UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Detroit River

Quick Bites: Wal-Mart Open, Day 1

Quick Bites: Wal-Mart Open, Day 1
Pro Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., fourth place after day one, said, 'This is a Tennessee bass,' referring to this Kentucky spotted bass he caught.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Wal-Mart Open
Beaver Lake, Rogers, Ark.
Opening round, Wednesday

Beaver Lake medley ... Some fished shallow while several fished deep; anglers sampled the spectrum of Beaver Lake fish species, three kinds of which were weighed in; and pros and co-anglers alike used a bevy of baits to attract bass. Day one of the 2004 Wal-Mart Open was marked by a mixed bag of tricks and much disparity in the success of anglers fishing in the FLW Tour's fourth stop of the season. Pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., who ended the day in second place, said, "I felt like the fish were looking for me instead of the other way around," while pro Rick Lillegard of Atkinson, N.H. - 155th - had a far different take: "The best fish I caught today was a catfish. That's the kind of day I'm having." Pro Mike Reynolds of Modesto, Calif., was one of several anglers who tried a little bit of everything to bring in the bass. "I threw everything but the kitchen sink at them," he said. Aaron Martens of Castaic, Calif., was another pro who used an assorted arsenal to reel in 14th place and a group of bass he caught "all different kinds of ways." Another common occurrence on day one was for a competitor to come across the stage with combination of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. Pro Matt Herren of Trussville, Ala., used all three species to fill his sack and said, "I got a flush."

Guess I'll go eat worms ... But while many FLW anglers were changing up lures throughout the day, a good portion were using plastic worms to win over the bass. Countless competitors said they spent the day "shakin' a worm" or "shakin' a little worm" to bring on the bite. One duo used two worms to catch one 3-pounder. Pro Bob Plemmons of Kernersville, N.C., said he broke a fish off in the morning that his co-angler, Mike Hawks, later caught. "It's kind of a funny story," Plemmons said. "He pulled it up, and it had my worm in its mouth."

Pro Shinichi Fukae of Osaka, Japan, in first place after day one of the Wal-Mart Open, could be a serious contender for Angler of the Year if he keeps up his pace on tour.Lost in translation ... Japanese pro Shinichi Fukae could have used a translator on day one for his banter with FLW Tour weigh-in host Charlie Evans, but the Beaver Lake bass heard him loud and clear. And everyone understood Fukae's numbers: a five-fish weight of 16 pounds, 7 ounces, good for first place by over a pound going into Thursday's competition. Evans befuddled Fukae - who placed fourth and 11th in his first two FLW Tour events this year - by describing him as "automatic" after recording his day-one weight. Evans rephrased it several ways - "solid, consistent, really good, perfect" - to help Fukae to understand. It didn't take long. Fukae responded, "Today is very, very perfect."

Quick numbers

80: Number of five-bass limits caught by the pros on day one.

13: Number of five-bass limits caught by the co-anglers on day one.

Lonnie Fuller Jr. of Hemphill, Texas, is in fourth place in the Co-angler Division after day one. 4: Number of top-10 finishes earned by fourth-place co-angler Lonnie Fuller Jr. out of seven FLW Tour events last year.

1: Number of years Fukae has fished the FLW Tour; number of top-five finishes in his first year on tour thus far; his place after day one at Beaver Lake.

Sound bites

"I'm teachin' him to talk Tennessee, and he's teachin' me Japanese. We're struggling, to say the least."
- Pro Craig Powers of Rockwood, Tenn., describing his day on the water with Japanese co-angler Yoshihiro Miyoshi.

"With a microscope. Get an elephant gun and go hunting."
- Pro Mike Hawkes, who hails from Sabinal, Texas, responding to questions asking how he caught his fish - two bass weighing just under 2 pounds total - and how he would change his tactics for day two.

"Y'all see that up there? That's dirt ugly."
- Announcer Charlie Evans, to the crowd, giving pro J.T. Kenney of Frostburg, Md., a hard time after Kenney characterized his displayed picture as "horrible."

Tags: patrick-baker  quick-bites  2004-03-31-wal-mart-open-beaver-lake 

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