Bassmaster Classic Champion Randy Howell is day 1 leader of the 108 Bassmaster Elites on the St. Johns River in Palatka, FL. Howell said during cold weather he used his Livingston Lure to win the Bassmaster Classic. Today he stuck with plastics using a Yamamoto Flappin Hog in shallower warmer water to bring in day 1 leading weight of 27-3. There’s a tie for 2nd place between Davey Hite & Marty Robinson with weights of 24-1. Another notable angler, Mike Iaconelli, had 5 fish that weighed 8-1. Ike, as most fans know him, came on stage with his bag, passed it to the weigh master Trip Weldon, waved to the crowd and was gone. Emcee Dave Mercer announced Ike’s weight but it was obvious Ike had had an off day and was speechless?!?! Another angler that had an off day was Joel Baker. Baker only received credit of 1-8 for 5 fish that he weighed in after arriving late at check in due to a navigational error. The Van Dam’s, Jonathon & Kevin are 85 & 87.
Day 2 on the St. Johns may catapult anglers way down in the pack to stardom by catching some giants at any given time. The Elite Pro’s all commented that the next cast could be a trophy that Florida is known for. Davey Hite has big bass weighing 10-2. Many anglers commented on seeing and spending too much time on big bedding bass trying to get them to bite. Cliff Crochet said “the time really flies when you’re bed fishing”. Crochet, in 94th place, could very well be 1 of those to ride that catapult. At the end of day 2…. you want to be in the top 50 to qualify & fish day 3…. making you eligible to at least cash a check. Day 4 on Mar 23rd will feature the top 12. Look for some huge fish to come to the scales during the next 3 days.