DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

JOHN MURRAY LEADS DAY ONE AT THE ALABAMA RIVER

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 05/09/2013

Story and photos by Matt Pangrac

Montgomery, AL – It was a day of quality limits on the Alabama River at the fifth stop of the 2013 Elite Series season in Montgomery, Alabama.  While the 20-pound barrier wasn’t broken, 30 of the 100 competitors toted at least 15-pounds to the scales, and 75 anglers were able to reach the 10-pound mark. 

Leading the way is Arizona’s John Murray, who brought in a limit of spotted bass weighing 18-9.  After boxing a quality limit early in the morning, Murray pulled off of his primary area before noon and spent the afternoon searching for new water.  

Sitting just 5-ounces behind Murray with a limit weighing 18-4 is veteran Paul Elias, who captured the 1982 Bassmaster Classic title 31 years ago on the Alabama River.  Jason Williamson ended the day tied for 2nd place with Elias, and Toyota Angler Of the Year leader, Edwin Evers, turned in a strong performance of 17-15 to finish in a tie for 4th with Florida’s Bobby Lane.   

The 5 Day One Facts from the Alabama River
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (May 9-12)
Location:  Alabama River – Montgomery, Alabama  
Leader/weight:  John Murray (18-9)
50th place weight: (Tie) Ish Monroe (12-14), Morizo Shimizu (12-14)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place: 1-9

1st Place: John Murray (18-9)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I’ve had some really good days here and some really bad days here, so I was just hoping that I’d be able to put something together today and have a good day.  Luckily, I was able to do just that out on the river.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“Most of my fish came early today and I pulled off of them at around noon when I realized that catching 3-pounders and culling them wasn’t going to help me much moving forward this week.  I had all spotted bass today and I probably went through 18 to 20 keepers.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“There really wasn’t today.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The toughest thing out there today was just putting those spotted bass in the boat after I hooked them, because these things are just beasts on this river.  There’s a lot of cover for them to get into, so it’s really challenging to get them out of the cover and in the boat. You really have to horse them in when you hook a good one.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I had one big fish pull off late, but other than that I put everything in the boat that bit today.  I’m really happy with my execution.” 

(Tie) 2nd Place: Paul Elias (18-4)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I had a really good practice, so I was thinking that anywhere from 17- to 20-pounds was a real possibility.  I found the fish the first day of practice and expanded on the pattern during the second day of practice, but I didn’t go back and check on them until today.  As it turned out, a lot of the places didn’t work today.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I was in the first flight and I had to choose from four places where I really wanted to start, so I decided to hit the first one that I came to.  I didn’t catch a fish off of the first two places that I stopped on, but the mother lode was on the third place that I hit.  I probably went through 15 keepers today.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I was going to my third spot this morning and there was a boat sitting there, so I went to another spot that I had right across the river.  In the end, I was tickled to death that someone was sitting on that spot because the fish weren’t there today and they were loaded on the spot that I went to instead.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was surprised that I only caught little fish on several of the places where I was catching 4-pounders in practice.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I missed some bites, but I didn’t lose any fish that I think would have hurt me.  I got a little frazzled out there today because of an incident, and I didn’t perform well for a little bit.  I missed like five bites in a row when the incident happened, but I don’t think that it cost me any weight.” 

(Tie) 2rd Place: Jason Williamson (18-4)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“To be honest, I had three or four areas that I thought had a decent amount of fish.  The only thing is that I only caught one good fish off of those places in practice.  I’d catch about 10 12-inchers and then the next fish would be a 3- or 4-pounder. I felt like if I could catch a couple of good ones and weigh-in between 12- and 14-pounds I’d be doing pretty good.”
 
How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I would hate to even guess a number as far as how many fish I caught today.  I caught more spotted bass today than I’ve ever caught before.   My starting place, where several of my good fish came from, is kind of an out of the way deal and I didn’t see anyone else around there today.  

“I have three or four areas that are getting fished pretty hard by other guys.  I was boat 86 today, and I was still able to start where I wanted to.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I had around 14- or 15-pound with about an hour left.  I was running up the river and was able to cull two fish out in the last hour that brought me up to 18-pounds and separate myself from the pack.  A lot of us are fishing the same type of stuff, and you have no idea what you’ll catch when you pull up on a place.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was really surprised at the number of quality bites that I got.  There’s so many 3- to 5-pound spotted bass in this fishery.  Being from South Carolina, there’s nothing that fishes close to this river.  It’s really surprising to me that you can have this dirty of water and such strong current and these spotted bass are right out there in the middle of it.  I’m learning more about it every day.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I only lost one fish that I felt like would have helped.  Other than that one bite, I fished pretty flawlessly today.  I feel like I was able to fish key areas and things fell into place for me today.  I could have very well weighed-in 13-pounds today and not been able to get on the stuff that I wanted to fish.”

(Tie) 4th Place: Bobby Lane (17-15)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I was getting several bites in practice and catching a good one in most spots, so I really just wanted to fish clean and catch 3-pounders.  Things went as planned today for me.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I left my key area early and caught some nice fish later in the day, so I plan on running the same pattern tomorrow.  Everything that I caught today was spotted bass and I never saw a largemouth. I was worried about being boat 83 and running to a couple of grass patches only to find that someone else was already there, so I decided to go with the spotted bass.  I caught a couple good ones early, and I caught a 3 ½-pounder on my second cast of the day.  I caught three pretty nice ones at about 1:00. 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“Catching a limit quickly and getting off to a good start was key for me.  I had a limit for around 14-pounds fairly early and that allowed me to cruise around and look for more areas instead of hunting and struggling.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“It would have to be the cover in the water that I was fishing.  I must have re-tied between 30 and 40 times today because the water is so high.  The bushes are under the water, and with the current ripping so hard, you just can’t catch back up to your bait and it gets hopelessly snagged.  Several times today I spent 10 minutes rigging five rods and within the next two hours I’d be sitting in the boat re-rigging all of them.”  

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I fished 100% today.  From my rods, reels, line, and baits, everything was perfection today.  It’s really important to have quality equipment with that swift current, because those big spotted bass really put it to the test.” 

(Tie) 4th Place: Edwin Evers (17-15)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“15- to 17-pounds was my goal heading into the day.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I had a limit early and probably caught between 10 and 15 keepers throughout the day.  I was in an early flight, but I didn’t catch fish until about my third or fourth stop of the day. I don’t think that the water was flowing quite as much as it was during practice, but they let some more water run as the day progressed.” 
 
Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I was fixing to leave an area and had already strapped down my rods and was preparing to run 60 miles the other direction.  I decided to try one more spot and I caught two or three good ones that made all the difference in my day.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most challenging part was the fact that I had my livewells turned off and four fish died on me.  It was pretty aggravating and surprising, because it was just a mental mistake.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“It was pretty typical for me, about 50/50.  I broke a couple fish off, so it would be nice to land everything that bites one of these days.” 

DAY ONE STANDINGS

 

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