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Short Takes Opening Day Lead

Short Takes Opening Day Lead at Elite Series on Pickwick Lake

 
Kevin Short was sick of hearing about swimbaits and Thursday, he did his best to change the conversation. Kicking it “old school”, Short of Mayflower, Arkansas, tied on two comfort choices – a jig and a crankbait – and toted 20 pounds, 3 ounces, of Pickwick Lake bass to the scales at the Alabama Charge, enough to hold off Cliff Pace of Petal, Miss., by 10 ounces.

Short was mired in 74th place in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the year standings heading into this week – indicative of his lack of affinity for the swimbait – and needed a shot in the arm here. The first leg of the Elite Series has been dominated by swimbaits as Skeet Reese and Byron Velvick won with the frustrating technique in the previous two events.

But Short knew he was getting back to his strengths with the schedule focusing on Tennessee River impoundments that fish more traditionally. And Short cashed in, reversing his sliding trend after a rough stretch to begin the season.

“I’ve been so discombobulated lately and I knew I just needed to get my brain in the right place to start catching fish,” said Short, who scored his first Elite Series victory last year on the Mississippi River. “I needed to get back on track and I needed to stick to what I know best. So far, it’s working”

Bassmaster.com will follow the Charge each day with BASSCast, BASSCam, real-time leaderboards during weigh-ins, photo galleries, daily results, and Hooked Up with ESPN Outdoors personalities Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders. Live, streaming video will be carried by ESPN3.com. Click here closer to tournament time for a complete coverage schedule.

Short started attacking shallow early, keying in on strictly largemouths. As the day progressed, Short moved to deeper water, following where he felt the fish were going. By 10 a.m., he boated three decent bass, which gave him the opportunity to relax and expand on his areas.

With a bevy of 2- and 3-pounders saturated in his area, Short figured out a way to only target the bigger bass. While he has limited boat traffic in his area, he said none of the other competitors have figured out how to catch the largemouth like he has.

“I just feel comfortable fishing like this,” said Short. “I’m just happy to get away from that darn swimbait.”

There are two polarizing decisions that anglers have to make this week. One, they risk losing valuable time by locking through to Lake Wilson — the move can pay off in spades – or play it safe in Pickwick. Secondly, once a location is established, anglers have to quickly decide to target largemouth or smallmouth as both species are in play this week. While Short is married to the largemouth bite, Pace is working the smallies.

Plying through a ton of bites, Pace found the right five smallmouths to total 19-9. He was working tight, small areas that were home to roaming smallmouth. He stayed on Pickwick, like Short, and targeted shallow water.

He will duplicate his pattern Friday but with weather approaching – rain is in store for later in the day – Pace wouldn’t rule out entirely switching things up.

“Smallmouth generally like to roam and cruise around within their areas,” said Pace, who qualified for the Bassmaster Elite Series Postseason in 2009. “So I was playing to their habits in those pockets. I wasn’t sure I would stick to this pattern all day when I first got on the water but I got a couple of good ones early and that really helped.”

Behind Pace in third was blazing hot Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., with 18-15. In his first ever visit to Pickwick, Reese stumbled in practice and was simply looking at not bombing this week in order to keep momentum in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

Instead, he finds himself in contention and is threatening to run away with the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year trophy.

“I had zero confidence this week,” said Reese, the 2007 Angler of the Year and 2009 Bassmaster Classic champion. “That weight is certainly not where I expected to be. Coming in this week, I would have been happy with a top 20.”

Edwin Evers, who was tied for fourth in the AOY race heading into this week, was also tied for fourth in the event. Greg Hackney, of Gonzales, La., matched Evers’ with 18-9. Hackney, in second to Reese in the AOY, continues to pile up solid tournaments and has prevented Reese from taking a near-insurmountable lead.

In sixth was Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., with 18-3. Five-time AOY Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., was 24th with 15-2.

BASS has visited Pickwick Lake, a 47,000-acre Tennessee River fishery, for six events, including a 2002 Southern Open won by Boyd Duckett of Demopolis, Ala., with 33 pounds, 8 ounces, through three days. Duckett was ninth.

The Alabama Charge has a top prize of $100,000 and awards valuable points in the 2010 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title race. The full Elite field will compete Thursday and Friday, with the top 47 advancing to Saturday’s competition. From there, the top 12 will advance to Sunday for a shot at the trophy and the top prize.

The public is invited to attend the daily launches at 6:10 a.m. CT at McFarland Park, 200 James M. Spain Dr., Florence, Ala., 35630. Also free and open to the public, the daily weigh-ins are set for 3:30 p.m. CT at McFarlandPark.

Local sponsor of the Alabama Charge: Florence/Lauderdale Tourism.

The top 12 pros in the AOY standings at the end of the regular season will advance to the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series postseason, in which the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year will be determined.

Toyota Trucks Championship Week is set for July 24-31 and will be played out once again on two productive Alabama fisheries. The first leg, the July 24-25 Trophy Chase, returns to Lake Jordan out of Wetumpka. The finale, the Evan Williams Bourbon Trophy Triumph, is slated for July 30-31 on the Alabama River from Montgomery.

Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Skeeter and Yamaha.

Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance and Triton Boats.

About BASS
For more than 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and its expansive tournament structure while championing efforts to connect directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

As the flagship offering of ESPN Outdoors, the Bassmaster brand and its considerable multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer; comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com, BASSInsider.com, ESPNOutdoors.com and ESPN3.com, and ESPN2 television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

BASS oversees the prestigious Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, BASS Federation Nation and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

BASS offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration,Fla.

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Media Contact: Doug Grassian at 407-566-2216 or [email protected]

DAY 1 ALABAMA CHARGE STANDINGS

2010 Florence, AL 4/29-5/2
Pickwick Lake, Florence AL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Kevin Short Mayflower, AR 5 20-03 305
Day 1: 5 20-03
2. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 5 19-09 295
Day 1: 5 19-09
3. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 5 18-15 290
Day 1: 5 18-15
4. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 5 18-09 285
Day 1: 5 18-09
4. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 5 18-09 285
Day 1: 5 18-09
6. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 5 18-03 276
Day 1: 5 18-03
7. Tommy Biffle Wagoner, OK 5 18-01 272
Day 1: 5 18-01
8. Zell Rowland Austin, TX 5 18-00 268
Day 1: 5 18-00
9. Boyd Duckett Demopolis, AL 5 17-11 264
Day 1: 5 17-11
10. Rick Morris Virginia Beach, VA 5 17-07 260
Day 1: 5 17-07
11. Wade Grooms Bonneau, SC 5 17-03 257
Day 1: 5 17-03
12. Bill Lowen North Bend, OH 5 17-02 254
Day 1: 5 17-02
13. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 5 17-01 251
Day 1: 5 17-01
13. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 5 17-01 251
Day 1: 5 17-01
15. Dennis Tietje Roanoke, LA 5 16-03 245
Day 1: 5 16-03
16. J Todd Tucker Moultrie, GA 5 16-01 243
Day 1: 5 16-01
17. Dave Wolak Wake Forest, NC 5 16-00 241
Day 1: 5 16-00
18. Shaw E Grigsby Gainesville, FL 5 15-15 239
Day 1: 5 15-15
19. Keith Poche Troy, AL 5 15-12 237
Day 1: 5 15-12
20. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 5 15-10 235
Day 1: 5 15-10
21. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 5 15-08 233
Day 1: 5 15-08
21. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 15-08 233
Day 1: 5 15-08
23. Brent Chapman Lake Quivira, KS 5 15-04 229
Day 1: 5 15-04
24. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 5 15-02 227
Day 1: 5 15-02
25. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 5 15-01 225
Day 1: 5 15-01
26. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 5 15-01 223
Day 1: 5 15-01
27. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 5 14-15 221
Day 1: 5 14-15
28. Stephen Browning Hot Springs, AR 5 14-14 219
Day 1: 5 14-14
29. Terry Butcher Talala, OK 5 14-12 217
Day 1: 5 14-12
30. Pete Ponds Madison, MS 5 14-10 215
Day 1: 5 14-10
31. Ish Monroe Hughson, CA 5 14-08 213
Day 1: 5 14-08
32. Mark Burgess Norton, MA 5 14-07 211
Day 1: 5 14-07
32. Matt Herren Trussville, AL 5 14-07 211
Day 1: 5 14-07
32. Dustin Wilks Rocky Mount, NC 5 14-07 211
Day 1: 5 14-07
35. Clark Reehm Russellville, AR 5 14-06 205
Day 1: 5 14-06
35. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 5 14-06 205
Day 1: 5 14-06
35. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 5 14-06 205
Day 1: 5 14-06
38. Grant Goldbeck Gaithersburg, MD 5 14-04 199
Day 1: 5 14-04
38. Mark Tucker Saint Louis, MO 5 14-04 199
Day 1: 5 14-04
40. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 5 14-02 195
Day 1: 5 14-02
41. Jeff Connella Bentley, LA 5 14-00 193
Day 1: 5 14-00
41. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 5 14-00 193
Day 1: 5 14-00
43. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 5 13-14 189
Day 1: 5 13-14
44. Britt Myers Lake Wylie, SC 5 13-08 187
Day 1: 5 13-08
44. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 5 13-08 187
Day 1: 5 13-08
46. Peter E Thliveros St Augustine, FL 5 13-06 183
Day 1: 5 13-06
47. Kevin Wirth Crestwood, KY 5 13-06 181
Day 1: 5 13-06
48. Morizo Shimizu Osaka JAPAN 5 13-05 179
Day 1: 5 13-05
49. John Crews Salem, VA 5 13-04 177
Day 1: 5 13-04
50. Alton Jones Waco, TX 5 13-03 175
Day 1: 5 13-03
51. Charlie Hartley Grove City, OH 5 13-01 173
Day 1: 5 13-01
52. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 5 13-00 171
Day 1: 5 13-00
53. Timmy Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 5 12-15 169
Day 1: 5 12-15
54. Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 5 12-14 167
Day 1: 5 12-14
54. Pat Golden High Point, NC 5 12-14 167
Day 1: 5 12-14
54. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 5 12-14 167
Day 1: 5 12-14
57. Denny Brauer Camdenton, MO 5 12-13 161
Day 1: 5 12-13
57. Bradley Hallman Norman, OK 5 12-13 161
Day 1: 5 12-13
59. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 5 12-11 157
Day 1: 5 12-11
60. Derek Remitz Grant, AL 5 12-10 155
Day 1: 5 12-10
61. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 5 12-09 153
Day 1: 5 12-09
62. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 5 12-05 151
Day 1: 5 12-05
63. Randy Howell Springville, AL 5 12-04 149
Day 1: 5 12-04
63. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 5 12-04 149
Day 1: 5 12-04
63. Jason Quinn Lake Wylie, SC 5 12-04 149
Day 1: 5 12-04
66. Chad Griffin Cresson, TX 5 12-01 143
Day 1: 5 12-01
66. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 5 12-01 143
Day 1: 5 12-01
66. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 5 12-01 143
Day 1: 5 12-01
69. Gary Klein Weatherford, TX 5 11-14 137
Day 1: 5 11-14
70. Byron Haseotes Centerville, MA 5 11-08 135
Day 1: 5 11-08
71. Matt Greenblatt Palm Beach Gardens, FL 5 11-04 133
Day 1: 5 11-04
71. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 5 11-04 133
Day 1: 5 11-04
73. David Smith Del City, OK 5 11-03 129
Day 1: 5 11-03
74. Kelly Jordon Mineola, TX 5 11-02 127
Day 1: 5 11-02
75. Jami Fralick Martin, SD 5 11-01 125
Day 1: 5 11-01
75. Greg Vinson Wetumpka, AL 5 11-01 125
Day 1: 5 11-01
77. Mark Tyler Vian, OK 5 10-13 121
Day 1: 5 10-13
78. Matt Reed Madisonville, TX 5 10-09 119
Day 1: 5 10-09
79. Kotaro Kiriyama Moody, AL 5 10-08 117
Day 1: 5 10-08
79. Billy McCaghren Mayflower, AR 5 10-08 117
Day 1: 5 10-08
81. Guy Eaker Cherryville, NC 5 10-04 113
Day 1: 5 10-04
82. Scott Ashmore Broken Arrow, OK 5 10-03 111
Day 1: 5 10-03
83. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 5 10-02 109
Day 1: 5 10-02
83. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 5 10-02 109
Day 1: 5 10-02
83. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 5 10-02 109
Day 1: 5 10-02
86. Vince Fulks Purcell, OK 5 09-12 103
Day 1: 5 09-12
87. Jeremy Starks Charleston, WV 5 09-01 101
Day 1: 5 09-01
88. Byron Velvick Del Rio, TX 5 08-14 99
Day 1: 5 08-14
89. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 5 08-11 97
Day 1: 5 08-11
90. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 5 08-08 95
Day 1: 5 08-08
91. Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 5 08-04 93
Day 1: 5 08-04
92. Marty Stone Fayetteville, NC 5 08-00 91
Day 1: 5 08-00
93. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 07-09 89
Day 1: 5 07-09
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 93 465 1257-06
———————————-
93 465 1257-06

 

Media Contact
Doug Grassian at 407-566-2216 or [email protected]