Fishing & Boating News
First and foremost, he holds the lead after two competition days on the Red River. Today, Kimura caught four bass weighing 7 pounds, 14 ounces, for a total weight of 21-2. The pro angler from Osaka was one fish shy of a five-bass limit.
The second reason to be optimistic is that Kimura will have fewer competitors working the same spots he did during the first two rounds. He will no longer have to share the area with other anglers because the field is being cut to the Top 12 pros during the championship round.
“Having only 11 other boats on the water will be very big for me,” he said. “There were a lot of boats fishing in my area, too many to make it good for just one angler.”
Patrick Walters of Ladson, S.C., faired much better, moving from 23rd place into the runner-up spot with a limit weighing 11-11 and an overall total of 20-4. Sam George of Athens, Ala., climbed from 20th to third with 19-15. Gary Clouse of La Vergne, Tenn., is fourth with 19-4, and Marvin Ettredge of Shreveport, La., is fifth with 19-3.
Noel Allen Jr. of Brandon, Miss., leads the co-angler division with 12-14. Brandon Sanchez of Livingston, La., holds down second with 11-6, and Keith Glasby of Ovillia, Texas, is third with 9-1.
Kimura admittedly dislikes the slow pace required for finesse fishing, but the tactic is paying off. One lure is doing the job, although declined to disclose the details.
“I am fishing in a backwater area and it is the only way to get bites,” he explained.
Kimura also hopes fewer boats lets him expand his strategy to other techniques, including fishing faster and covering more shoreline cover in his best areas.
Walters is using a simple but effective strategy that moved him inside the Top 12.
“We have an eight-hour day, and I am focused on keeping a lure in the water instead of doing a lot of running around,” he said.
Numerous other anglers chose the running around option, and it has failed to pay off. Tournament waters are pools 5, 4 and 3 of the river. The boats launch in the lower end of Pool 5 and have the option of locking into the lower pools. The lengthy mileage and travel time between pools takes away from time better spent fishing.
Walters is using a wide selection of lures to cover as much shoreline as possible in his area of Pool 5.
George is another angler intentionally focused on areas near the launch site. After takeoff, his area initially received heavy fishing pressure. As boats disappeared and went elsewhere, including other pools, the fishing improved for him.
“My area got better later in the morning,” said George. “I’ve fished here enough to know how these fish react under pressure.”
Fewer boats, less pressure and better fishing are ideal scenarios for him.
Clouse credited prior knowledge of a backwater area and a change up in a textbook presentation as key to his success.
“Just when I thought I was fishing slow, it wasn’t slow enough,” said Clouse, the founder and president of Phoenix Boats in Winchester, Tenn. “I’m just using textbook tactics, but much slower than normal.”
The fishing is tough on the Red River this week, and evidence is on the scoreboard. On Thursday, the 146 pros only weighed 44 limits of five bass. On Friday 21 limits came across the scales.
The Opens feature the Central and Eastern divisions with four tournaments apiece. Only one Central Open remains on the schedule. It’s in September on Logan Martin Lake in Alabama.
The eight winners from the Opens tournaments advance to the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Championship, to be held Oct. 18-20 in Table Rock Lake in Missouri. The Top 10 anglers in point standings from each division also will advance to the championship. The 28 competitors will fish for invitations to the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series and Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
The top pro angler after Saturday’s final round wins a Skeeter ZX200 with trailer and rigged with Yamaha VF200LA. A Minn Kota Fortrex, Lowrance Elite Ti 7 and other factory accessories are included.
The winning co-angler receives a Triton 179 TrX powered by a Mercury 115 ELPT, a trailer and standard factory accessories.
Takeoff time is 6 a.m. CT from Red River South Resort and Marina. The weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. Location is Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World located at the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier City.
Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission, Red River Waterway Commission and the Horseshoe Casino are hosting the event.
2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk
2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Lowrance
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.
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