DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

BRANDON PALANIUK LEADS BULL SHOALS AFTER DAY 2

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/20/2012

Story by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush - Photos by Dave Rush

Bull Shoals, AR - On a day where weather conditions where deteriorating on Bull Shoals Lake, Idaho’s Brandon “The Grappler” Palaniuk was improving on his day one lead by bringing a massive 24-4 limit to the scales.  Palaniuk, who now holds a comfortable eight pound lead in the Trokar Quest, surprised everyone including himself with his day two catch.  His two day total of 45-13 is well beyond of all the Elite Series pros and pundits, who have all been shocked at the quality of the Ozark Mountain fishery.

Despite embedding a hook in his left pinky finger which resulted in a trip to the ER and lost fishing time, Palaniuk managed to weigh in the heaviest limit of the tournament thus far, and seems confident that he can continue his torrid pace and hopefully secure his first Elite Series victory.  Although Brandon was able to get back on the water and fish after having his injury attended to, nothing he caught after returning to the lake helped his day two weight.

Brandon Palaniuk“When the thing with my finger happened I was just hoping I had around 20-pounds and could remain near the top of the leaderboard.  When I looked at the fish during the day, I had no idea that I had that much weight.  I was shocked when I saw 24-4 come up on the scales, but it makes me excited to get out there again tomorrow,” said Palaniuk.

Making a few subtle changes in his game plan each day has been the key to Brandon’s success this week on Bull Shoals.  With conditions expected to be different once again on day three, Palaniuk is planning on rolling with the punches as they come.  “I had to make a little change in baits to trigger my fish today.  I had to do the same thing throughout the day yesterday, and expect I will have to continue to switch it up for the remainder of the tournament.  The fish are really telling me when I need to change it up, if I pull up and don’t catch them how I think I should then I know it is time to change.  So far it has worked out for me over the first two days,” said Brandon.

Having a cushion against the best anglers in the world isn’t always a sure formula for victory on the Elite Series.  Taking some advice from fellow Elite Series pro Ish Monroe, Palaniuk is planning on putting the hammer down and catching as much as possible over the next two days.  “Ish gave me some advice this morning before we took off.  He told me to go out and catch as much as I possibly could.  You can’t give these guys any ground, I am trying to catch as much as I think I need to improve on my lead and then leave my fish alone.  I would like to be leading this thing by 30 pounds on Sunday if I could,” Palaniuk concluded.

2nd Place: Matt Herren (37-13)
After missing the Classic for the first time in his Elite Series career this past season, Alabama’s Matt Herren entered the 2012 season vowing to return to his typically consistent form.  It appears to be paying off this week on Bull Shoals, as he finished Friday in 2nd Place after toting a limit to the scales weighing 17-0.   With a two day total weight of 37-13, Herren will enter the weekend with the best chance of chasing down Brandon Palaniuk, who holds a lead of 8-pounds.

“What I’m doing out there isn’t any secret,” said Herren.  “I’m cranking and throwing a jig a little bit. I’m mixing it up in a few areas that I’m really concentrating on.”  Openly vocal about how the sunny conditions helped him amass an impressive 20-13 limit on Thursday, Herren said that the cloud cover on Friday hurt his bite.

Matt Herren

“It seemed like the fish didn’t set up today with the cloud cover.  They kind of started to roam on me and I really didn’t like what they were doing.  I’m hoping for a lot of sun and a little wind tomorrow.  I’m hunkered down in two different areas, so I’m going to live or die in there.”

With a limit in the boat within the first half hour of competition, Herren estimated that he caught between 30 and 50 keepers on Friday.  One of the problems he encountered was the fact that he spent a good portion of his day culling bass instead of fishing.  “It’s killing me.  I need to catch bigger fish, because I guarantee that over the course of the day I probably wasted an hour-and-a-half culling fish for an ounce or two each time,” he explained. 

Facing a large deficit heading into the weekend, Herren admitted that in order to catch the streaking Palaniuk, he’s going to have to continue to boat quality bass while Palaniuk struggles. “I guess I need him (Palaniuk) to sleep in until about noon tomorrow in order to give me a chance to catch up.  This thing isn’t over.  There’s a chance he could go out and catch 10-pounds tomorrow, so I’ll take my chances of being ‘Steady Edie’ and catching 17-pounds every day.”

3rd Place: Bobby Lane (37-7)
After boxing 17-11 on Thursday to finish the day in 7th Place, Florida’s Bobby Lane decided to stick with the same productive game plan on Friday, and his decision paid off with another quality limit weighing 19-12 to move into 3rd Place heading into the weekend.

“I went with the exact same program and ran a little new water today,” he explained.  “I caught fire out of the bass.  I probably had anywhere from 50 to 70 fish – it was just unbelievable.”  Lane started Friday morning just like he did on Thursday, catching his kicker early on.  “It seems like the bigger ones are biting earlier in the day, and then later on you just constantly catch 2-pounders.  It’s a lot of fun.  There aren’t many fisheries where you catch this many quality fish.” 

Bobby Lane

Like Herren, Lane said that one of his biggest problems on Friday was the amount of time he spent culling fish rather than fishing.  “I literally think that I spent more time trying to cull fish today than I spent fishing.   Whatever the fish and game is doing with the lake right now is amazing.” 

Lane said the conditions on Friday aided in the bite.  “It’s fishing 101 – everyone knows that they’re going to bite when a front moves in.  I really didn’t have to mix it up at all and you couldn’t make a mistake.  There was a point in the day where I could basically call my shot.”

With a large deficit heading into the weekend, Lane said that he’s unsure about the potential his area holds.  “It’s honesty kind of a crap shoot,” he explained.  “You catch a bunch of 2-pounders and then throw out there and catch a 4-pounder.  “That being said, he’s (Palaniuk) got a big lead on a lake like this where you’re seeing so many consistent weights.  There are some big guys gunning for him, so hopefully that will weigh on his mind a little bit,” Lane concluded.   

Britt Myers4th Place: Britt Myers (35-3)
After a 14-15 effort on Thursday, Britt Myers was one of four anglers to break the 20-pound mark on Friday.  With a limit weighing 20-4, Myers jumped to 4th Place with a total weight of 35-3, and will enter the weekend in prime position to secure the highest finish of his Elite Series career.

“Today, the fish were biting so good that everywhere you went you caught fish – it really didn’t matter what you did,” said the North Carolina pro.  While the bite was hot, Myers identified several key features that allowed him to target quality largemouth.  “When they’re biting that good, you can gamble and look for something a little bit different.  That’s what I did today, and it paid off.

“I literally caught 100 today, and that might be a little bit short,” he continued. “It was one of the best fishing days that you could ever have.  Right now, I’d rate this lake up there with something like a Pickwick. It got to where I was so tired that I’d try to make the fish jump just to see if it was worth fighting to the boat.”

Rather than mix it up, Myers said that he locked in on one key bait and stuck with it the entire day. He actually spent some of his day looking for areas where he didn’t get many bites, and then keyed on those stretches.  “When you’re getting a ton of bites, it’s hard to believe, but it’s not the best area,” he explained.

5th Place: Scott Rook (34-14)
Sometimes improving your catch from day to day on the Elite Series is a matter of making minor adjustments that pay huge dividends.  Arkansas’s Scott Rook did just that, and was able to bring 20-12 to the scales on Friday improving on his day one weight by over six pounds.

Rook, who stuck with the same baits as on day one, credited a change in hook size for his day two success.  “I had been catching some big fish in practice and changed the hooks out on my baits to a larger size.  On day one I lost several key fish and decided to go back to smaller hooks on my bait last night.  I landed every big fish that I had on today, which was the big difference for me today,” said Rook.

Scott Rook

Catching a limit in five minutes this morning, Rooks day was fast and furious as the Bull Shoals bass were in feeding mode on day two.  “Today it started off really good with the rainy conditions.  I had a limit in five minutes out of one little small pocket, and then I just ran a pattern all day and was able to catch them pretty good throughout the day,” Rook said.

Although Rook is from Arkansas his experience on Bull Shoals is rather limited.  Having fished only a couple of events on the lake several years back, Rook is keying on his experience on a nearby body of water to dial him in on the right areas and patterns to target this week.  “I fished a red man years ago here and a Mr. Bass of Arkansas tournament also.  The conditions were terrible and the fishing was not good back then.  I am using my experience on Table Rock to help me out here this week.  I am fishing it exactly like I fish Table Rock, and am having a great time out there this week,” Rook concluded. 

DAY 2 STANDINGS

Place Pro Angler
Day 1Day 2 Total Fish Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeight
1 Brandon Palaniuk 5 21- 9 5 24- 4 10 45-13
2 Matt Herren 5 20-13 5 17- 0 10 37-13
3 Bobby Lane 5 17-11 5 19-12 10 37- 7
4 Britt Myers 5 14-15 5 20- 4 10 35- 3
5 Scott Rook 5 14- 2 5 20-12 10 34-14
6 Brent Chapman 5 15- 6 5 18-15 10 34- 5
7 Jason Quinn 5 17- 5 5 15-15 10 33- 4
8 Mike Iaconelli 5 16- 7 5 16-10 10 33- 1
9 Boyd Duckett 5 12- 8 5 20- 8 10 33- 0
10 Rick Clunn 5 17- 6 5 15- 9 10 32-15
11 Travis Manson 5 17- 1 5 15-14 10 32-15
12 Edwin Evers 5 16- 8 5 16- 6 10 32-14
13 Clark Reehm 5 17- 5 5 15- 7 10 32-12
14 Zell Rowland 5 13- 0 5 19- 8 10 32- 8
15 Cliff Pace 5 19-10 5 12- 7 10 32- 1
16 David Walker 5 13- 7 5 18- 6 10 31-13
17 Bradley Roy 5 18- 2 5 13- 7 10 31- 9
18 Ish Monroe 5 14-15 5 16- 6 10 31- 5
19 Mark Menendez 5 16- 1 5 15- 0 10 31- 1
20 Alton Jones 5 17-13 5 13- 2 10 30-15
21 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 15-15 5 14-14 10 30-13
22 Keith Poche 5 16- 9 5 14- 2 10 30-11
23 Terry Butcher 5 13-10 5 16-15 10 30- 9
24 Tommy Biffle 5 18- 2 5 12- 6 10 30- 8
25 Bill Lowen 5 17- 3 5 13- 5 10 30- 8
26 Randy Howell 5 16- 7 5 13-13 10 30- 4
27 Brian Snowden 5 16- 1 5 13- 7 10 29- 8
28 Derek Remitz 5 15- 5 5 14- 3 10 29- 8
29 Matt Reed 5 14- 2 5 15- 1 10 29- 3
30 Dustin Wilks 5 13- 2 5 16- 0 10 29- 2
31 Kyle Fox 5 13- 8 5 15- 8 10 29- 0
32 Casey Ashley 5 13- 7 5 15- 8 10 28-15
33 Gerald Swindle 5 14- 5 5 14- 9 10 28-14
34 Mike McClelland 5 15- 9 5 13- 1 10 28-10
35 Chris Zaldain 5 11-14 5 16-10 10 28- 8
36 Mark Davis 5 12- 3 5 16- 4 10 28- 7
37 Keith Combs 5 15- 1 5 13- 6 10 28- 7
38 Jeremy Starks 5 12-12 5 15- 7 10 28- 3
39 Scott Ashmore 5 17- 6 5 10-12 10 28- 2
40 Ott DeFoe 5 14-10 5 13- 4 10 27-14
41 Brandon Card 5 12-15 5 14-13 10 27-12
42 Russell Lane 5 15-12 5 11-15 10 27-11
43 Russell Parrish 5 13-13 5 13-14 10 27-11
44 Rick Morris 5 14- 2 5 13- 8 10 27-10
45 James Niggemeyer 5 12- 6 5 15- 1 10 27- 7
46 Kevin VanDam 5 13- 4 5 14- 3 10 27- 7
47 Greg Vinson 5 13- 5 5 14- 0 10 27- 5
48 Jonathon VanDam 5 12-13 5 14- 7 10 27- 4
49 J Todd Tucker 5 13-15 5 13- 5 10 27- 4
50 Andy Montgomery 5 13- 0 5 14- 2 10 27- 2
51 Greg Hackney 5 12- 4 5 14-13 10 27- 1
52 Kevin Short 5 12-13 5 14- 3 10 27- 0
53 Kevin Ledoux 5 13- 2 5 13-13 10 26-15
54 Takahiro Omori 5 12-15 5 13-15 10 26-14
55 Denny Brauer 5 12- 5 5 14- 8 10 26-13
56 Jeff Kriet 5 11- 7 5 15- 4 10 26-11
57 Cliff Crochet 5 15- 1 5 11-10 10 26-11
58 Aaron Martens 5 13-10 5 13- 1 10 26-11
59 Nate Wellman 5 14- 2 5 12- 7 10 26- 9
60 Gary Klein 5 14- 3 5 11-14 10 26- 1
60 Fred Roumbanis 5 11-14 5 14- 3 10 26- 1
62 Skeet Reese 5 13- 9 5 12- 8 10 26- 1
63 John Crews 5 12-13 5 13- 4 10 26- 1
64 Marty Robinson 5 12- 7 5 13- 8 10 25-15
65 Billy McCaghren 5 15- 7 5 10- 7 10 25-14
66 Jamie Horton 5 12- 1 5 13-12 10 25-13
67 Todd Faircloth 5 12-15 5 12-14 10 25-13
68 Kelly Jordon 5 14- 8 5 11- 3 10 25-11
69 Grant Goldbeck 4 10-11 5 15- 0 9 25-11
70 Casey Scanlon 5 11- 9 5 14- 0 10 25- 9
71 Morizo Shimizu 5 11-14 5 13-11 10 25- 9
72 Kenyon Hill 5 11-11 5 13-13 10 25- 8
73 Dean Rojas 5 12- 5 5 13- 3 10 25- 8
74 Matt Greenblatt 5 12- 2 5 13- 3 10 25- 5
75 Jami Fralick 5 13- 1 5 12- 3 10 25- 4
76 David Smith 5 13-13 5 11- 5 10 25- 2
77 Pete Ponds 5 11-10 5 13- 6 10 25- 0
78 Chris Lane 5 12- 2 5 12-12 10 24-14
79 Timmy Horton 5 12-15 5 11-15 10 24-14
80 Paul Elias 5 12-10 5 12- 1 10 24-11
81 Shaw E Grigsby 5 11-11 5 12-15 10 24-10
82 Yusuke Miyazaki 5 12-14 5 11-11 10 24- 9
83 Michael Simonton 5 11- 2 5 12-15 10 24- 1
84 John Murray 5 12- 3 5 11-12 10 23-15
85 Jared Lintner 5 12- 1 5 11-11 10 23-12
86 Byron Velvick 5 12- 1 5 11- 9 10 23-10
87 Charlie Hartley 5 11-12 5 11-13 10 23- 9
88 Fletcher Shryock 4 8- 2 5 15- 7 9 23- 9
89 Jason Williamson 5 12- 1 5 11- 6 10 23- 7
90 Davy Hite 5 10-13 5 12- 7 10 23- 4
91 Bernie Schultz 5 10-11 5 12- 8 10 23- 3
92 Terry Scroggins 5 11-15 5 10-11 10 22-10
93 Pat Golden 5 11-15 5 10-10 10 22- 9
94 Stephen Browning 5 10- 8 5 11-13 10 22- 5
95 Cliff Prince 5 10- 1 5 10-15 10 21- 0
96 Stephen Kennedy 3 6- 3 5 13-13 8 20- 0
97 Brent Broderick 5 9- 7 5 10- 8 10 19-15
98 Chad Griffin 5 9- 9 5 10- 1 10 19-10
99 Jared Miller 3 5-10 3 6- 8 6 12- 2