Livingston Lures pro and reigning Bassmaster Classic Champ Randy Howell banged the bass hard today. Last minute heroics produced a limit weighing 27 pounds 3 ounces, enough for first place after Day 1 at the Elite Series event on the St. John’s River out of Palatka, FL. There is a tie for second. Both anglers brought in 24 pounds 1 ounce. Minn Kota pro Davy Hite and Berkley pro Marty Robinson.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Mercury pro Andy Montgomery weighing 22 pounds 6 ounces in fourth. Fifth after the first day is Yamaha pro Takahiro Omori with a limit weighing 22 pounds 1 ounce
“I tell ya, bass fishing is the most humbling sport,” said Howell. “You just need to be so thankful when ya catch ‘em. Sometimes you don’t. At the last event, I made some decisions that really cost me. I didn’t catch them.
“I had a late draw today so I figured the bedding fish would be tough to catch. I went and looked for them. I caught an 8 and a 6 in the last 30 minutes of the day. I was using Yamamoto Flappin’ Hogs and Senkos.”
Hite changed up.
“I’ve never done any good here in the past,” said Hite. “I cleared my mind and changed what I do here. I started fishing like it was a new fishery to me. It worked out well. I had a chance to get even more weight.
“On my first cast, I used a Trigger-X Flutter worm and a 10-pounder missed it. I gave it some time and I got it. I found that fish in practice.”
Hite’s big fish weighed 10 pounds 2 ounces. It was the big fish of the day.
Robinson went clubbing.
“When I rolled out this morning I wanted to go fishing away from the crowds,” said Robinson. “I just didn’t do anything. I went to where the crowds were and it looked like a nightclub. I had to head in sideways. I saw a couple of the big girls on the beds, and well, I had to ask them to dance.”
Montgomery on new fish.
“I had a good day today,” said Montgomery. “I found all the fish I weighed in today. I just went looking around in a crowd. I put a Strike King bait on them and caught ‘em.”
Omori feeling fortunate.
“This is a fun placed to fish,” said Omori. “There must have been 40 boats in the area I was fishing. I was lucky to get a couple of big ones this morning. I hope I can do it again tomorrow.”