DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

BRETT HITE TAKES THE LEAD ON SEMINOLE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/14/2014

Story by Matt Pangrac

Bainbridge, GA – Brett Hite is no stranger to the top of the leaderboard in 2014.  The Arizona pro won the FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee this past February, leading the tournament wire-to-wire, and he’s in the lead again this week at the Elite Series stop on Lake Seminole.  

After opening on Thursday with a healthy limit weighing 24-11, Hite backed it up with another 20-11 on Friday to enter the weekend with a total weight of 45-6.  

Chasing Hite is Friday’s 2nd place finisher, Bernie Schultz.  Looking for his first B.A.S.S. victory of his career, Schultz brought in 17-10 on Friday to finish less than a pound behind Hite with 44-8.  Kevin Short also weighed-in 17-10 on Friday to finish the day in 3rd place with 43-3.  

Elite Series rookie Justin Lucas turned in the biggest move of the day, bringing 25-9 to the scales in Bainbridge, Georgia to finish in 4th place with 43-1.  Chad Morgenthaler rounded out the Top 5 with a two-day total weight of 43-0.   

Texas’ Kurt Dove was the last man inside the Top 50 cut, finishing the day in 50th place with 27-4.

1st Place: Brett Hite (24-11, 20-11: 45-6)
Hite on how he is attacking Seminole:
“I’m targeting pre-spawn fish and I’m not looking at them, so my fish are replenishing.  The water temperature isn’t at the key point where the fish are all going to go to the bank yet, so I wanted to key on fish that were going to be there day after day after day on the key stretches that I found.

“I ran some of the same water today.  Each day at 1:00, I’ve gone and looked for new water.  In a four day event, fish management is huge.

Hite on the conditions of Seminole on Friday:
“The second day after a front is always the toughest. Yesterday, the fish bit pretty well for a lot of guys.  Things are just acclimating back because we had a cold night last night.  Tonight’s weather isn’t supposed to be as cold, so I think that the fish will be reaccelerated and active. “

Hite on his key moment on Friday:
“My first two fish were back-to-back 4-pounders.  There were a lot more fish in my secondary spot than I thought.  I got quite a few bites and then I got out of there.  It’s always nice to get a few fish in the boat.  The way that I’m fishing, I’m not catching little ones.  If I get a bite, it’s a 3-pounder or bigger.”

Hite on the decision to not sight fish:
“I’ve learned that unless you know every bass in the lake is on the beds, you have to stick to what you like to do and what you have confidence in.  I would not classify myself as a sight fisherman.  The problem that you run into now is that there are way too many guys trying to sight fish.  You very seldom see a tournament won anymore strictly on sight fishing because there are so many people doing it.”

2nd Place: Bernie Schultz (26-14, 17-10: 44-8)
Schultz on his day on Seminole:
“I didn’t have any big fish located today.  I got an open water pattern going yesterday, so I went back to that pattern first due to the fog delay and caught five off that spot.  After that, I went sight fishing trying to upgrade.  I culled a couple times, but I never really saw any big fish at all.

“It’s a grind out there, but there’s still plenty of fish in some of the areas and there will be less anglers to deal with tomorrow.  There are key spawning areas and when you get that much trolling motor traffic, it really disturbs the fish.  The key is to get in an area that is manageable and make the most of it.”  

Schultz on expanding his open water pattern:
“I’m throwing a Rapala Ripping Rap and a Rapala DT Fat 3.  I caught a couple of fish today on a homemade Chatterbait, but I’m only getting a bite every so often.  You have to believe that the fish are there and that they’ll bite.  Some of the fish are pre-spawn and some of them are post-spawn.”

Schultz on the remaining spawning bass:
“I absolutely believe that there are (areas) where there are untouched spawning bass.  The problem is that this is a big lake and it’s all about time management and confidence.  You do as much as you can in practice to put yourself around good places.  Some of them won’t be any good and others will pan out.

“I can’t just abandon all the work that I did in practice to go off looking for (spawning bass) on a hunch tomorrow.  I feel like I still have enough fish located to do well.  Tomorrow, I have to work and pound out another respectable bag or else I won’t be here on Sunday.  I’m just not willing to gamble yet.”

3rd Place: Kevin Short (25-9, 17-10: 43-3)
Short on staying in contention heading into the weekend:
“I’m really not even thinking about the weekend.  I’ve just taken it one day at a time because there’s nothing that I can do about yesterday and there’s nothing that I can do about tomorrow – the only thing that I can control is today.  Tomorrow when I go out, the only thing that I’ll be concentrating on is catching everything that I can.  Whatever happens, happens.”

Short on the importance of timing:
“I really struggled today.  Yesterday, I caught 18-pounds in the first hour.  With the fog delay this morning, I didn’t get to my spot until I had 18-pounds yesterday.  I caught three little ones really quickly, but then the bite died.  I think that I pulled up on the tail end of the bite, so I’m anxious to get down there early tomorrow morning and see if there’s an early bite or if those fish moved a little bit.

Short on his last minute heroics:
“At 3:10 today, I might have had 6- or 7-pounds in the box.  I caught a 6-pounder, a 3-10, and a 5-pounder between 3:10 and 3:30.  I’m thinking that I either found a new school of fish or I figured out where the fish moved.  I’m pretty excited about the possibilities.”  

DAY TWO STANDINGS

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