Murray Takes Day One Lead on Alabama River

Category: article

 May 9th, 2013 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 9th, 2013 at 12:00 AM

After the previous Bassmaster Elite Series event on West Point Lake where many spotted bass weighed barely a pound, this week’s Elite Series event on the Alabama River out of Birmingham, Alabama is polar opposite. The spots here are beefy, some weighing over 5 pounds. The angler who brought in the biggest basket of bass on Day 1 was John Murray from Phoenix, Arizona. Murray’s limit weighed 18 pounds 9 ounces. Two anglers are right behind Murray. One is former Bassmaster Classic Champ Paul Elias from Laurel, Mississippi. The other angler tied for the number two spot is Jason Williamson from Aiken, South Carolina. Both men weighed in 18 pound 4 ounces.

John Murray with his two best on Day One. (Photo BassFIRST)

Rounding out the Top 5, both with 17 pounds 15 ounces, are Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Florida and Edwin Evers of Talala, Oklahoma.

Murray adjusted early.

“This river is an awesome fishery,” said Murray. “I had a good practice. About 10 years ago I fished here with high water and had almost a 20-pound limit. I thought, maybe I could do that again. I made an adjustment early due to the sun and caught them. Not sure what the weather will do to them tomorrow. What a blessed day I had.”

Elias knew it was going to be tight.

“I love this river,” said Elias. “I caught a lot of fish in practice. After my first day of practice I thought this was gonna be a slugfest. Man, it’s a slugfest.”

Williamson is not a river monster.

“I had a bad practice,” said Williamson. “I am the worst river fisherman. Matt Rees and a couple other guys helped point me it the right direction. I went to work and put my head down today. I hope it works out tomorrow again.”

Lane in need of jigs.

“I had a very fun morning,” said Lane. “I’m really looking forward to getting out tomorrow. This is definitely a different fishery. I went through 50 jigs today to catch what I weighed in.”

Evers hurt himself.

Edwin Evers currently leads the Angler of the Year race. (Photo BassFIRST)

“I caught them pretty quick this morning,” said Evers. “It was just one of those days. I made mistake, stubbed my toe. I was fishing in the heavy current and was culling and turned off my livewell. I forgot to turn it back on and a couple of fish died.”

Bassmaster Elite Series rules deduct 4 ounces for every dead fish brought in. Evers mistake cost him a pound and the lead going into day 2.

Day One Top 12:

1. John Murray: 18-09
2. (tie) Paul Elias: 18-04
2. (tie) Jason Williamson: 18-04
4. (tie) Bobby Lane: 17-15
4. (tie) Edwin Evers: 17-15
6. Brent Chapman: 17-12
7. (tie) Shaw Grigsby: 17-07
7. (tie) Kelley Jaye: 17-07
9. Mike Iaconelli: 17-05
10. (tie) Randy Howell: 17-00
10. (tie) J. Todd Tucker: 17-00
12. Mike McClelland: 16-11

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