Caleb Sumrall in 30th place at Bassmaster Classic

Caleb Sumrall of New Iberia. La. is in 30th place after day one of the 2018 Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina's Lake Hartwell.

Greg Hackney is 43rd place after day one

Caleb Sumrall of New Iberia is living the dream, fishing in his first Bassmaster Classic, where he currently sits in 30th place at the end of day one of the three-day event. His day started off well, catching a nice keeper early in the morning at the Lake Hartwell, S.C. event.

“My day started off early. Right after blast off, I caught a good fish. Probably a two and a half pounder. That settled me down a good bit. Then I went to my next spot and missed a really good fish,” said Sumrall, who said he was able to calm himself down and keep his cool after the miss.

“I just kept fishing, and three casts later, I missed another big one. Got it half way to the boat and it just comes off. So I was kind of nervous that was going to set the pace for the day. But I switched up a little and caught some more fish, and then later in the day I caught my best fish — a four-pounder, and that was my fifth fish, so it sealed my bag.

“Given the circumstance, I’m happy with what I’ve got. But I’m pretty nervous about tomorrow because it’s going to be cloudy, and all my practice days when it was cloudy were my worst days. But, that could be because there were fronts coming through on those days, and I’m not sure if that’s going to be the case tomorrow,” said Sumrall.

Greg Hackney of Gonzales had a tough day, bringing a five-fish limit weighing 11 pounds to the scale, putting him in 43rd place. He’s looking forward to a change in the weather tomorrow.

“I was really disappointed today in that the water got a lot colder. The big wind yesterday sucked that cold water up from the deep and dispersed it throughout the water column. The water where I’m fishing on the main lake was four or five degrees colder than it has been. The weather will be better tomorrow, and I’m looking for the fishing to be better tomorrow too,” said Hackney, who is fishing in his 15th Bassmaster Classic.

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma leads the 52-angler field. He finished the day with 20-14, and was the lone angler to break the 20-pound mark on the day. Hot on his tail is another Oklahoma angler, Talala’s Edwin Evers sits in second with 19-9.

Jordan Lee of Grant, Alabama is currently third with 18-10, followed by Newport Beach, California’s Brent Ehrler in fourth with 17-8, and Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tennessee is in fifth place with 16-8.

Of the 52 anglers, 51 caught a limit of five bass each. Skeet Reese sits in 52nd place after coming to the scales empty-handed.

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Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at