Gilbertsville, KY – Legendary professional angler and Bainbridge, Georgia resident Pam Martin-Wells brought a five fish limit to the scales at Fisherman’s Headquarters in Draffenville, Kentucky to take a slim .04-ounce lead in the inaugural Lady Bass Anglers Association (LBAA) 2011 Lady Bass Classic today on Kentucky Lake.
Martin-Wells fish were small and only weighed 9.05 pounds but they were enough to allow her to lay claim to the day one lead. Following closely in second is Cheryl Bowden with, 9.01 pounds.
“I’m tickled to have those five,” Martin-Wells exclaimed at the conclusion of today’s weigh-in. “You had to put your head down and grind it out. It was not rocket science it was just grind it out fishing. I am planning to do the same thing tomorrow and I hope can get the bigger ones to bite. They are there.”
“I had a pattern I had found in pre-fishing,” the second place Bowden stated, moving baits such as spinnerbaits, Rat L Traps, and crankbaits were the big baits for today. “
Bowden, of Plano, Texas, added that when catching her fish she was fishing in multiple water depths -- from the bank all the way out to where the boat was sitting in 20-25 feet of water. “The big smallmouth I caught hit my Rat L Trap and skyrocketed out of the water, and I was thinking oh God I can’t lose this fish.”
Sulpher, Louisiana’s Jennifer Stelly sits in third with 7.02 pounds. Following Stelly in fourth is Kiln, Mississippi’s Susan Gregory with 6.77 pounds, and Cheryl Lalumandier of Harvester, Missouri rests in fifth with 6.11 pounds.
Hermitage, Tennessee’s Teri Cindric is sixth with 5.68 and behind her in seventh is Sylva, North Carolina’s Heather Broom with 5.63 pounds. Eighth in the pro angler top ten is Mt. Juliet, Tennessee’s Emily Shaffer with 5.45.
Dayton, Tennessee’s Jenny Nevans is in ninth place with 4.16, and Nevans brought up a theme that was resounded by many anglers pro and co alike in the 2011 LBAA Lady Bass Classic field – short fish. “I had no problem catching short fish. To have a fish that is 14”- 14 ½” that weights two pounds and you have to toss that fish back it is very frustrating. In addition, to add to that you know that the big fish are there and you cannot get them to hit your stuff adds to the frustration,” Nevans commented.
Rounding out the LBAA Pro division top ten is Emory, Texas resident Debbie Kemp brought 3.81 pounds of bass to the scales.
On the co-angler side of the Lady Bass Classic Hanson, Kentucky’s Brandi Frasier’s three fish limit that weighed 7.36 pounds put her atop the co-angler leader board on day one.
“I started out fishing a lot of Rat L Traps, went to seven inch worms and then went to ten inch worms,” Frasier said. “Then I went back to the seven inch worm because it was the only one I could get a bite on. We caught three big keepers on the shallow flats shortly after 9 o’clock when the sun came out, and after that it slowed down for me.”
Renee Key-Johnston of Beaumont, Texas is in second with 4.47 pounds and she is followed in third by Alpine, Alabama’s Kim Giddens with 3.64. Fourth and fifth respectively are Snohomish, Washington resident Bonnie Ward with 3.20 and Vicki Henderson of Ashdown, Alabama with 2.34. Regina Pierpaoli from Gallatin, Tennessee is in sixth with 2.08 and Jan Bruner from Cedar Hill, Texas is in seventh with 2.06. Eighth is Diane Smith of Fayetteville, Georgia with 1.67 and Donna Newberry from Van Buren, Arkansas is ninth with 1.10 pounds.
Frasier also holds the big bass lead on the co-angler side with a 3.25-pound bass. Over in the pro division Bowden holds big fish honors thus far with a 5.02-pound bass.
“Tomorrow is a new day,” Fayetteville, Georgia co-angler Diane Smith commented from the weigh-in stage with a smile. Indeed, it is as the 2011 LBAA Lady Bass Classic continues Friday October 7 and concludes on Saturday, October 8. Launch will be at local safe light each morning and competition concludes each day at 3 p.m. All launches and afternoon check-ins will be held at Moors Resort and Marina 570 Moors Road in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Upon check-in, all anglers will then trailer to the weigh-in, which will be held at the Fisherman’s Headquarters, located at 2754 US Highway 641 Benton, KY, 42025 (270) 527-5938.