SANDUSKY, Ohio Ohio anglers dominated Day One of the CITGO Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio, as six of the top 10 anglers hail from the Buckeye state.
Ed Allen from Lakeview, Ohio, was the Day-One leader with 20 pounds, 14 ounces. Allen landed a four-pounder on his first cast of the day and caught his five-fish limit by 9:30 a.m. After landing his limit, Allen moved on to find a bigger bite, landing three of his best fish in the late afternoon and on the last spot of the day.
"I knew I was around quality fish, but this was better than expected," said Allen. "I had a phenomenal day."
Bryan Coates of Amherst, Ohio, took second place, only 5 ounces behind with a weight of 20-9.
Paul Hirosky of Guys Mills, Pa., was in third place with 19-7. Hirosky pulled a limit of five smallmouth bass from Erie's waters using a Poor Boys Goby Bait in open water 22 to 30 feet deep.
"The fishing today was great," said Hirosky. "I had my limit by 9 a.m. and looked for fish hanging around humps and ledges."
On the non-boater side, Del Smith, another Buckeye angler, took first place with a five-fish limit of 17-4. Trailing Smith was New York's David Hovanec (16-10), Pennsylvania's Ken Baumgardner (16-4), Maryland's Jim Kline (15-5) and Ohio's Christopher Clemence (13-2).
Jess Salmon of Milford, N.J., took the Purolator Big Bass of the Day for the boaters, weighing in a smallmouth bass at 5-3. That weight pocketed him an additional $1,000.
This is the first of three Northern Open events that will send the top anglers to the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship in December. The top five from that championship are invited to the Classic in February 2006 at Lake Toho near Kissimmee.
Weigh-ins will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Shelby Street Launch, 101 Shelby Street, in Sandusky.
The second Northern Open event is Aug. 11-13 on Lake Champlain in Plattsburgh, N.Y. The last event is Sept. 15-17 on Oneida Lake in Syracuse, N.Y.
Sponsors of the Bassmaster Open Series include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Toyota, Busch Beer, Purolator, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Berkley, Lowrance Electronics, MotorGuide, Bass Pro Shops and Cialis (tadalafil).