B.A.S.S. Communications / Photo by James Overstreet
Aaron Martens took about a 1-pound lead Friday on the first day of the Bassmaster Classic, the world championship of bass fishing being played through Sunday on the Louisiana Delta.
Martens’ 20 pounds, 7 ounces, kept him in front of Scott Rook of Little Rock, Ark., with 19-6. Rook snuck ahead of defending Classic champ Kevin VanDam, who had 19-3 for third place. Ending the day in fourth with 18-0 was Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan. Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., with 16-12, was fifth.
Dense fog delayed the start of Friday’s competition by 70 minutes. The shorter day upped the ante on the gamble of using competition time to travel to far-flung hot spots.
Martens said he wasn’t making a long run, but he still would have preferred not to have lost the hour of highly productive morning fishing.
“The fog hurt a little bit,” said the Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Leeds, Ala. “I got three fish the first 10 minutes, and they shut off for a while.”
He hinted that he used reaction baits, “but I won’t say what yet.” He said he didn’t boat as many bass as he did during his practice time in the same area. His biggest bass was 5-9, also the tournament’s best catch of the day.
“I got nice fish, just not nearly as many bites as I thought I would,” Martens said. “It’s probably the weather, and the stage the fish are in.”