The 30s might come out today at the Bassmaster Classic

Category: article

 Feb 22nd, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Feb 22nd, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Today, finally, we may see the “dirty 30” at the 2014 Bassmaster Classic.

As the 55 competitors rolled out of City Harbor and onto the waters of Lake Guntersville this morning, the prevailing attitude was that Day 2 will likely produce the 30-pound bags that almost everybody had predicted coming into the tournament.

Mother Nature threw a monkey wrench into the expected conga line of massive limits, though, with wildly varying weather and water conditions in the week leading up to the tournament. The Day 1 results showed it: only two anglers (Randall Tharp and Bass Pro Shops pro Edwin Evers) broke the 25-pound mark, and just over half the field weighed in less than 16 pounds.

Classic leader Randall Tharp shows ESPN personality Robbie Floyd his primary fishing area on Lake Guntersville. (Joel Shangle)

Likely expect that to change today.

“Second day post-frontal,” Alabama homeboy Jordan Lee said simply.

Translation: fish will almost certainly be more aggressive and predictable then they were yesterday as conditions stabilize and Guntersville storm-stained waters gradually clear.

“(Big fish) are around,” said Rigid Industries pro Brandon Palaniuk, who’s 16-11 put him in 24th on Day 1. “I caught the fish in practice to get over 30 pounds. I caught some fish over 7, some fish over 8, so they’re there. The biggest thing is that (the weather) hasn’t been stable. Fishing was actually better when it was cold, because it was stable.”

And “stable” would be the best way to describe leader Randall Tharp’s fishing in recent months. Tharp won the Forrest Wood Cup last August, a B.A.S.S. Central Open on Ross Barnett Lake in October, and finished fourth at the FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee in early February. Add to that the fact that Guntersville is his home lake and you have a frontrunner who might be hard to steal the lead from.

“Hey, I’m just going to fish the day,” Tharp said. “I’m leading the Bassmaster Classic. I’m pretty honored just to be able to say that.”

GoPro is one of the primary sponsors of the Classic, and the handy-dandy little POV cameras are literally everywhere: every competitor’s  boat has several cameras mounted on it, many of the anglers have them strapped to their chests or suction-cupped onto their windshields, and observers and media alike have them attached to their main cameras (and some to their hats) … Carhartt Big Bass leader Freddie “Boom Boom” Roumbanis dedicated the first fish he caught yesterday to a young man at the local children’s hospital battling cancer – that fish was the 9.3 big fish of the tournament.

More like this