Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 02/21/2014

Guntersville, AL - With 27-8 on Friday, Randall Tharp took the lead at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.  Tharp leads Edwin Evers by less than a pound and David Walker by less than three pounds.  13 of the 55 anglers broke the 20-pound mark on Friday, and 36 angers brought at least 15-pounds to the Classic scales.  

1st Place: Randall Tharp (27-8)
Tharp relives how he felt as his day on Guntersville progressed: “You can’t predict what the other guys are going to do out there.  I knew that I would be at the press conference, but I didn’t know that I was going to be leading.  When I was sitting in the boat, I was hoping that I had 25-pounds.  I didn’t weigh them, and I think that I’m a pretty good judge of guessing weight, but I can’t tell the difference between a 7 ½ and an 8 ½ pounder just by looking at it.”  

Tharp on what he expected going into the day: “Going into the day, I had a number in my head.  I wanted to catch 30-pounds.  During one of our first three days of practice, I had one of the best days that I’ve ever had on this lake.  I know that (30-pounds) is possible out there right now, and I’m definitely going to have to catch another bag similar or bigger to what I caught today to win.”     

Tharp relives the moment he realized he was the Day One leader: “I remember thinking, ‘I led the Bassmaster Classic.’  I may not even catch another bass this week, but hey, I led this thing for one day and that’s pretty cool.  It’s the Bassmaster Classic, and there’s only a handful of people who can say that they’ve done that.”   

Tharp’s first thought after making his last cast of the day: “I was just relieved and I couldn’t wait to go back and get some rest.  I didn’t get much sleep last night.”  

2nd Place: Edwin Evers (26-13)
Evers relives the moment he realized that he was in contention on Friday: “When I was around the 20-pound range early on, I knew that I could compete.  I wasn’t done when I got to 20-pounds by any means, but when I got to that weight and things were good, I knew that I was headed where I wanted to be.  

“I had 20-pounds between 10:30 and noon.  I wasn’t catching big ones in practice, but I knew that I had potential (to do well). I thought that the fish were coming.   My goal was 22- to 23-pounds, and anything over that was going to be gravy. I think that someone can still win this thing with a 22-pound bag one day, but you’re probably going to have to have 27-pounds and 27-pounds the other two days.”  

3rd Place: David Walker (24-13)
Walker relives the moment that he made his last cast on Guntersville on Friday: “To be honest, I wasn’t really impressed with what I had even though I knew that it was solid.  I thought that I only had around 23-pounds when I made my last cast.  

“I was satisfied with the day, but even on my last cast, I was mad that I didn’t catch another big fish.  You can’t be a competitive fisherman and not care about the last cast as much as you care about the first cast.  I fished right up until the last minute of the day, and I remember thinking after my last cast, ‘Darn, I wish I had just a little bit more time.’

"When I made it back to check-in, I remember looking at my watching and thinking that I could have made two more casts before the day ended.  I was happy that I did well, but I never relaxed.”    

4th Place (TIE): Casey Ashley (23-2)
Ashley relives the moment he realized he had over 20-pounds in the livewell:  “The moment when I realized that I had over 20-pounds today kind of played out weird.  I had a small limit, and then I hit the fish and everything happened so fast.  I caught almost all my fish in the span of 15 minutes.  

“The first time that I remember thinking I was approaching the 20-pound mark was when I was winding a 4-pounder to the boat and it had one hook hanging in its mouth. I knew that if I got that fish in the boat, I’d have over 20-pounds.   

“The bad thing was that I expected to catch them today, and I really expected to catch them better.  Once I got to the 20-pound mark, my first thought was that I still needed to catch two more 4-pounders.  The last time that I fished Guntersville, I had 20-pounds each day and I didn’t even make the Top 50 cut.  Going into the day, I knew that I needed to catch them.”  

4th Place (Tie): Fred Roumbanis (23-2)
Roumbanis relives the moment he placed his 9-3 largemouth in the livewell on Friday and closed the lid: “That was my first fish of the day, and it didn’t come until around 10:30.  I knew that it was over 9-pounds, so the pressure was off the moment that I put it in the livewell.  The moment was surreal and I remember feeling a great sense of relief.  

"There was a lot weighing on that fish, because I caught it for a six-year-old kid in Michigan named Drew Clark.  He’s fighting cancer, and I told him that the first fish I caught in the Classic was going to be for him – it just so happened to be a 9-pounder. Before I caught that fish, there was honestly a moment where I didn’t think that I was going to catch a fish today.  

“It’s a good thing that I have Power-Poles on my boat, because I don’t think that I made a cast for five minutes after I put that big one in the livewell.  I just chilled out, relaxed, and re-tie.  When I finally stood back up and made another cast, I caught another keeper.  Catching that fish was definitely one of the highlights of my career.  Catching a giant at the Classic is a dream come true.”  

6th Place: Coby Carden (22-4)
Carden relives catching a 7+ pounder on Friday during the Classic: “When I hooked the fish, I immediately realized that it was a really big fish.  She came up and jumped, and I nearly flipped out because I saw that it was barely hooked.  When I got the fish close to the boat and wore it down a little bit, I reached down and got a hook in my hand, but not past the barb.  I really wouldn’t have cared if the hook went all the way through my hand, though.  

“When I finally landed it, I knew that the fish had just made my day.  I was completely weak in the knees and numb all over.  The last time that I felt anything close to that excitement was at the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship when I caught a 7-10. Catching a fish that big in the Classic was a lot better, though.”    


PlacePro AnglerDay 1
1 Randall Tharp 5 27- 8
2 Edwin Evers 5 26-13
3 David Walker 5 24-13
4 Casey Ashley 5 23- 2
4 Fred Roumbanis 5 23- 2
6 Coby Carden 5 22- 4
7 Jason Christie 5 22- 3
8 Dean Rojas 5 20-14
9 Tommy Biffle 5 20-13
10 Jonathon VanDam 5 20-11
11 Ott DeFoe 5 20-10
12 Keith Combs 5 20- 3
12 Randy Howell 5 20- 3
14 Chad Morgenthaler 5 19- 5
15 David Kilgore 5 18-15
16 John Crews 4 18-10
17 Ish Monroe 5 18- 8
18 Brent Chapman 5 17-11
19 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 17- 5
20 Richard Howes 5 17- 0
21 Terry Scroggins 5 16-15
22 Greg Vinson 5 16-13
23 Morizo Shimizu 5 16-11
24 Brandon Palaniuk 5 16-11
25 Chris M Jones 5 16-10
26 Todd Faircloth 5 16- 6
27 Kevin VanDam 5 16- 2
28 Aaron Martens 5 15-10
29 Hank Cherry 5 15- 9
30 Michael Iaconelli 4 15- 9
31 Patrick Bone 5 15- 7
31 Alton Jones 5 15- 7
31 Stephen Kennedy 5 15- 7
34 Bill Lowen 5 15- 5
35 Rick Morris 4 15- 4
36 Chris Lane 5 15- 1
37 Adam Wagner 5 14-14
38 Takahiro Omori 5 14-12
39 John Murray 5 13-11
40 Jordan Lee 4 13- 7
41 Bobby Lane 5 12-15
42 Josh Bertrand 5 12-13
43 Mark Dove 5 12- 8
44 Douglas Thompson 4 12- 7
45 Jeff Lugar 3 11-10
46 Mark Davis 4 10- 0
47 Paul Mueller 3 9-10
47 Chris Zaldain 3 9-10
49 Skeet Reese 2 7-12
50 Tim Johnston 2 7-10
51 Cliff Crochet 2 7- 5
52 Cliff Pirch 2 7- 4
53 Gary Klein 1 4- 6
54 Stephen Browning 1 3-12
55 Gerald Swindle 1 2- 1