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Pierce Leads B.A.S.S. Nation Championship On Pickwick Lake

Pierce Leads B.A.S.S. Nation Championship On Pickwick Lake Mark Pierce leads the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship tournament on Pickwick Lake.
 

FLORENCE, Ala. — Mark Pierce is fishing what he describes as a “hero or zero” strategy that put him in the lead after weighing-in 22-4 on Day 1 of the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship tournament on Pickwick Lake.
  
“I’m going for a big bass, a quality bite that will either produce well or not at all,” said Pierce, of Cadiz, Ky.
  
Joshua Miller of Roberts, Wis., is second with 21-8, while Randy Pierson of Oakdale, Calif., is third with 20-7. David Cavell of Prairieville, La., is fourth with 18-11. Bob Bayless of Indianapolis, Ind., is fifth with 18-3.
  
“Today went as planned, and I’m fishing where big bass are known to live this time of year,” explained Pierce. “They are aggressive, hitting reaction baits.”
  
Although Pierce declined to mention specific lures, he said moving baits are ideal for the areas where he is targeting the quality bass. All it took were the first seven casts of the day to put Miller in second place. After leaving the launch site at 6:15 a.m., he caught the five-bass limit by 6:38 a.m.
  
“I have the place to myself,” he added. “I just pulled up on that spot, and it was lights out.”
 
He checked other similar areas for the remainder of the day, catching a 4-pound smallmouth along the way.
 
“I fish the upper Mississippi River and am leveraging that knowledge here,” said Miller, a member of the St. Croix Bass Anglers. “It’s all about the current, and the more the better for me.”
 
Miller is fishing offshore in the heavy flow of the Tennessee River. Current is key because it positions his fish behind calm water created by large boulders on the river bottom. The current is created by discharges from Wheeler Dam, which empties into Pickwick.
 
“The flow is up around 60,000 cfs (cubic feet per second), and it could be more,” he explained.
 
“I checked three more spots, and they were there too,” he continued. “I have five more areas just like those and will try them tomorrow if needed.”
 
Pierson brought a California tactic to Alabama to leverage his strong catch. As his pattern came together it built momentum and proved to be solid, reliable and filled with promise.
 
“I’ve discovered the same two types of productive cover in multiple locations,” said Pierson, a member of the Oro Madre Bass Anglers. “I didn’t realize just how good it was until today.”
 
Pierson intentionally avoided catching too many fish from his areas during practice to save the bite for the competition. The more water he covered the more fish he caught.
 
“I’m using three different lures and can switch to spinning gear and continue using them if the weather dictates making the change,” he added.
 
Switching from casting tackle might become necessary if the fish grow finicky following a predicted cold snap.
 
“The unknown is the weather because this is my first tournament on Pickwick,” added Pierson. “So I have no idea of what to expect tomorrow.”
 
Cavell only caught two bass during practice. He rebounded after weighing four bass that included a largemouth weighing 8-4, his personal best for a tournament.
 
“I wasn’t on anything during practice and could have caught 23 pounds today, counting the lost fish,” said the Ascension Area Bassmasters club member. “The pattern came together later in the day, so I’ll have tomorrow to figure it out more.”
 
Weather is destined to be a key influencer on the bass fishing. Rising water, falling temperatures and lots of cold rain are forecasted. Fall could turn to winter by Saturday, when the temperature struggles to reach the mid-40s.  
 
The catch here is spotted bass, largemouth and smallmouth in the 43,000-acre Tennessee River fishery. The mostly sought largemouth become lethargic following cold fronts, while smallmouth become more active. Pickwick is one of the nation’s premier smallmouth lakes, and it has a chance to show itself this week.
 
Joining anglers from 47 states are B.A.S.S. Nation representatives from five continents. Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, Portugal, France, Italy, Zimbabwe, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa are the foreign nations represented in the championship.
 
Boater and nonboater anglers from each state or nation qualified for the championship. So did Kenneth Carter, the national champion of the Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Tour. On the nonboater side, Travis Lugar of Virginia took the lead with 15-8. Lugar fished with North Carolina angler Norman Mullinax, whose limit weighed 11-5.
 
“We put something together; they just came up all around us,” said Lugar, a member of the Rockingham Bass Anglers. “My boater partner allowed me to try out my area, and it worked.”
  
The Top 3 finishers from the championship earn berths in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, which is set for March 15-17 in Knoxville, Tenn.
  
Those anglers also receive the “Nation’s Best” package, which includes paid entry fees into the 2019 Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens division of their choice, and the use of a fully rigged Phoenix boat for the year.
  
The overall winner receives an invitation to fish the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series, and $16,000 toward entry fees. He also receives a Nitro Z20, custom trailer with Mercury outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics.
 
The second-place finisher and nonboater winner each receive a Skeeter ZX190 with trailer, Yamaha outboard, Minn Kota trolling motor and Lowrance electronics. The third-place finisher wins a Triton 189 TrX and trailer, Yamaha outboard, and factory-installed accessories.

 
The competition concludes Saturday. Daily takeoffs begin at 6 a.m. CT at McFarland Park. Weigh-ins at the park begin at 2 p.m.

 

 

2018 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship 11/8-11/10
Pickwick Lake, Florence  AL.
(BOATER) Standings Day 1
   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$
1.  Mark Pierce            Cadiz, KY                5  22-04    0
  Day 1: 5   22-04   
2.  Joshua Miller          Roberts, WI              5  21-08    0
  Day 1: 5   21-08   
3.  Randy Pierson          Oakdale, CA              5  20-07    0
  Day 1: 5   20-07   
4.  David Cavell           Prairieville, LA         4  18-11    0
  Day 1: 4   18-11   
5.  Bob Bayless            Indianapolis, IN         5  18-03    0
  Day 1: 5   18-03   
6.  Jacopo Gallelli        Firenze ITALY            5  17-06    0
  Day 1: 5   17-06   
7.  Bob Blumenstein        Bolingbrook, IL          5  17-02    0
  Day 1: 5   17-02   
8.  Strati Orphanides      Marondera ZIMBABWE       4  14-14    0
  Day 1: 4   14-14   
9.  Jacob Shull            Willcox, AZ              5  14-11    0
  Day 1: 5   14-11   
10. Harry Marsh  III       New Berlin, WI           5  14-04    0
  Day 1: 5   14-04   
11. Brian Maloney          Osage Beach, MO          5  13-14    0
  Day 1: 5   13-14   
12. Don Allphin            Provo, UT                5  13-09    0
  Day 1: 5   13-09   
13. Kyle Dorsett           Odenville, AL            3  13-07    0
  Day 1: 3   13-07   
14. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  13-00    0
  Day 1: 5   13-00   
15. T.J. Martin            Owasso, OK               5  12-12    0
  Day 1: 5   12-12   
16. Jeff Lugar             Cross Junction, VA       4  12-06    0
  Day 1: 4   12-06   
16. Alan McNamara          Muswellbrook NSW AUSTRA  4  12-06    0
  Day 1: 4   12-06   
18. Jesse Weener           Holland, MI              4  11-07    0
  Day 1: 4   11-07   
19. Norman Mullinax        Wilmington, NC           5  11-05    0
  Day 1: 5   11-05   
20. Greg Phillips          Humboldt, TN             4  11-04    0
  Day 1: 4   11-04   
21. Eddie Levin            Westerville, OH          5  11-02    0
  Day 1: 5   11-02   
22. Albert Collins         Nacogdoches, TX          3  10-00    0
  Day 1: 3   10-00   
23. Justy Varkevisser      Johannesburg SOUTH AFRI  3  09-15    0
  Day 1: 3   09-15   
24. Mark Cavanaugh         Port Perry ONTARIO CANA  4  09-14    0
  Day 1: 4   09-14   
25. Luke Shrader           Barrington, NJ           3  09-12    0
  Day 1: 3   09-12   
26. Dan Parker             Guttenburg, IA           4  09-10    0
  Day 1: 4   09-10   
27. Shane Stiehl           Winner, SD               3  09-08    0
  Day 1: 3   09-08   
28. David Morton           Suwanee, GA              3  09-07    0
  Day 1: 3   09-07   
29. Donald Tully           Acworth, GA              3  07-12    0
  Day 1: 3   07-12   
30. Nicholas Kincaid       Coweta, OK               3  07-10    0
  Day 1: 3   07-10   
31. Joe Cole               Coalville, UT            3  07-09    0
  Day 1: 3   07-09   
32. Timothy Thompson Jr    New Milford, CT          3  06-14    0
  Day 1: 3   06-14   
33. Joe Conway             Colorado Springs, CO     2  06-12    0
  Day 1: 2   06-12   
34. Gregg Fogner           Conway, SC               2  06-10    0
  Day 1: 2   06-10   
35. Ken Day                Kennewick, WA            3  06-08    0
  Day 1: 3   06-08   
36. Addam Gross            Pendleton, OR            1  06-05    0
  Day 1: 1   06-05   
37. John Roth              Lawrenceburg, IN         3  06-03    0
  Day 1: 3   06-03   
38. Tyler Webb             Glen Daniel, WV          2  05-07    0
  Day 1: 2   05-07   
39. Doyle Helmink          Lincoln, NE              2  05-03    0
  Day 1: 2   05-03   
40. Juanro Chagollan       Zapopan MEXICO           2  04-15    0
  Day 1: 2   04-15   
41. Chris Jones            Conway, SC               2  04-09    0
  Day 1: 2   04-09   
42. Patrick Martin         Mascouche Quebec CANADA  2  04-08    0
  Day 1: 2   04-08   
43. Terrell Foster         Natchez, MS              2  04-07    0
  Day 1: 2   04-07   
44. Jason Hickey           Weiser, ID               2  04-05    0
  Day 1: 2   04-05   
44. Dave Turner            Crystal River, FL        2  04-05    0
  Day 1: 2   04-05   
46. Alec Williams          Windhoek NAMIBIA         1  04-05    0
  Day 1: 1   04-05   
47. Corey Brant            Minnetonka, MN           1  04-03    0
  Day 1: 1   04-03   
48. Soshi Kataoka          Ohtsu-Shi Shiga-Ken Jap  1  03-12    0
  Day 1: 1   03-12   
49. Paul Gietka            Abingdon, MD             1  03-07    0
  Day 1: 1   03-07   
50. Luis Mendes            PT PORTUGAL              1  03-02    0
  Day 1: 1   03-02   
51. Jeremy Sadowski        Valuntower, CT           1  02-15    0
  Day 1: 1   02-15   
52. Kevin Rose Jr          Anniston, CT             1  02-13    0
  Day 1: 1   02-13   
53. Mark Hogan             Milford, DE              1  02-07    0
  Day 1: 1   02-07   
54. Shane Baertsch         Missoula, MT             1  02-06    0
  Day 1: 1   02-06   
55. Gabriel Rivera         Portales, NM             1  02-05    0
  Day 1: 1   02-05   
56. Kane Stein             Trafford, PA             1  02-04    0
  Day 1: 1   02-04   
57. Brent James            St George, UT            1  02-02    0
  Day 1: 1   02-02   
58. George Cooper          Buxton, ME               1  01-14    0
  Day 1: 1   01-14   
59. Tom Alsop              Overland Park, KS        0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
59. Ken Carter             Enterprise, FL           0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
59. Mark Fournier          Londonderry, NH          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
59. Troy Morrison          North Little Rock, AR    0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
59. Cameron Smith          Wareham, MA              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1        14       172       521-13
----------------------------------
          14       172       521-13
(NON_BOATER) Standings Day 1
   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$
1.  Travis Lugar           McGaheysville, VA        5  15-08    0
  Day 1: 5   15-08   
2.  Tim Ward               Sylacauga, AL            5  14-05    0
  Day 1: 5   14-05   
3.  Phil Coffin            Pittsburgh, PA           5  13-04    0
  Day 1: 5   13-04   
4.  Danny McGarry          Newtonville CANADA       4  12-10    0
  Day 1: 4   12-10   
5.  Tucker Cappella        Alcova, WY               3  11-14    0
  Day 1: 3   11-14   
6.  Josh Crededio          Chicago, IL              5  11-11    0
  Day 1: 5   11-11   
7.  Gary Pope Jr           Georgetown, SC           4  11-01    0
  Day 1: 4   11-01   
8.  Eduardo Marcos         San Luis Potosi MEXICO   4  10-11    0
  Day 1: 4   10-11   
9.  Dylan Fryer            Hervey Bay Queensland A  3  09-06    0
  Day 1: 3   09-06   
10. John Fritz             Coal City, IN            4  08-14    0
  Day 1: 4   08-14   
11. Tim Cartwright         Sand Springs, OK         3  08-12    0
  Day 1: 3   08-12   
12. Josh Cotier            Clinton, MA              3  08-07    0
  Day 1: 3   08-07   
13. Hideaki Kasuyama       Osaka JAPAN              3  08-04    0
  Day 1: 3   08-04   
14. Michael Duarte         Middle River, MD         3  08-00    0
  Day 1: 3   08-00   
15. Loren Bryant           Phoenix, AZ              3  07-06    0
  Day 1: 3   07-06   
16. Jim Morris Jr          Milford, CT              2  07-00    0
  Day 1: 2   07-00   
17. Willie Adkins Jr       Wayne, WV                3  06-08    0
  Day 1: 3   06-08   
18. Ben Vincent            Syracuse, NY             2  06-04    0
  Day 1: 2   06-04   
19. Morgan Fitzgerald      Denver, CO               2  05-10    0
  Day 1: 2   05-10   
20. Fernando Henriques     Cernache do Bonjardim P  2  05-07    0
  Day 1: 2   05-07   
21. Jody Adkins            Navarre, OH              2  05-05    0
  Day 1: 2   05-05   
22. Steven Brown           Adel, GA                 2  05-03    0
  Day 1: 2   05-03   
22. Matt Stearns           Lakeville, MN            2  05-03    0
  Day 1: 2   05-03   
24. Tom McArt Jr           Albany, OR               2  04-11    0
  Day 1: 2   04-11   
24. Ted Tinlin             Des Moines, IA           2  04-11    0
  Day 1: 2   04-11   
26. Clay Williams          Athol, ID                2  04-03    0
  Day 1: 2   04-03   
27. Neil Gulab             Harare ZIMBABWE          1  03-06    0
  Day 1: 1   03-06   
28. Matt Marques           Seneca, IL               1  03-03    0
  Day 1: 1   03-03   
29. Trevor Yates           Norman, OK               1  03-01    0
  Day 1: 1   03-01   
30. Jason Billmaier        Las Vegas, NV            1  02-14    0
  Day 1: 1   02-14   
31. Jeremy Barbour         Lucedale, MS             1  02-11    0
  Day 1: 1   02-11   
32. Nick Coleman           Kuttawa, KY              1  02-09    0
  Day 1: 1   02-09   
32. Mike Estrada           Belen, NM                1  02-09    0
  Day 1: 1   02-09   
34. Justin Dodd            Kennewick, WA            1  02-05    0
  Day 1: 1   02-05   
34. Harry Marsh II         New Berlin, WI           1  02-05    0
  Day 1: 1   02-05   
36. Mike Powell            Midway, UT               1  02-03    0
  Day 1: 1   02-03   
37. Brian Penney           Haverhill, MA            1  02-01    0
  Day 1: 1   02-01   
38. Dolyn Brown            Valley, NE               1  02-00    0
  Day 1: 1   02-00   
39. Bert Petrie            McKinney, TX             1  01-13    0
  Day 1: 1   01-13   
40. Mark Bartosch          Clarksville, TN          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Neels Benekie          Kwazulu Natal SOUTH AFR  0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Brock Bila             Louisburg, KS            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Tate Brown             Orem, UT                 0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Toby Cross             Bowdoinham, ME           0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Joshua DeKoning        Lawton, MI               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Michele Fanfani        Impruneta ITALY          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Quincy Grupenhoff      Noxon, MT                0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Zachary Gunter         El Dorado, AR            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Jake Haas              Sewell, NJ               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Bryce Hauf             Colome, SD               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Stacey Jefferson Proctor Conway, SC               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Luke Johns             Folsom, CA               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Joe Johnson            Clarksville, TN          0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Jim Keith              Newberry, FL             0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Nicholas Mandes        N Stongington, CT        0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Tanguy Marlin          Yvrac Aquitaine FRANCE   0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Angela Mayo            Maiden, NC               0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Jimmy Myers            Wyoming, DE              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Todd Newchurch         Livonia, LA              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Mike Szczechowski      Strafford, MO            0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Bob Wetzler            Rutland, VT              0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Weston Wilkes          Swainsboro, GA           0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
40. Thinus Williams        Windhoek NAMIBIA         0  00-00    0
  Day 1: 0   00-00   
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
 1         4        93       253-02
----------------------------------
           4        93       253-02

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