Early predictions were that 11 to 13 pounds a day would put an angler in good shape. Those predictions weren't far off on day one as three-time CITGO Bassmaster Angler of the Year Mark Davis took the lead with 14 pounds and 8 ounces.
"I anticipated that it would be a good day and it was," Davis said. "I like to look for schools of fish and I found one. What was really great was that I caught five really quick and I left them there to bite tomorrow.
"The fish are in a typical post spawn pattern. They're all schooled up."
The Arkansas pro caught all of his fish, Wednesday, on three different baits. A tequila soft plastic worm, a Strike King Spitting King top water bait and a Strike King Series One crank bait.
"I'm fishing in a backwater area," Davis said, "and I plan on going back to the same spot tomorrow."
Second place Roland Martin, brought in 12-6 on day one, fishing the main pool.
"I probably have the fastest boat out here," Martin said. "I get it up to about 70, run it for about 30 seconds and shut it off. I have more time to fish if I do it that way. I don't have to worry about the locks."
Martin had never fished the Tenn-Tom until this tournament, however, he has some history with the waterway.
"My father wasn't a fisherman," Martin said. "He was an engineer. As a matter of fact, he was the lead engineer on a project called the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway."
Martin also picked up an extra $1,000 by participating in the Busch Shootout program and for producing the Busch Heavyweight Sack of the Day.
Another pro who is taking home some cash is Arizona's John Murray. Murray brought in a 5-pound 3-ounce lunker today to earn him $1,000 from Purolator for the Purolator Big Bass of the Day. If that fish holds out to be the largest fish of the tournament, Murray will earn an additional $1,000 for the Purolator Big Bass of the Tournament.
South Carolina's Davy Hite brought in 12-4 to pick up third place. Hite, like Martin, is sticking with the main pool.
"I just put my head down and fished hard today," Hite said. "When it's really tough like this, I just thing you are going to be better off fishing rather than running. I mean I have eight hours to catch five keepers and I should be able to do that."
North Carolina's Dustin Wilks (11-15), Murray (11-4) and Oklahoma's Tommy Biffle (11-2) round out the top six for day one.
The Bassmaster Elite 50 series continues Thursday. Launch begins at 10 a.m. and daily weigh-ins will begin at 7 p.m. at the Stennis Lock and Dam and are free to the public.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.
Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Berkley, Abu Garcia, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops, and BankOne.
Associate Sponsors include G3 Boats.
Local Sponsors include the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau.
For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit www.bassmaster.com.