Arkansas’ Short Widens Gap at Bassmaster Elite Series Event on Pickwick Lake
Category: press release
May 1st, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified May 1st, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Arkansas’ Short Widens Gap at Bassmaster Elite Series Event on Pickwick Lake
Despite changing water levels, the threat of nasty weather and moderate boat traffic in his primary area, Kevin Short of Mayflower, Ark., made zero adjustments Friday, opting instead to keep things simple and duplicate his Thursday strategy en route to posting a two-day total of 38 pounds, 13 ounces at the Alabama Charge on Pickwick Lake, the fourth Bassmaster Elite Series of the season. As they did after Thursday, Short and Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., occupied the top two spots but Short was able to increase his lead to 3-plus pounds with his Friday limit of 18-10.
While some anglers are keying in on the shallows, Short has taken a different approach to his day. Each morning, he has started shallow and rounded out a decent limit. As the day progresses, Short moves deeper, settling in at a moderate depth level and working the area for all it’s worth.
He is picking his areas apart slowly and thoroughly, keeping his lures – a crankbait and a jig – wet as often as possible on the Tennessee River impoundment. With the weather threatening to let loose Saturday, Short again planned to stick to his guns Saturday.
“I honestly don’t know why they are biting,” said Short, who won his first Elite Series tournament last June on the Mississippi River. “It could be my bait but whatever it is, I have something figured out that most other guys don’t. I’m thrilled that I have been able to pile up this much weight.”
Fishing fans can catch all the on-the-water action from the four-day event on The Bassmasters, which airs Saturday, May 9, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2 (re-airs Sunday, May 23, at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2). The daily weigh-ins for all regular-season Elite events and the two postseason events will air live on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network. Bassmaster.com will follow the Charge each day with BASSCast, BASSCam, real-time leaderboards during weigh-ins, photo galleries, daily results, and Hooked Up with ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders.
For Short, the Pickwick success is no surprise – the season is shifting towards the more traditional fishing that Short excels at – and timely – he entered the tournament 74th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings – as he was in danger of letting the season slip away from his with another subpar finish.
But Short dug in this week and has handled the changing parameters better than most, exhibiting consistency in a tournament that requires it. His bites have come in decidedly different manners as sometimes he entices the bass on his first cast while others take a significant amount of effort.
“No matter what happens with the weather, I know that there is enough fish moving out,” said Short, who has strictly keyed on post-spawn largemouths this week. “I just have to figure out how to catch them if the conditions change.”
There are two polarizing decisions that anglers have to make this week. Anglers have the choice of sticking to Pickwick or locking through to Lake Wilson. It is evident after two days that most anglers are sticking to Pickwick. Additionally, anglers have the luxury of either fishing for smallmouth, largemouth or both. And while Pace stuck to only smallmouths Thursday, he brought in a mixed bag Friday.
He is working a community hole that was so riddled with traffic, it tested Pace’s patience all day. But the 29-year-old kept his cool and stayed in contention with 16 pounds, 0 ounces Friday. He spent the first two hours of the day working smallmouth in the shallows but only was able to land three. He slide out to the outside areas later in the day and located the largemouth. After some time on the outside, he went back to the smallmouth and wrapped up his day.
Pace, 28th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings heading into this event, feels that his area is holding post-spawn fish that are heading out to the depths. While he feels the area holds the quality to win the tournament, it has had little time to rest due to the saturation of competitors.
“When you fish a community area, it’s hard to duplicate success two days in a row,” said Pace, who qualified Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason last season. “I think I can have another good day Saturday though, if they pull the current and the clouds come out.”
Moving up to third from sixth was Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., with 35-5. Martens is someone to watch as he feels right at home on Tennessee River impoundments — last year he won an Elite event on Lake Guntersville. Moving up to fourth from a tie for 13th was Mike Iaconelli of Pittsgrove, N.J., with 34-10. Rounding out the top five was Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala., with 34-6.
Both Iaconelli and Martens were in good shape in the AOY standings heading into this event and are in serious contention for the Postseason – only the top 12 in the AOY standings at the end of the regular season qualify. Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., has a sizable lead in those standings but dropped to 14th in the event, which would be his worst finish of the season.
Again, the entire Elite Series field landed limits and some anglers took advantage of the minimal separation in the standings, making serious moves. Gary Klein of Weatherford, Texas, posted a 20-4 limit, the biggest of the tournament, and moved up 56 places. Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu, Ariz., moved up 53 places to 30th.
Other notables in the cutline were Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif. (22nd), Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan. (37th) and Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala. (43rd).
Reigning Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam continues to struggle this season and limped to a 57th place finish. He will look for redemption next week on Guntersville, a KVD favorite.
BASS has visited Pickwick Lake, a 47,000-acre Tennessee River fishery, for six events, including a 2002 Southern Open won by Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Ala., with 33 pounds, 8 ounces, through three days. Duckett was ninth.
The Alabama Charge has a top prize of $100,000 and awards valuable points in the 2010 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title race. The full Elite field will compete Thursday and Friday, with the top 47 advancing to Saturday’s competition. From there, the top 12 will advance to Sunday for a shot at the trophy and the top prize.
The public is invited to attend the daily launches at 6:10 a.m. CT at McFarland Park, 200 James M. Spain Dr., Florence, Ala., 35630. Also free and open to the public, the daily weigh-ins are set for 3:30 p.m. CT at McFarland Park.
Local sponsor of the Alabama Charge: Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.
The top 12 pros in the AOY standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series postseason, in which the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be determined.
Toyota Trucks Championship Week is set for July 24-31 and will be played out once again on two productive Alabama fisheries. The first leg, the July 24-25 Trophy Chase, returns to Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka. The finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, is slated for July 30-31 on the Alabama River from Montgomery.
Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter and Yamaha.
Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance and Triton Boats.
For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.
As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, the Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN3.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.
BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.