The disappointment was easy to see in the eyes and on the faces of the many Mississippi and Barnett-area fishermen as they left the water.
Pete Ponds, for one, didn’t make the stage.
“Did not get one keeper all day,” the Elite Series angler said, “and I can’t begin to tell you how disappointing that is. I know I have a lot of friends and family here today, and I hate not bringing fish to the scales.
“But it was tough: I had two short fish (12-inch minimum) all day. I didn’t miss any big ones either, and I fished different patterns. I punched some grass. I threw some frogs. I even cranked some deep ledges. I just didn’t get a decent bite. I’d like to say it was the weather, but you see other people catching fish. I had some good practice days — a couple of days ago I had five fish that would go 19 pounds.”
Shannon Denson of Brandon, who is the perennial guy to beat on Barnett in the fall, caught a limit of five early on deep ledges on the main lake, which is his bread and butter pattern.
“But then I got to thinking that I could go to the pads and throw a frog and catch a 4- or 5-pounder or two and move way on up,” Denson said. “I did not get another bite all day. Not one.
“You can bet tomorrow I won’t pull my frog rod out of the box all day. And if we get the sunshine, I won’t need to. The big fish will move back on that deep cover that I fish, and I might can get back in this tournament.”
After today’s second round, the field will be cut to the final 12 pros and non-boaters for Saturday’s final round.
Today’s weigh-in will begin at 3 p.m. at Madison Landing at Barnett Reservoir, but on Saturday it will shift to the Bass Pro Shops store in Pearl.