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Day Two: 3 questions with the pros

5/7/2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With four ties among the top 15 anglers on the leaderboard, things could get messy as the field of 55 begins Day Two of competition on Lake Wylie. Bassmaster.com questioned a few of the anglers in the dock this morning as to where they were fishing and what it would take to make the cut for Saturday. Here are their responses:

Charlie Hartley, 22nd place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "I'm going up the river to start and hopefully I can get a quit limit like I did yesterday. Then I might have the nerve to go down lake but I never did yesterday."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Unpleasantly so. Everyone at the meeting was saying they couldn't catch any fish so when I had a limit I got a little excited. Then I get to the weigh-in and everybody has caught them. For the top 12 I'm afraid it will go up a pound with these guys. Now it might be 25 pounds."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "A better bite. It seems everything I caught was between 1-12 and 2-3. I need to find those guys again and then go do something different because I don't think I'm going to catch a better fish doing what I'm doing. I saw a bunch of big ones down lake that would win the tournament, but I just don't know if I can catch them. Maybe if I cast at them before I see them."

Skeet Reese, 8th place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "I'm going up. I have a feeling I will stay there all day, but it just depends on if I'm out of water or not."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I was surprised to see as many 10-, 11-, and 12-pound stringers. I guess I really shouldn't be though given the caliber of fisherman we've got here and plus the amount of time they've had to practice. Also the amount of knowledge everybody gained from the last Classic. I think it shortened everybody's learning curve so they could get out there and figure out the fish quicker. I'm going to say the cut weight will be 23 pounds."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "Catch 11 or 12 pounds today, getting the right bites. I had one decent fish yesterday but jumped off a couple of good ones. I was happy with the weight that I had, but really should have had about 14 pounds yesterday. If I can get a couple of key bites and get them in the boat that will make all the difference. I worked my butt off all day yesterday to get what I did. I didn't have a morning run like a lot of these guys got yesterday. I just caught one here and one there and it was an all day grind."

Jason Quinn, 32nd place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "I'm going down first thing and depending what happens will determine where I go from there."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I knew there were a lot of fish to be caught and knew somebody would have a decent bag. I honestly thought somebody would catch a 20-pound bag. The lake got extremely crowded fast yesterday and you can't mover around, you just have to put the trolling motor down and start fishing. I'm still saying the cut will be 21 or 22 pounds."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "I don't know if there is anything I can do different. I had some key bites yesterday but just didn't capitalize on them. I should have had a 13- or 14-pound bag but nothing big. I didn't mess around with any deep structure yesterday a lot, but today I am going to hit it a lot more. I know a lot of the shallow fish got beat up on yesterday and that will make it harder for the guys today. I feel like if I can go out there and catch 11 or 12 pounds and then one good one I will be right there."

Mark Menendez, 15th place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "I'm fishing up. I found an area of about five miles that I'm bouncing around in, and I really don't want to have to run back through all of the boat wake."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I was quite surprised by the consistency. I thought 9 pounds would be the benchmark but now it's more like 11 pounds. I was very surprised when I got to the scales and found out what my fish actually weighed. I got a bonus because I didn't think they were that big. I think the cut weight will go down so probably around 22 pounds should do it."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "Fishing clean. I lost a couple of fish yesterday so I've got to maximize every opportunity that I get."

Dave Wolak, 2nd place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "I might do a little bit of both today. I have some wake points up river that I haven't hit yet, but I'm going to start down lake and then go from there."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "I actually was and was talking to someone about that this morning. With this field though, you've got to expect that, these guys catch them everywhere we go. They always manage to put something together even if it is tough. I think 25 pounds will be good enough for the top 12 and 21 pounds will get probably get you in the money."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "I'm struggling. I'm running around hitting different spots and really trying to just put together five fish. I'm using all kinds of different baits, I will be cranking one minute and the next fishing shallow. That's the only way I figured out how to catch them here. They are kind of in between everything, some are deep and some are shallow."

Brian Snowden, 47th place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "Probably down lake. I am going to try and catch some on a topwater and YUM Dinger and there are a lot of stumps and stuff down there on flat points."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Yea, I was really surprised. I struggled in practice but I thought it would take 7 or 8 pounds to make the top 25, but now it looks more like 18 or 19 pounds. With this group of guys you just never know how to judge it. The cut weight will probably drop about a pound to 23 pounds."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "I'm going to have to get lucky and have a few good bites on a topwater. That will pretty much be the deciding factor if I do well or not. That's the only way I've been able to get any quality fish but I just didn't get a lot of bites yesterday. Hopefully today I can get five good bites and if I do, should have 15 pounds or so."

Brent Chapman, 13th place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "Up river because the water is a little bit more off-colored up there and that fits my style a lot better."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Yes, I was very surprised. I kind of thought if you caught ten pounds a day you would for sure make the cut, but now it's looking more like 11 pounds a day. I think the cut to make 12 will be right at 22 pounds."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "I have to execute on every good bite I get. I missed one quality good bite yesterday that might have been a catfish but if it was a bass, I'd have a pretty good cushion right now. The biggest thing that probably helped me was that I thought I'd be in an area that had a lot more boats but the fishing pressure wasn't all that bad. It was actually pretty minimal so I am happy about that."

Scott Rook, 20th place
Will you be traveling up the river or down lake to fish today? "Up river because that's where I found fish."
Were you surprised by the size of the bags brought in yesterday, and what will be the cut weight to fish in the top 12 on Saturday? "Yea, I was really surprised and thought it was a lot tougher than what it looked. I had a better time yesterday than I did in practice but I only caught five, and one of those was a 4 ½-pounder. I don't think the weight will drop at all, the cut has doubled on the second day all year long. That's the way I've got to look at it."
What will be the key to giving yourself a chance to fish again tomorrow? "Catching some big fish definitely. The way I'm fishing and how I'm fishing though, I think it was kind of rare to get that big one in the boat. Most of the fish I was catching were very small keeper fish. I'm going to stick to my game plan but maybe try to back out to the deeper docks or trees."