DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

KEITH COMBS LEADS DAY ONE AT FALCON

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 03/21/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Zapata, TX – It took over 30-pounds on Thursday to lead the field on the first day of the second Bassmaster Elite Series tournament of the year on Falcon Lake.  

Texas’ Keith Combs topped the field with an impressive 34-13 limit to open up a lead of 4-pounds over Florida’s Cliff Prince, who crossed the weigh-in stage with a limit weighing 30-13.  Elite Series rookie Josh Bertrand was the only other angler in the field to top the 30-pound mark, weighing-in a limit of Falcon Lake largemouth to the tune of 30-5 to finish in 3rd place.

In all, 45 of the 100 Elite Series anglers brought in at least 20-pounds on Thursday, and the top 50 cut sits at 18-12 headed into cut day.   Rick Morris and Edwin Evers tied for the big bass, each bringing in a 9-11 Falcon Lake brute.  

The 5 Day One Facts from Falcon Lake:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (March 21-24)
Location:  Falcon Lake – Zapata, Texas
Leader/weight:  Keith Combs (34-13)
50th place weight: Cliff Crochet (18-12)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place:  8-9

1st Place: Keith Combs (34-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I was hoping to get at least three big ones, but I figured that I’d have to go to the bank to catch a limit.” 

Keith Combs How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“My primary area is about a 100 yard stretch and my secondary area is also about a 100 yard stretch.  There are key little spots where I pulled up and caught them.  I didn’t share the areas today, and I hope that I’m not sharing them tomorrow.  It was a ghost town where I was today except for this morning. “

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I fished for about 40 minutes on my first spot without a bite, and I started there because I just like the spot even though I hadn’t had a bite there in practice.  I was thinking about getting out of there and then I busted one.  I busted another one about 10 minutes later.  Both of those fish were big ones” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was really surprised that I caught them as well as I did.  I practiced in the places where I caught fish today and I just didn’t get bit.  I decided to go there because I’ve caught them there before and I knew that it was my only chance.  It worked out, but who knows about tomorrow.  The wind is supposed to blow on Saturday, so I know that I need to catch all the weight that I can before it starts blowing out there.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“It was perfect and I didn’t lose anything.  You’re kind of at the bass’ mercy when they jump like five times on the way to the boat.  Nothing came off today.  The fish today looked like Lake Erie smallmouth because they were jumping five feet in the air.  You can’t lose a big one this week because you may not get five big bites each day.” 

2nd Place: Cliff Prince (30-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“Just to catch a limit.  It was a pretty tough practice for me, but I had a feeling that the fish were going to move up with the cloud cover today.  I figured that they’d be shallow, and I really didn’t expect to catch two good ones deep.”

Cliff Prince How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I had three really good ones today.  Two of them came early this morning out of 30-feet of water, and then I moved shallow at around 10:00 and probably caught two or three limits of bass.  I only had a couple places where I caught fish deep and I had some pretty good bites in practice flipping, so I figured that I needed to move up to catch a limit.”

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“Just the decision to make the move from deep to shallow water.  I had 25-pounds in less than an hour after I moved up shallow.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“I was surprised at the size of the fish that I caught.  I was thinking that 15- to 18-pounds would be a good day for me.  Once I caught those two big fish deep, I thought that I had a chance to do a little better than I expected.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I made all the right decisions today.  I had one area where I caught most of my weight and there are a couple other boats in there.  I don’t think that they caught them that well, though.” 

Josh Bertrand 3rd Place: Josh Bertrand (30-3)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really didn’t know what to expect.  I definitely exceeded my expectations today because practice was pretty tough for me.  On the last day of practice, I had a couple better fish and I felt a little bit better going into today.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“Things started off a little slow for me, but I was able to put it together as the day went on.  I was really fortunate to have what I had today.  I mixed it up today between offshore fishing and up shallow, but I fished more offshore today. 

“This is right up the alley for a West Coast fisherman who likes to structure fish and do that kind of stuff. I was actually feeling kind of down after a tough tournament on the Sabine River and a tough couple days of practice here on Falcon.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I can’t complain about either.  I was able to put everything in the boat that would have helped.  The only thing was that I hooked one in the gill and it ended up dying on me, but other than that it was a great day.” 

4th Place: Jason Christie (28-15)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I was really worried about today.  I was just hoping to catch five, because here if you catch five you are going to have a big bite or two."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I didn't catch more than one fish off any spot.  I had to bounce around a lot, and was fortunate to land all my big bites.  You have to get lucky to land these big fish down here."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Getting a big bite early really allowed me to slow down and fish.  If I hadn't gotten that big bite early I would have probably run around all crazy, but that really allowed me to calm down and just go fishing."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Just how hard these fish down here fight.  It's like trying to get your hands on a grizzly bear trying to get these fish in.  These fish down here just never give up."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I think I was fortunate just to pull up at the right place at the right time.  There is a deal going on shallow, and some fish are getting caught deep.  I just happened to make the right moves at the right times today."

5th Place: Jonathon VanDam (28-12)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I really didn't know what to expect.  I am actually sharing my primary area with Keith Combs, so I wasn't sure how it would hold up.  There are a lot of big fish in the area, and it seemed not to bother it today."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"My day actually started off really slow.  I was able to get on a little sweet spot later in the day and catch some big ones."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Late in the day I went and ran a few spots and didn't do much.  I came back to my primary spot later in the day and caught my three biggest fish really quickly.  That was probably the key to my day."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"I was a little surprised about the number of big fish that were on the spot I am fishing.  I caught a few big ones during practice, but didn't know the potential that the spot had."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"Execution was really good for me today.  I didn't lose any big fish, so hopefully I can keep that up and put all those bites in the boat."

DAY ONE STANDINGS

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