Brandon Koon and Kyle Winstead of the University of Tennessee Martin brought in 13-5 Thursday to take the Day 1 lead of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Central Regional presented by Bass Pro Shops on the Red River.
Koon and Winstead not only took the lead, but they also caught the only limit of the day. Extreme weather conditions seemed to be the culprit causing the poor fishing. A drastic 50-degree swing in temperatures from yesterday to today shut down most of the shallow bite these anglers had going.
As a front pushed into the Red River region yesterday, air temperatures plummeted from 82 degrees at 4 p.m. to 29 degrees by midnight. A sleet and snow mixture shuffled around by a 25-mile-per-hour wind greeted anglers as they launched at Grand Ecore this morning. The foul weather conditions caused a 2 1/2 hour delay as tournament officials held the field until safer conditions finally took hold.
Of the 90 boats participating, only 36 registered one or more fish on Day 1. The potential maximum number of fish those 90 boats could have brought in would max out at 450 if they all caught a five-fish limit. Instead only 70 fish came across the scale on Day 1.
“We had a pretty rough practice,” Winstead said. “We scrapped everything and just tried something off the wall.”
That “off the wall” pattern seemed to work well on Day 1. When asked if they thought the pattern would hold up, the UT Martin team seemed fairly confident that not only would their primary area hold up, but that they also could also expand on their pattern.
“It’s a unique pattern, but we found one other place where we can duplicate it and one more place we think we can catch them in. We just didn’t have time to try it today,” Winstead said.
Tyler Craig and Blake Alford of the University of Louisiana Monroe sit in second after Day 1 with four fish weighing 11-10, while Brock Enmeier and Colten Hutson of the University of Central Oklahoma hold down the third spot with three fish for 10-3.
Evan Smith and Aaron Sarna of Arkansas Tech University brought in the heaviest bass weighing 6-3 to claim the Carhartt Big Bass lead for Day 1.
Anglers will head back out onto the Red River tomorrow morning starting at 6:30 a.m. CT from Grand Ecore landing. The weigh-in will begin at 2:45 p.m. as anglers make their way in off the water. Find all the action on Bassmaster.com.