THARP LEADS BASSMASTER CLASSIC
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.”
DAY ONE STANDINGS
|Place||Pro Angler||Day 1|
|1||Randall Tharp||5||27- 8|
|4||Casey Ashley||5||23- 2|
|4||Fred Roumbanis||5||23- 2|
|6||Coby Carden||5||22- 4|
|7||Jason Christie||5||22- 3|
|12||Keith Combs||5||20- 3|
|12||Randy Howell||5||20- 3|
|14||Chad Morgenthaler||5||19- 5|
|17||Ish Monroe||5||18- 8|
|19||Yusuke Miyazaki||5||17- 5|
|20||Richard Howes||5||17- 0|
|25||Chris M Jones||5||16-10|
|26||Todd Faircloth||5||16- 6|
|27||Kevin VanDam||5||16- 2|
|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|
|40||Jordan Lee||4||13- 7|
|43||Mark Dove||5||12- 8|
|44||Douglas Thompson||4||12- 7|
|46||Mark Davis||4||10- 0|
|51||Cliff Crochet||2||7- 5|
|52||Cliff Pirch||2||7- 4|
|53||Gary Klein||1||4- 6|
|55||Gerald Swindle||1||2- 1|