DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CHRIS LANE LEADS IN DETROIT AFTER DAY ONE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 08/22/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Detroit, MI – On the first day of competition at the final Elite Series tournament of the 2013 season, a number of storylines took interesting twists.

In the Toyota Angler Of the Year race, Oklahoma’s Edwin Evers entered the tournament with a substantial lead over Aaron Martens.  That all changed on Thursday.  Evers managed a limit weighing just 13-1 to finish the day in 79th place, while Martens turned in a stellar performance, crossing the stage with a limit of smallmouth weighing 21-14 to finish the day in 3rd place.  The swing in the TOAY points race was shocking, as Martens now holds a 46 point lead over Evers with three days remaining.  

After weighing-in, the Alabama pro was hesitant to talk about the very real possibility that he is just days away from earning the second Angler Of the Year title of his career, the first coming in 2005.   “I don’t want to think about it – I just want to think about the tournament first,” said Martens. “I already set my goal for this tournament to try and win.  I have too many seconds and I have to put some firsts in there.  It’s ridiculous that I have a dozen second place finishes in these tournaments.”

Martens said that he is currently fishing at the top of his game. “Stuff is just happening right and I don’t even have to think about it.  It’s like all of the sudden I just find (the fish), and I’m like, ‘dang, I found them again.’” 

While Martens is flying high heading into the final three days of the season, Evers left the weigh-in stage scratching his head and looking for answers.  Thursday’s 79th place finish was an anomaly for the solid veteran pro.  The last time Evers’ failed to cash a check in an Elite Series tournament was well over a year ago in May of 2012.  

“I thought that I had three really good groups of fish found that had some really good fish, and they just didn’t show up today,” he explained. “I don’t know what happened to them.  I caught one right off the bat and I never had another bite until probably 2:00.  After that, I just went fishing….I don’t know, I’m pretty disappointed in my day.

Should Evers find a way to relocate the large schools of smallmouth that he found in practice, the possibility is there for him to climb right back in the TAOY race and put his destiny back in his own hands.  “I saw 20 to 21 pounds in practice,” he explained.  “I thought that I could catch 17 to 18 pounds pretty easily today, but it just didn’t happen. I had five keeper bites today and I didn’t lose anything.”  

The name at the top of the Rookie Of the Year race also changed on Thursday, as Cliff Pirch struggled and brought in a limit weighing 12-14 to finish the day in 81st.  His closest pursuer, Hank Cherry, took advantage of the stumble and weighed-in 15-13 for a 40th place finish.  Cherry will enter Friday with a 27 point lead over Pirch in the ROY race.   

Even with all the twists and turns in the TAOY and Rookie Of the Year race, perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Thursday on the Detroit River was the name at the top of the leaderboard.  

Entering the tournament outside the 2014 Classic cut line in the TAOY points, 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion, Chris Lane, rose to the occasion on Thursday to lead the tournament with a five bass limit of smallmouth weighing 22-9.  If Lane is able to keep up the pace for the next three days, he will ensure a spot in the 2014 Guntersville Classic on his home waters of Lake Guntersville. 

Despite only boating five keepers over the course of the day, Mark Davis finished in 2nd place with 22-1, and Aaron Martens finished in 3rd with 21-14.   Ohio’s Michael Simonton landed in 4th place with 21-2, and Kota Kiriyama and Brandon Palaniuk tied for 5th with 20-7.  

The 5 Day One Facts from the Detroit River:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (August 22-25)
Location:  Lake St. Clair/Detroit River – Detroit, Michigan    
Leader/weight:  Chris Lane (22-9)
50th place weight: Skeet Reese (15-5)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place: 2-15

1st Place: Chris Lane (22-9)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“During practice, I pulled out to an area and caught a big one that had some other big ones following it.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  I was just hoping that they were still there today, and they were.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“It was fantastic.  I got to the areas and started catching fish right away and caught two of the big fish that I thought were in there that were probably between 5 ½ and 6 pounds.  I kind of laid off of them a little bit at the end of the day.  I have a little pattern that seems to be working well.  There’s still three more days to go, so I’m not going to get overexcited.  I’m just going to make sure that I do everything right and everything is good so that when I get out there, I’ll be able to capitalize on the bites. 

“I’m out there in the wild blue yonder in the middle of the lake.  When you catch one out there, it’s usually big. I made a run today because I knew that I had to get out in the big water in order to do well.  I found a couple groups of fish that I have all to myself, so hopefully they’ll stay there.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I had a key moment when I went shallow and caught a 4 ½ to 5 pounder.  That really reinforced my backup plan today.  That was when I said to myself, ‘OK, if this doesn’t work, I still have this backup plan.’”
 
What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“Trying to figure out when to lay off my fish today was probably the most challenging part.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I didn’t lose any fish today, but after saying that, I probably need to find some wood to knock on.  There’s probably a 95% catch ratio on a drop-shot, and a few weeks ago at the St. Lawrence River, I probably lost 21 pounds each day on a drop-shot.  It really played in my head, but I just used the same things today and didn’t lose any.  You just look back on it as something unlucky, but it worked out today for me.” 

2nd Place: Mark Davis (22-1)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“My expectations were high.  I knew that what I was doing was high risk, high reward.  Things ended up working out today.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I didn’t get many bites and it wasn’t easy.  There’s nothing easy about where I’m going or what I’m doing.  If you can catch five of them, they’re good ones.  I ended up catching five keepers today and had seven bites.  That was it.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“There was definitely a key moment.  I had planned to leave at 1:00.  I had a 5 pounder, a couple 4 ½ pounders, and a small 2 ½ pounder in the livewell.  I needed another good one or I would have been behind the 8-ball.  I had 15 minutes left, and I knew that the fish were there.  I prayed, ‘Lord, I need something good to happen.  Give me a sign.’ I had no sooner said that prayer and my line went ‘thunk.’  Before I even set the hook I just said “Thank you, Lord.’  I reeled down, set the hook, and caught a 4 ½ pounder.  That was my fifth fish and I never  got another bite after that.”  

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I knew that the bite was early, and I missed the best part of the bite because of the run and they were biting when I got there.  I didn’t do the best job of fishing that I could have, but that’s just the way that it is.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I lost two big, old good fish today.  I was so messed up when I tied into those darn fish.  I was nervous and jittery  because they bit first thing.”  

3rd Place: Aaron Martens (21-14)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I knew that there were a lot of fish that were living in the areas where I was fishing, so I thought that I’d catch them.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I was way out there today. I actually started on the only school that I found during practice and I lost three or four nice ones in the first 40 minutes.  The fish were biting really weird, so I stayed there feeling them out and was never able to find the school again.  I started running way points and started catching them. 

"There were times today when it got pretty tough.  I guess the fish just turn on and off.  It’s the week after a full moon and that always makes them bite funny.  The fish usually have a schedule that they go by, so I’m trying to figure that out.  When it’s on, you want to be on your best fish.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“Leaving my first spot was key.  Once I did that, I was fine. I probably searched around that first spot for an hour and only boated a 2 ½ pounder.  I knew that I would be alright, but I was starting to get discouraged.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The last 10 miles took forever to get to my spot this morning.  It got nasty.  I was only going like 16 miles per hour for a while.  It was ridiculous.  Coming back, everything was smooth except for the Detroit River, which is the roughest river that I’ve ever been on because the wakes bounce off the walls.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“In three days of practice, I probably put around 20 hours on my motor just cruising around and graphing while I was on pad.  I made a lot of good decisions today, but I lost some fish early in the day.”

4th Place: Michael Simonton (21-2)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"My expectations were pretty good headed into today.  I was totally committed to going out to the big water, so I was going no matter what.  I was nervous about getting there and back, but I knew I was so far down in the points that it really didn't matter."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"My day started out terrible. On the way out, two of the bails came open on my spinning rods and line went everywhere.  I had to stop and get gas in a downpour, and then battle 3 to 4 ft waves all the way to my first spot.  I really wanted to catch my fish and leave early so I would have plenty of time to get back.  It didn't work out that way at all. I didn't catch my last cull fish until I pulled up on my last spot on the way back." 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"The key moment was my last stop of the day.  It allowed me to cull out a smaller fish and increase my weight a good bit."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"The wind and weather were challenging along with it taking a lot longer than I would have liked to catch a good limit."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I lost some fish early, but once I figured out how the fish were biting today I didn't lose anymore fish after that."

5th Place (Tie): Kota Kiriyama (20-7)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I knew that the big fish live where I am fishing.  I have been fishing  the area for over 10 years, so I have the confidence to know exactly what is going on out there."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I was able to fish 3 1/2 hours today, but it was very difficult for me.  I tried catching them early, but they didn't bite until late."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"When the conditions changed and the sun came out was the key moment for me.  That is what those fish like along with a light breeze."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Definitely just getting to the fish was the most challenging part of the day.  If I can get to them I can catch them."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"Everything was good for me today.  I actually stopped short of where I wanted to go because it was so rough, and was able to catch them."

5th Place (Tie): Brandon Palaniuk (20-7)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I thought I could have around 17 or 18 lbs, so I actually caught them a lot better than I expected."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I was able to fish my primary area for about 5 hours today.  I lost a 6 lb fish first thing this morning, but was able to recover from that and put some solid fish in the boat and build on that throughout the day."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Even though I lost that big fish this morning,  that bite was a key for me because it gave me the confidence to know that the bigger fish lived on the spot."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"There really wasn't a challenging part of the day, but I was surprised after losing that 6 lb fish that more big ones actually showed up on the spot."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"The only execution problem I had was losing that big one.  Decision wise I was really happy with what I've found.  It is probably one of the coolest things I have ever seen under water."

DAY ONE STANDINGS

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