8 10 24- 9
33 Rick Morris 5 12- 2 5 12- 6 10 24- 8
34 Kevin Short 5 12- 4 5 12- 3 10 24- 7
35 Grant Goldbeck 5 12-12 5 11-10 10 24- 6
36 Davy Hite 5 12- 4 5 12- 1 10 24- 5
37 Kelly Jordon 5 10- 2 5 14- 1 10 24- 3
38 John Murray 5 11-14 5 12- 5 10 24- 3
39 Chris Lane 5 13- 7 5 10- 9 10 24- 0
40 Ish Monroe 5 12- 2 5 11-14 10 24- 0
41 Michael Iaconelli 5 12- 5 5 11-10 10 23-15
42 Fletcher Shryock 5 11- 5 5 12- 8 10 23-13
43 Casey Ashley 5 12- 6 5 11- 7 10 23-13
44 Stephen Kennedy 5 12- 9 5 11- 3 10 23-12
45 Chris Zaldain 5 11-14 5 11-14 10 23-12
46 Brent Chapman 5 11-10 5 12- 1 10 23-11
47 Pete Ponds 5 11- 5 5 12- 4 10 23- 9
48 Dennis Tietje 5 12- 4 5 11- 4 10 23- 8
49 J Todd Tucker 5 13-12 5 9-10 10 23- 6
50 Stephen Browning 4 11- 5 5 12- 0 9 23- 5
51 Bill Lowen 5 11-14 5 11- 7 10 23- 5
52 Gerald Swindle 5 10- 3 5 12-14 10 23- 1
53 Jason Quinn 5 12- 1 5 10-12 10 22-13
54 Gary Klein 5 11- 4 5 11- 7 10 22-11
55 David Smith 5 11- 7 5 11- 3 10 22-10
56 Jason Christie 5 12- 7 4 10- 2 9 22- 9
57 Boyd Duckett 5 11- 8 5 11- 1 10 22- 9
58 Bernie Schultz 5 10-14 5 11-10 10 22- 8
59 Derek Remitz 5 10- 3 5 12- 2 10 22- 5
60 Timmy Horton 5 12- 1 5 10- 4 10 22- 5
61 Jamie Horton 5 12-10 4 9-10 9 22- 4
62 Bradley Roy 5 13- 4 4 8-14 9 22- 2
63 Charlie Hartley 5 9-14 4 11-12 9 21-10
64 Jami Fralick 5 10-15 5 10-10 10 21- 9
65 Morizo Shimizu 5 10- 7 5 11- 0 10 21- 7
66 Jared Lintner 4 9- 0 5 12- 6 9 21- 6
67 Marty Robinson 5 13- 7 4 7-14 9 21- 5
68 Jonathon VanDam 5 10- 8 5 10- 6 10 20-14
69 Andy Montgomery 4 8- 0 5 12-12 9 20-12
70 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 9- 7 5 11- 4 10 20-11
71 Greg Hackney 4 9- 6 5 11- 1 9 20- 7
72 James Niggemeyer 5 12- 9 4 7-12 9 20- 5
73 Hank Cherry 5 10- 1 4 9-13 9 19-14
74 Britt Myers 5 11- 8 4 8- 4 9 19-12
75 Jason Williamson 3 8- 8 5 11- 1 8 19- 9
76 Rick Clunn 5 13- 3 2 5- 7 7 18-10
77 Chad Pipkens 5 9- 8 5 9- 1 10 18- 9
78 Nate Wellman 5 12- 4 3 5- 8 8 17-12
79 Kenyon Hill 4 8- 0 5 9- 9 9 17- 9
80 Mike McClelland 5 9-15 4 7- 6 9 17- 5
81 Keith Poche 5 11- 8 2 5-11 7 17- 3
82 Russ Lane 3 6- 7 5 10-11 8 17- 2
83 Scott Ashmore 4 8- 8 4 8-10 8 17- 2
84 Matt Reed 3 4-12 5 12- 3 8 16-15
85 Jeff Kriet 5 9- 6 4 7- 3 9 16- 9
86 Kevin Ledoux 3 7- 5 5 9- 0 8 16- 5
87 Terry Scroggins 2 4-10 5 11- 7 7 16- 1
88 Chip Porche 5 11- 3 2 4- 9 7 15-12
89 Matt Greenblatt 5 12- 7 1 2-10 6 15- 1
90 James Elam 5 12- 8 1 2- 8 6 15- 0
91 Zell Rowland 5 10- 9 2 3-14 7 14- 7
92 Brian Snowden 5 9-10 2 3-15 7 13- 9
93 Mark Davis 5 12- 0 1 1- 7 6 13- 7
94 Cliff Prince 5 10- 4 1 2- 9 6 12-13
95 Byron Haseotes 3 7- 7 2 4-14 5 12- 5
96 Jeremy Starks 5 12- 0     5 12- 0
97 Jared Miller 4 7-13 2 3- 4 6 11- 1
98 Kelley Jaye 3 5-12 3 4- 9 6 10- 5
99 Kurt Dove 3 5- 8 2 3- 6 5 8-14