UPCOMING EVENT: FLW Pro Circuit - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Quick Bites: FLW Ouachita River, Day 1

Quick Bites: FLW Ouachita River, Day 1
Matt Herren soaks up some limelight after an astounding day one.

Wal-Mart FLW Tour
Ouachita River, Monroe, La.
Opening round, Wednesday

Ouachi-shock ... It seemed that no one had very high expectations for the fishing conditions on the Ouachita River, especially not Matt Herren, who chided tournament director Bill Taylor for bringing the FLW Tour to the flooded, muddy river. Nevertheless, the Ouachita gave up several fine limits today, the best of which belonged to Herren, who caught a whopping 24 pounds, 14 ounces to lead the pro field. ... "I owe Bill Taylor an apology," Herren said. "I asked him, `Exactly who picked this lake out, because it's a mess." ... Herren caught 10 keepers today and appears poised to claim his first-ever FLW Tour top-10.

A Walker to remember ... David Walker caught an impressive 20-pound, 1-ounce sack on day one to kick off the tournament in the No. 2 spot. The lofty berth took some pressure off Walker, who kicked off the Bassmaster Tour with a bang but has posted only mediocre finishes on the FLW Tour this season. ... "Finally," he said. "I'm so sick of catching 11 pounds at these tournaments. I told my partner, `At any moment the alarm on my cell phone is going to start ringing because this is not happening.'"

Got the Wend knocked out of him ... Two-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt continued his surprising slide toward the bottom rung of the pro standings with a three-bass catch today that totaled a mere 4 pounds, good for 142nd. Every angler has his off year, and 2005 is undoubtedly Wendlandt's, as he entered the Ouachita River event ranked 127th after two dismal finishes. ... Luckily for Wendlandt, the next FLW Tour stop is on Beaver Lake, where he has scored two of his three wins for a total of five top-10 finishes. Barring a miracle, Wendlandt said he is heading to Beaver Lake tomorrow for pretournament practice.

Slip `n slide ... Other notables suffering subpar seasons include 2004 Angler of the Year Shinichi Fukae and last year's No. 2 angler Greg Hackney, considered by many in the preseason as the hottest angler on tour. Fukae currently sits in the No. 153 spot in the AOY standings while Hackney is currently ranked a respectable 32nd. Neither angler did anything to improve their status, however, as Fukae finished 93rd after day one with 6-15 and Hackney finished 141st with 4-2. ... Hackney's day-one co-angler partner, Merle Wells Jr. nevertheless fared quite well, ranking third in the Co-angler Division with 11 pounds, 13 ounces.

Rookie sensation Bobby Lane, the FLW points leader, is poised to make yet another top 10. He placed 14th on day one at the Ouachita River.Fire Lane ... Without a doubt, rookie pro Bobby Lane is on fire. After posting top-10 finishes in his first two FLW Tour events, Lane leads the Angler of the Year race and is currently in 14th place on the Ouachita River with 14 pounds, 11 ounces. Guess the Florida native can fish outside his home state after all. "I just had to prove them wrong today," said Lane of his naysayers. When asked if he thinks he will post a third consecutive top 10, he said, "It's a good possibility." ... Lane caught his bass today on a jig and a spinner bait and had them all by 10 a.m. despite a broken trolling motor.

AOY update ... While No. 1-ranked Bobby Lane caught them again today on the Ouachita, No. 2 pro Kelly Jordon did not fare as well, finishing near the bottom - 178th - with one bass weighing 1 pound, 4 ounces. Greg Pugh, who, like Bobby Lane, has two top-10s after only two events, also found the Ouachita River a bit unforgiving, finishing the day in 129th with four bass weighing 5-1.

Tenth-place pro William Davis of Russellville, Ark., five bass, 15-13Hot streak ... Just two weeks after he broke the EverStart Series record for heaviest two-day catch, pro William Davis, an FLW Tour rookie, caught 15 pounds, 13 ounces to tie for the No. 10 spot on the Ouachita River. The Russellville, Ala., pro is currently ranked 53rd on the FLW Tour, and his best finish to date is 59th on Lake Okeechobee.

Quick numbers:

60: Approximate number of miles that Chad Morgenthaler carried Jim Tutt after Tutt broke down way out in the Ouachita.

0: Amount of money earned by J.T. Kenney on the 2004 FLW Tour. Kenney is currently ranked fourth and has already pocketed $31,500 in earnings this season.

6-12: Weight, in pounds and ounces, of Takahiro Omori's big bass that earned him $750 as the day-one Snickers Big Bass Award winner.

6-9: Weight, in pounds and ounces, that earned Roy Altman Jr. big-bass honors on the co-angler side.

15-13: Current top-10 cutoff weight on the pro side, far heavier than most predictions.

4-13: Span, in pounds and ounces, of Matt Herren's lead over David Walker.

Pro Craig Powers, 20th place, shows off some of the OuachitaSound bites:

"Reminds me of me and my brother." - Weighmaster Charlie Evans, commenting on Craig Powers' pair of "short and fat" spotted bass.

"I heard you talk about that big belly on that bass. I never hear you say, `Look at that girl, don't she have a big, fat, pretty belly on her.'" - Pro Jimmy Houston, in response to Evans' remarks about Craig Powers' portly fish.

"I'm going to go to Bobby Lane's room tonight and see if he talks in his sleep." - No. 172 pro Stephen Wilson, who's hoping to steal a bit of Bobby Lane's mojo.

"I've got to help feed that baby boy of mine now." - New dad Dan Morehead, explaining his recent jump in performance following the birth of his second child, a boy.

"It looked like NASCAR out there. This morning I'd get him on the straightaway, and he'd get me on the turns." - Pro angler Mark Goines, describing an early morning boat race with fellow pro Scott Martin.

"I think I've got it won." - Co-angler Bill Rogers, after weighing in a single bass that totaled 1-4.

"I changed my game plan. Tomorrow I'll change it back." - Pro Glenn Miller, who finished 180th out of 186 pros who weighed in fish on day one.

Tomorrow's takeoff is scheduled to take place at 7 a.m. CST at Forsythe Park, located at 2401 Sycamore St. in Monroe, La.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  quick-bites  2005-03-09-ouachita-river 

Breaking Down the Cup Field

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Studio Notes: Smith Lake

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FLW Live Schedule for Lake Cumberland

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Quick Bites: Forrest Wood Cup, Red River, Day 2

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Big Mac attack

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Ralls reels 'em in

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McGuire maintains mojo

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Man vs. nature

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Blowin’ in the wind on Kentucky/Barkley

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Not just a swamp person

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On the Mark

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Le victor

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