NANIA, REEHM TIE FOR OPEN LEAD AT AMISTAD
DEL RIO, Tex. - Three anglers with youth, experience, and a pony tail grabbed top honors at Lake Amistad, as the Bassmaster Central Open Division opened its 2010 season to bright skies and surprisingly calm water on a lake known for rough conditions.
Joey Nania, one of the youngest, if not the youngest angler in the field at 18, and Bassmaster Elite pro Clark Reehm share the lead with 24 pounds, while former Women's Bassmaster Tour competitor Lisa Stenard brought in the day's only double digit bass, a 10 pound, 4 ounce lunker.
Nania, fishing his first Open event after winning two Junior Bassmaster World Championship titles, caught all his bass in one area, and attributed much of his success to a new soft plastic lure he doesn't believe Amistad fish have seen before. He had 20 pounds in the livewell by 10 a.m. and gradually increased his weight the remainder of the day.
Reehm, by contrast, noted that he was using both hard and soft plastic lures in as many as eight different places around the massive 67,000 acre Rio Grande River impoundment, and that he caught as many as 25 fish in one of those spots but all were small.
They're followed by Aaron Johnson in third with 23-8; Tim Reneau, 23-4; and Ray Hanselman, 23-2. Overall, 28 pros broke the 20-pound mark.
"I never put a bass weighing less than three pounds in my livewell all day," said Reehm, "because I know they won't win this tournament. I think the entire tournament is going to hinge on getting a random big bite because nearly everyone is catching bass now."
Lisa Stenard's random big bite came at 12:30 p.m. after she already had her five-bass limit, and it promptly doubled her entire weight. The bass hit a soft plastic lure in 18 feet of water; it's her largest bass ever, but not her first 10-pounder from Amistad. The Clarksville, Tenn. Angler caught a 10-1 lunker during the WBT event here in 2008.
The lack of double-digit largemouths surprised many, and special arrangements had even been made in case someone brought in a 13 pound bass that would qualify for the Texas ShareLunker program. What was not surprising, however, were the overall numbers of bass brought to the scales; the 201 pros caught 949 bass weighing more than 2,940 pounds, while their non-boater partners added 532 more weighing 1,618 pounds.
Louisiana angler Buz Craft leads the non-boater division with three fish weighing 18 pounds, 10 ounces. He was paired with former Bassmaster Classic contender Clark Wendlandt, who weighed in 20-5 and sits in 25th place.
Fishing might actually improve Friday, as windy conditions are predicted. While the wind will slow the sight fishing, it could improve the action for those throwing swimbaits and jerkbaits.
The launches and weigh-ins for the Open are at Lake Amistad Resort and Marina, Highway 90 W., Del Rio, TX 78840. Takeoff is set for 7 a.m. CT; weigh-ins will begin at 3 p.m. CT. All events are free and open to the public.
The series will move from Amistad to the Red River out of Shreveport, La., on June 3-5. The circuit will close out on Oct. 21-23 on Lake Texoma out of Denison, Texas.
Complete tournament coverage, including real-time leaderboards, will be available at www.Bassmaster.com each day of the event. Other coverage will include extensive daily photo galleries, BASSCam video interviews, and standings and results.
The local sponsor of the Lake Amistad Bassmaster Central Open is the Del Rio Chamber of Commerce, www.drchamber.com
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Source: bassmaster.com (2010-04-08)