All three of North Carolina’s Bassmaster Elite Series anglers are in the top 50 after day one of the Huk Performance Fishing Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay fishing tournament, and the top 50 is where they all hope to be at the end of tomorrow.
The field of 109 anglers will be trimmed after tomorrow’s weigh-in down to 50, so staying in that range is every angler’s goal. While none of the Tarheel State’s anglers did particularly well today, they will be satisfied if they don’t lose ground tomorrow, and can stay in the hunt for day three.
Shane Lineberger of Lincolnton finished 22nd with 5 fish weighing 9-11, Hank Cherry Jr, of Maiden, is in 33rd place with 9-0, and David Williams is at the magic 50th spot with a one-day weight of 8-2. A lot can – and is expected – to change tomorrow. With the weights like they are, Williams, even at 50th place, is a mere 3 pounds outside of the top 10, so one good fish could easily propel him into contention.
To put things in perspective, John Murray of Spring City, Tennessee is the current Big Bass Leader with an 8-9 fish. It’s the only fish he brought to the scales on day one, and he’s currently in 42nd place, 8 spots ahead of Williams who brought in a 5-fish limit for his 8-2.
Carl Jocumsen of Australia is the current leader after pummeling the rest of the field with a stringer that tipped the scales at 19-11, a respectable weight for any Elite Series event, and especially this one, where many of the top anglers believe they will earn a check if they can catch 8 pounds a day.
Notable no-shows at the weigh-in stage today include Skeet Reese, Ott DeFoe, Luke Clausen, and Casey Ashley, as none of these top-notch anglers caught any keepers today.
Cherry summed up the uniqueness of this tournament venue, saying that even though there are literally thousands of miles of shoreline for the anglers to find fish, it’s actually very small pockets of water that you’ll find multiple anglers hanging out in.
“There’s a lot of areas for the fish to go, but there’s a lot of fish in just a few areas, and these guys know how to find them, so even with such a big stage, it can get crowded quickly,” he said.
Come see daily weigh-ins at the Carroll Ahsmore Campbell Marine Complex at 800 Venture Drive in Georgetown, S.C. Weigh-ins begin at 3:30 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Plenty of other activities will be going on to keep everyone entertained, especially Saturday and Sunday when the 2016 Winyah Bay Heritage Festival will be held on the same site.