2011 Classic Day 1

The top contenders of the 2011 Bassmasters Classic reveal their tactics right here! An HD Video.

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Glenn: Steve Kennedy, tell me about your day?

Steve Kennedy: Didn't go so hot. I came in with 2.6 today. I started in an area over there in Lake Cataouatche I think is how you pronounce it, I guess they call it the tank. I was probably the second boat in there. I think Kevin went in in front of me.

Glenn: How far of a run is it?

Steve: It's only about 10-12 minutes, 15 minutes tops. It's pretty close. We had the fog delay so that kind of took Venice out a little bit, but I still was considering it. Yeah, I went running in there and I heard all the boats coming in behind me. I don't know how many boats were coming, but there were a lot of them started shutting down and idling in. I had one little stretch way back in the back, back in a little canal where I had gotten 8 or 10 bites and I felt like I needed to get in there and get a limit.

I'd caught a 5 pounder out there out front in practice, so I went idling back in there, fished around for an hour, hour and a half, caught one little fish. When I came back out the fog lifted a little bit and there's 50 boats circling out there where I had started. It turns out it was Aaron, Kevin, there was one other boat, I'm not sure who it was, but it sounds like they whacked on them pretty good out there. I never got in the middle of them.

When I saw that I decided I was going to run to Venice at 10:00, 10:30 this morning, so I ran halfway down there and where it had been slick calm when I started, it was blowing 15 plus and waves stacked up in that little canal. I wasn't even on a big lake, it just stacked up to the point where I had to back off to 45 to 50 there. I'm doing the math, I'm like I'm not going to have any fishing time now if I have to back off like this so I turned around and came back.

Glenn: Oh, man.

Steve: So I circled around them out there for about two hours. I never did get in the middle of them and never found another fish really.

Glenn: So what kind of adjustments are you going to make for tomorrow?

Steve: If we don't have fog delay I'm going to Venice and just have a good time. I don't see any way I can make the cut without a huge, huge bag, but I'm going to go down there and have a good time. That's the plan.

Glenn: Well good luck to you.

Steve: Appreciate it. Thank you.

Kelly Jordon: Well, I made a long run to Venice, caught some fish, I did OK. I did about the low end of what I expected to do, but with the shortened day, we had a 1-hour fog delay today or a little bit more than an hour actually. Instead of having a little over 4 hours to fish today I got 3 hours to fish. It's kind of nerve wrecking when you run for 4 hours or more during the day and you get to fish for less than you run, but that's the choice you make. I was running to Venice, Louisiana, which is probably 90-100 miles from where we took off from. A lot of good fish down there.

I got 3 really good bites today and 2 little ones. I had some traffic come through my area and I think that shut the bite down a little bit. I didn't think it would affect them, but it did because I caught 3 pretty quick and had some traffic and I didn't get a bite for an hour and we only get to fish for 3 hours, so that's a long time. I'll have to adjust some tomorrow, but the right kind of fish are in my area, so it all comes down to getting the bites. You have to be in the right area and then you have to get the bites so I'm just going to do as much as I can tomorrow to make that happen.

Bobby Lane: Well today obviously went as planned. I'm holding the lead in The Bassmaster Classic. I think they've weighed in about 10 or 15 guys now and I'm still holding it. There's some big guys coming behind me for sure, but it went as planned. Didn't see the 3-3/4 and 4-pounders. I wanted to see at least two a day, did not see any today, but averaged right at 3-1/4, so I'm excited about tomorrow for sure.

Glenn: Are you making long runs?

Bobby Lane: I'm running down to Venice. Trip made the right decision this morning. With the fog delay and all, we got down there safe and got back. Ran the inside route going down and the gulf coming back.

Glenn: Did you have problems, you get stuck or anything?

Bobby Lane: Actually, it was a pretty clean day for me and that's pretty unheard of sometimes, but I've been down there a couple of times now and back so I'm learning the dos and don'ts.

Glenn: Are you pretty confident that yours is going to hold up?

Bobby Lane: I think I can catch duplicate weight definitely tomorrow. The third day I still got three spots that I know I can catch at least that if not better, but I don't know how many guys are in them areas and the tide is a big factor in this whole thing. I saw a couple other nice 2-3/4 and 3-pounders today, which looked like a good fish obviously in this tournament, so hopefully I can put five of those in a box and then scramble tomorrow. I don't want to catch a 3-1/2 that I just caught five 3s in. I'd rather do that on the final day. You keep your hopes up and go for the gold man, you didn't come here for 2nd that's for sure.

Mike McClelland: Yeah, today was one of those days with the fog delay that you had to make the right decision first thing this morning and the one canal that I had the most bites in in practice, when I got down there this morning the hyacinth had totally blown out of one canal and they had filled the other canal up that I'd gotten the bites in and probably the worst thing that happened to me was I got a bite pretty quick and I thought well they're still here I just need to figure out where they moved to.

There was just too much water in there to try and figure out where they were at. I ended up catching one there and that kept me there a little bit longer. Finally I looked at my watch and I've got an hour left to fish and I said I've got to go where I know I can catch a few. I wheeled around the corner and there was a boat fishing toward a mat that I'd had a few bites in and I wasn't going to cut him off and I was hoping he would fish on by it and just as he got to the end of the mat he caught one.

I got to sit there and watch him catch about 15. I was about 20 minutes too late getting to where I wanted to be and he caught 15 pounds and I came in with 4 today. It's all about making the right decision and tomorrow I've got to make a better decision. Hopefully we won't have the fog to delay so you can free up and fish your areas a little more thorough.

Glenn: Are you going to fish the same spots tomorrow?

Mike McClelland: I'm actually going to make a little move tomorrow and I hope I don't get in on top of anybody. I just feel like I've got to try to get in an area where I feel like there's some better quality and that's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow. I am changing areas by about 10 more miles farther to run and hopefully it will work out.

Mike Iaconelli: The day was kind of slow. We had a fog delay. We finally launched. We got down there. I caught plenty of fish, just never got a lot of those big bites like you need. I ended up getting one 4-pound bite and all the rest were 2 and 2-1/2 pounders and that's not enough to win the tournament. The water color got dirty down there and that really affected the fishing. In a short time, we only got about  2-1/2 hours to fish, I never really adjusted.

I never really figured out what I needed to do in those dirty water conditions. I got a better idea of what I'm going to deal with tomorrow when I go down there. Definitely going back, no doubt in my mind, I'm going to go back, I'm going to swing for the fences, go down and catch 20 pounds and it will put me back in the hunt.

Glenn: With that fog this morning, did the radar help you out any?

Mike Iaconelli: It did. That radar is the neatest thing. Once we got to the main Mississippi River, when you get down past Venice Marina there's an area they call the jump, which takes you from the canals into the main river. When we hit that jump it was like a wall of fog. You couldn't see the front of the boat. I was able to cross the river using that radar and then hug that left-hand bank and I had to slow down to about 50, but I was able to go down there, keep my eye on that radar and it was the most unbelievable thing, because sure enough as I'm going down all of a sudden I look and I see this big red dot on the radar.

I come off throttle and there's a big tug sitting there. The radar definitely helped, big shout out to Lowrance for getting me the radar for this tournament. I think sooner or later you're going to see radar become a standard technology on bass boats. Once those things get a little smaller it's going to be a really good tool for all fishermen.

Glenn: So what kind of changes are you going to make for tomorrow?

Mike Iaconelli: I think the biggest thing is just trying to settle down a little bit. The first day of the tournament you're kind of frazzled a little bit because when they don't bite right away you know you're under a time crunch. Tomorrow for me it's going to be about settling down a little bit more, getting in my main area, putting the trolling motor down and really trying to analyze what's going on. Maybe that's the key to catching the bigger bass is just slowing down.

Todd Faircloth: It went real good. We didn't get to fish a whole lot where we ran down there. I was making a long run, but the amount of time I got to fish I caught a lot of fish, had a lot of bites. I feel real good about going in tomorrow. Hopefully we won't have a fog delay tomorrow and I'll manage my time a little bit more. I know how long it takes me to get there and how long it takes me to get back. I burned about 30 or 40 minutes today getting back early. When you make a real long run like that you have to leave yourself some time, you don't want to push it too hard. Hopefully I can push it a little bit further tomorrow and get maybe 4 hours to fish and I really feel like the potential is there for me to  catch 17 or 18 pounds and maybe even more, so I'm excited about going fishing tomorrow.

Jeff Kriet: The fog delay had me pretty spun out, but I made a long run, pulled in and I caught couple real quick and I thought it was going to be good. I kept catching them and they were small and I never caught any good ones. I had a limit and I was trying to run back and hit something and spun a hub and I can't believe I made it back. I had to jump in the water and the mud was up to there. I don't have any socks on or anything. I was out there in my underwear wading around in the cane trying to get my prop changed and finally it got it changed where I could get it done and I don't know how I made it in, I really don't.

From where I was I left probably 35 minutes later than I need to leave and I was lucky. The gulf was calm and I hoofed it back, but I didn't make it back by much, but I feel like it's a victory just to have made it back today. At 1:30 I was trying to call a tug, trying to call somebody to tow me back to Venice Marina. I was really lucky. I had an extra hub and a prop in there. It was pretty stressful. I don't know where the good fish went. I still got a lot of bites. My biggest fish was what my average fish would be and I thought I'd catch one or two good ones. I just didn't. I don't know. It's kind of scary to make that run and not catch any good ones.

Glenn: I think the lesson of the day was just be prepared and be glad that you're all right.

Jeff Kriet: Yeah. The big deal of the day was just having an extra prop and an extra hub in the boat. I was just lucky to make it back.

Glenn: So are you making the same run tomorrow?

Jeff Kriet: I have nothing else. I have nothing else to go to.

Gerald Swindle:  Listen here Kriet, you get on my fishing spot again and I'm gonna cut ya. I'm gonna shake ya in the neck.

Jeff Kriet: I can tell ya one person I didn't see today. I spent all my time in my underwear like you usually do.

Gerald Swindle: Pushed her didn't ya?

Jeff Kriet: No man, I hit something, spun a hub dude. I was rattled. Then I thought I shattered my lower unit, I couldn't get it off.

Gerald Swindle: Then you come back and caught 11 pounds. You did great.

Jeff Kriet: That was on the way back. Already had my limit.

Gerald Swindle: Well you suck.

Skeet Reese: It was fun, I caught a lot of fish. I think it took me about 5 minutes to catch my limit this morning as soon as I pulled in a spot, which is fun. As soon as I pulled in, basically my second flip I caught one and I started jerking on them from then on, but just didn't get the size today that I thought I was going to get. It's 15 pounds, it keeps me in it. I just have to go bust a big bag tomorrow and hopefully the next day as well and hopefully get some of these bigger weights, some will fall and they'll drop down to 10-12 pound bags and I'll just keep climbing up. I had a fun day. A long run. Burned a lot of gas. Got stuck. That was interesting. I didn't know if I was going to get out, but fortunately I got out. I made a big muddy mess on my boat I know that, so hopefully it's cleaned up a little bit by now.

Glenn: How long were you stuck?

Skeet Reese: Oh about 20 minutes or so. I had to leave at 1:00 and it was about 12:15 and I thought, this isn't good. I was spraying mud everywhere. Thank goodness this Louisiana muck, you can trim your motor down into it and actually plow through it. It's soft enough and it's interesting. It's weird. You have to, instead of trimming your motor up, you trim it down and plow through it. It's not great on the motor, but when you're stuck it's all you can do.

Shaw Grigsby: It was a great day on the water today, day one. I caught a lot of fish. I went to some of my best stuff and caught fish in every single place I stopped and literally caught limits. I probably caught two limits in the first stop, the next stop I caught a limit,and  the next stop I caught a limit and I had one good bite all day and I caught her. It was 3-pounder. I should have had about 8 or 10 of those good bites and I would've been competitive, I would have had 17 or 18 pounds, but it just didn't happen. The fish were flooding in, they're coming in, there's lots of fish and there are lots of males. I don't know if the males were just beating them to the punch or if the females were just a little sluggish coming in. The temperatures raise so fast that they're just flying to the bank. I'm excited about tomorrow. I really thought I was going to catch 17, 18, maybe even 20 pounds and I catch 9.3. Really bad.

Gerald Swindle: I stay close. I try to fish a little bit around the Cataouatche area, some of the canals leading off of it. I had a little deal going kind of flipping a jig to the outside of the grass, a little smaller jig and I got a lot of bites on the official day of practice. I didn't jerk on many of them so I didn't know how big they would be. I returned to the area this morning and there were two locals sitting there and they was wearing them out. There wasn't much you could do, they really wouldn't let me get in there. You just have to watch. It's painful and I finally messed around and caught five and ended up having to leave there. I had other canal and I probably caught 30 keepers out of it and I just never caught nothing over 10 pounds and 10 ounces and I caught a bunch of them.

Cliff Pace: Well we sat there for an hour and a half before we got to go fishing this morning and that definitely didn't help, but all in all I can't complain about my day. Very limited fishing time, making a long run and I managed to get enough of it done to feel like I've still got a chance with this deal. You can't win with these tournaments, it's impossible to win one in one day, but it's real easy to lose one in one day, so at least today I feel like I prevented losing this one. I'll just go out tomorrow and see what happens. They're forecasting fog again tomorrow, so hopefully I can survive through that and maybe Sunday get one full day of fishing.

Glenn: Are you going to make any changes for tomorrow?

Cliff Pace: I really haven't decided yet just exactly what kind of game plan I'm going to go with, but probably not in the very beginning. I'm really hoping we'll get a full day of fishing tomorrow. When you've only got 2-1/2 hours to fish you don't have any options there. You don't have the ability to make a lot of changes. I didn't really make any changes today, I pretty much did was I'd planned to do. Tomorrow when we have more time I might try to expand on that some.


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