DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CHAPMAN OF THE HOUR

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 06/08/2012

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

Many, LA – Ever since Brent Chapman claimed victory at the first Bassmaster Central Open of the 2012 season on Lewisville Lake and punched his ticket to the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake, the Kansas pro has been on a tear. 

He started the Elite Series season with three consecutive top five finishes before losing the lead in the Toyota Tundra Angler Of the Year points race with a 68th place finish at Douglas Lake.  After a 25-8 effort on Friday at Toledo Bend, it appears as though the missed cut at Douglas was a blip on the radar and not a major iceberg aimed at derailing his magical season.  

Brent ChapmanWith a two day total weight of 43-9, Chapman will enter the weekend at Toledo Bend with a one pound, nine ounce lead over 2nd place finisher, Matt Herren. 

Chapman said that his 18-1 limit on Thursday wasn’t a true representation of what his area had to offer.  “From what I found Wednesday morning (of practice), I thought that I had the potential to do what I did today, yesterday.  I knew what the potential was there, and they still haven’t been there like they were on Wednesday.  I’m hoping tomorrow that they might be there even better.”

Keying on one area that he described as “not very obvious,” Chapman explained that finding a subtle area has been key to his success over the first two days on Toledo Bend.  “Something that I’ve learned is that when we come to these tournaments, I’m not going to pay attention to the obvious stuff because it rarely is the winning spot.  It’s the unobvious stuff that really has the potential – and that’s what this place is.” 

Chapman also referred back to his lackluster performance at Douglas Lake, saying that it opened his eyes to the potential that deep water had to offer.  “I took a rear end kicking at Douglas about fishing deep,” he explained.  “It really kind of opened my eyes to how deep these fish will get.  I kind of started fishing here with an open mind.” 

On Friday, Chapman said that he culled through 20 fish and backed off of his area around midday.  “I threw back probably a 17 or 18 pound limit today,” he explained.  “It’s a spot that definitely has potential.” 

2nd Place: Matt Herren (22-0, 42-0)
After five of his rods blew off of his front deck and sank to the bottom of Toledo Bend shortly after blast-off on Thursday morning, Alabama’s Matt Herren had nowhere to go but up.  He did more than salvage the day on Thursday, finishing with an even 20 pounds. 

Matt HerrenOn Friday, with several new rods in the box, Herren returned to the area where he estimated that he caught 100 bass on Thursday and promptly picked up where he left off.   “The fish actually changed up, so I had to make some minor adjustments but the school was still there,” he explained. 

Alternating between his primary school and a secondary school of fish, Herren amassed a 22 pound limit on Friday by 9:00 and then let his fish rest for the remainder of the day.  “After that, I pretty much just went fun fishing and tried to find something else,” he said.  “I’m trying to pace it so when the last day comes, if I’m still hanging around, I can really stand on them.

“You never know if you’ve got the winning spot or not,” continued Herren.  “There is a ton of fish there, but I need to keep getting those four or five pound bites in the boat.  I had one Goliath break me off today that I never saw.”

Herren said that one issue with the school he has located is that the fish have a tendency to move from day to day.   “They’re aggressive, but they had moved to the other side of where they were.  Once I found them and got them fired up, it was on. It’s the kind of place that’s going to reload – whether it reloads with big fish, I just don’t know.” 

3rd Place: Cliff Pace (16-10, 39-12)
Leading the tournament with 23-2 after the first day of competition at Toledo Bend, Mississippi’s Cliff Pace knew that Friday would be a test of character and patience.  After weigh-in on Thursday, Pace described the opening round as a “grind,” and said that he was blessed with a couple big bites that he hadn’t been able to find during practice. 

On Friday, Pace was only able to boat one kicker, a six pounder, and finished the day in 3rd place with a limit weighing 16-10 to boost his two day total weight to 39-12.

“If yesterday was a grind, today was twice as much of a grind,” said Pace.  “I probably had 15 bites yesterday, and today, I only had eight.  The only reason that I had a three pound average is because I had that six pounder.”

Cliff Pace

Relying primarily on one key area, Pace said that he wasn’t able to relocate the school of  bass that were holding on a ledge.  “I just couldn’t find them.  I don’t know how far a bass can swim in 12 hours,” he joked.  “There’s also a chance that the fish are just suspending, because all the timber creates an ideal environment for fish to suspend in.  They can sit in 50 feet of water and still be in cover.”

For Saturday, Pace said that if his schools don’t fire, he’ll be forced to search for new water.  “I’m still going to fish them, but I can’t be committed.  I may have to go practice tomorrow.  I have a place where I’ve been able to catch a limit early on both days, so I hope that I can do that again.  It really lets me settle down and fish for the bigger bass the rest of the day.” 

4th Place: Casey Ashley (18-6, 39-3)
With an impressive 20-13 effort on an unfamiliar fishery on Thursday, South Carolina’s Casey Ashley couldn’t have been happier with his performance.  Fishing deep water, Ashley admitted that he’s not exactly comfortable offshore. 

Casey AshleyAshley backed up his performance on Thursday with another 18-6 to enter the weekend in 4th place with a total weight of 39-3.  On Thursday, Ashley divulged that all of his weight came off of one specific spot – one of five spots that he located during practice that each held a quality school of bass.  He returned to the area on Friday morning, but wasn’t able to get the school to fire. 

“I caught most of my fish today off of one place, but it was a totally different place from yesterday,” he explained.  “I caught two really early, and then moved to my second spot and caught five keepers really quickly and then it was done.” 

With three untouched schools of bass saved for the weekend, Ashley is optimistic about his chances.  “My plan was to seine one area dry and then move on.  I still think there are fish left, but I have to figure out how to get them to bite.   You have to be careful managing fish, because I’m not an offshore fisherman and don’t even know how to manage those fish.  As long as I stay in the top five, it’s an awesome tournament because I’m just not comfortable offshore.” 

5th Place: Ott DeFoe (20-9, 38-2)
Currently in the thick of the Toyota Tundra Angler Of the Year Race, Ott DeFoe, kept pace with fellow contender Brent Chapman by bringing in a 20-9 limit on Friday to finish the day in 5th place with a total weight of 38-2. 

After a 17-9 limit on Thursday, the 2011 Rookie Of the Year couldn’t put his finger on why he broke the 20 pound mark on Friday.  “I only caught seen keepers today, and I didn’t catch my fifth one until after 11:00.  The first four that I caught probably weighed 17 pounds.  Whenever I got a bite, it was usually a pretty good one. 

Ott DeFoe

Fishing several different areas throughout the day, DeFoe said that he rotated through three main areas.  “It’s not really a pattern; it’s more just a couple little areas,” he said.  Fishing in the vicinity of several other anglers, DeFoe said that his success is due to his approach. 

“I’m not fishing for little ones,” he explained.  “I picked up a different bait today for about 20 minutes and caught two small keepers, but after that, I went back to what I have been doing and just fished for the big bites. You have to have your bait really close to the fish to make them bite.”

Sitting just over five pounds behind Chapman, DeFoe is confident that it’s a deficit that he is capable of making up.  “That’s like half of a good bite here,” he said.  “I’ve had a big bite each day, so if you catch two of those good ones and you’re right up there.” 

Robinson Fished New Water
“I was working my way to the spot where I caught over 15 pounds yesterday, but I had about 16 pounds before I even got there, so I decided not to fish it because I kind of wanted to save it.  My primary area today was just a long point with some standing timber. 

“I don’t have anything left that I haven’t touched, but I still think that my day one spot has the potential to produce a really big bag.”  - Marty Robinson – 6th Place (37-4)

Davis Milked Two Schools
“I really didn’t do any looking today.  I just tried to catch all that I could off of two main spots.  The potential is there to catch 20 pounds a day, and I think that’s what it is going to take to win this thing.  I have one school where the fish bite early and one school where the fish bite late.  I wasted about an hour this morning fishing the wrong one. 

Mark Davis

“When you’re fishing in timber, it’s tough to land the bigger ones.  I missed what I think was a small spotted bass today, and when the jig was falling back to the bottom, a big one came and ate it.  When the fish came past the boat, I couldn’t even see the jig in its mouth because it was so far in there.  Somehow, it came off at the boat.”  - Mark Davis – 7th Place (35-13)

Zaldain Went Shallow
“I’m definitely getting the bites to have over 20 pounds a day.  I know that most of the guys are fishing offshore, but I’m targeting the bluegill spawn.  We just had a full moon, it’s June, and there’s a bluegill spawn going on. 

“I’m flippin’ and froggin’ because that’s what we do back on the California Delta.  I have a ton of water and I have it all to myself.  I’m feeling really confident.  I tried the offshore stuff in practice and didn’t find anything big, so I just went to the bank.”  - Chris Zaldain – 8th Place (35-11)

DAY 2 STANDINGS

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