DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

VINSON LEADS ON BULL SHOALS

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/19/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Bull Shoals, AR – After a weather delay shifted the first day of competition of Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Bull Shoals Lake to Friday, there was some mystery as to what the Arkansas fishery would produce following a massive cold front that swept through the area overnight.  

While the big fish were tough to come by, solid keepers were plentiful, as 43 of the 100 anglers broke the 12-pound mark.  Leading the way was Alabama’s Greg Vinson, who took the lead with a limit weighing 16-13.

After a tough Texas swing to open the Elite Series season where he finished in 76th place on the Sabine River and 91st place on Flacon, Vinson got back on track at the first Bassmaster Southern Open of the season in early April on Douglas Lake, finishing in 5th place.   That momentum carried over to Bull Shoals, and he will enter cut day with a 1-pound lead over 2nd place finisher, Skeet Reese, who brought a limit to the scales weighing 15-13 to finish the day in 2nd.  

Reigning Classic champion, Cliff Pace, finished the day in 3rd place with 15-2, and Jason Christie and Randy Howell tied for 4th with limits weighing 14-15.  

The 5 Day One Facts from Bull Shoals Lake:  
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (March 18-22)
Location:  Bull Shoals Lake – Bull Shoals, Arkansas 
1st Place: Greg Vinson (16-13)
50th Place: 11-11 
Total weight separating 1st from 20th place: 3-2

1st Place: Greg Vinson (16-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really didn’t have a great practice, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Today, things kind of reminded me of the Red River (Bassmaster Classic) where I didn’t have a great practice but things started working for me during the tournament.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“Things went really well for me today considering my practice.  I really watched the weather and I made a good decision on how I prepared for the week.  I knew that the conditions were going to change, and some things worked in my favor with the change in water level and the wind.  I was able to cull several times today, and that was really a blessing.    I had one smallmouth in my bag today and all the rest were largemouth. 

“You never really know how the weather will change, and it’s always a guessing game.  Sometimes we are right and sometimes we are wrong, but fortunately I was right today.  I caught a big one first thing in the morning, but then I went quite a while without another keeper.  At around 12:30, I caught my second big one and wasn’t able to cull again after that.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“My first keeper and my last keeper of the day were definitely the key for me because they were my two biggest fish.  I caught the first one within the first 10 minutes of the morning, and the second one came at around 12:30.   One weighted 4-7 and the other one was just over 4-pounds.  To have two 4-pounders on this lake in one day is awesome.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most challenging part today was the fact that I caught the big one quickly and then I went a long time without catching another keeper fish.  I actually caught a spotted bass that measured, and that really calmed me down.  I caught a largemouth that measured about 15 minutes later, and I slowed down after that.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I feel like my decision making was good.  I was in the first flight today, so I really didn’t have as much time in the afternoon as I would have liked.  I’m hoping that with the extra time tomorrow I’ll be able to build on my pattern and check a couple other places.”

2nd Place: Skeet Reese (15-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I basically felt that with the conditions that we were facing this morning, I pretty much needed to throw everything out the window that I learned in practice.  The water temperature dropped six to eight degrees, and the lake came up a couple of feet.  I just decided to go pre-fishing in a couple areas.” 

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I caught a couple of fish early and that really keyed me in.  I started running a pattern that paid off pretty good, because I had a limit by 9:00 in the morning, which is by far the best morning that I’ve had this week. 

“There was a little lull in the middle of the day, but I was able to get back on them later in the day and culled a few.  I probably caught between 12 and 15 keepers over the course of the day.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I really played with the conditions that we had and got dialed in to a little something.  I’m not saying that I can go catch them again tomorrow, but there are still tons of fish up shallow and spawning in 52 to 55 degree water – it’s actually very strange.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most surprising thing was that I caught 15-pounds.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I felt relaxed going into the day and I fished with an open mind.  I knew that there would probably be two prevalent patterns, and I didn’t even end up doing what I thought that I was going to do.” 

3rd Place: Cliff Pace (15-2)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really didn’t know what to expect when we took off this morning.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I was fortunate and was able to get some bites early and get something going.  That was the key for me, because anytime that you’re off the water for a day and then go back, it’s almost like another day of practice.  You’re kind of guessing at things more than what you would be if you were out there continually.

“There were some tough times for me this morning, but thankfully it all worked out.  I caught a few early, but the bite picked up later and I went through about a dozen keepers.

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“The key for me was getting a few bites this morning that told me what I needed to do.  This lake is a pattern fishing lake to me, and if you get a bite there are an unlimited number of areas to fish.  You just have to learn what makes them tick.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The most challenging part was just dealing with the wind and getting around the lake.  At the same time, the wind is what made the fishing so good, so it was kind of a give and take deal.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I didn’t lose any fish and I think that I made the right decisions over the course of the day.  I couldn’t have done anything differently to do better.  I think that I took advantage of what we had today as far as the weather is concerned.” 

4th Place: Jason Christie (14-15)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I didn't have a good practice at all.  Luckily the wind blew today and I was just able to cover a lot of water and make some things happen."

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I was able to figure something out pretty early in the day and catch a few keepers pretty quickly.  By figuring out what I needed to be doing early it allowed me to run a 20 to 30 mile section of the lake and look for exact little spots that I thought I could get bit."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"The key moment in my day was really those first few hours of the morning that allowed me to get keyed in on what I needed to be doing with the rest of my day."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Dealing with the wind today was really tough. There are still some fish out deeper that haven't moved up to spawn quite yet, but that wind made it impossible to fish for them today."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"Today went about as well as it could have for me.  Like I said my practice wasn't that great but I was happy with how things turned out today."

4th Place: Randy Howell (14-15)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“A goal of my mine each day here is 15-pounds, because I think that over the course of four days, 15-pounds a day could win here.  It’s hard to catch that much on this lake without catching a big one, and I had all cookie-cutter fish today.”

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“They bit really good all day long in this hard wind, and it was probably the windiest and coldest day that I’ve ever fished and really enjoyed myself.  I caught at least 20 keepers over the course of the day.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The water had to have risen about two feet since practice. I had a lot of sight fish marked , and you couldn’t even see them anymore. I really had to scramble around quite a bit today.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“Everything went great today.  I had one fish pull off but I caught everything else that bit and caught fish in new water throughout the day.  I hope that I’ll be able to stay open minded, because that’s a big key on this lake.” 

DAY 1 STANDINGS 

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