Cliff Pace of Petal, Mississippi is fishing in his seventh Bassmaster Classic this weekend at Lake Hartwell, South Carolina. The winner of the 2013 Super Bowl of bass fishing currently sits in 21st place after the first day of competition.
Pace brought a five-fish limit weighing 13-pounds, 13-ounces to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena where the daily weigh-in is taking place.
The weather at Lake Hartwell has been on a roller coaster for the past two weeks, with 70 degree days about 10 days ago, to highs in the 40s more recently, and then 74 degree high today. This has the fish, and fishermen, a bit confused, said many anglers in the 52-man field who haven’t been able to consistently find a pattern.
Pace is looking to improve his standing tomorrow, when cloudy, rainy weather will move in and give most of the anglers the conditions that they find more favorable to their style of fishing.
Greg Hackney of Gonzales, Louisiana had a tough day as well, bringing a five-fish limit weighing 11 pounds to the scale. He holds the 43rd spot in the 52-angler field.
“I was really disappointed today in that the water got a lot colder. The big wind yesterday sucked that cold water up from the deep and dispersed it throughout the water column. The water where I’m fishing on the main lake was four or five degrees colder than it has been. The weather will be better tomorrow, and I’m looking for the fishing to be better tomorrow too,” said Hackney, who is fishing in his 15th Bassmaster Classic.
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma leads the 52-angler field. He finished the day with 20-14, and was the lone angler to break the 20-pound mark on the day. Hot on his tail is another Oklahoma angler, Talala’s Edwin Evers sits in second with 19-9.
Jordan Lee of Grant, Alabama is currently third with 18-10, followed by Newport Beach, California’s Brent Ehrler in fourth with 17-8, and Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tennessee is in fifth place with 16-8.
Of the 52 anglers fishing the Classic, 51 caught a limit of five bass each. Skeet Reese sits in 52nd place after coming to the scales empty-handed.