DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

MY OH MYERS!

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 05/04/2012

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

Dandridge, TN – Entering the second day of competition at Douglas Lake, there was little doubt that Britt Myers was on a serious roll.  Fresh off a 2nd place finish at Bull Shoals (the highest finish of his Elite Series career), Myers finished Thursday on Douglas tied with Andy Montgomery in 3rd Place with an impressive limit weighing 21-1.

“The style that I’m fishing is conducive to catching big fish,” explained Myers behind the weigh-in stage on Thursday. “Hopefully I can keep weighing in five fish a day.”

Not only did the South Carolina pro cross the stage on Friday afternoon with another limit of largemouth, he did so in rather impressive fashion, scoring the day’s heaviest bag weighing 24-1 to boost his two day total weight to 45-2.  

On pace to hit the 90-pound mark by Sunday’s finale, Myers took the lead on Friday and will enter the weekend with a lead of 3-pounds, 14-ounces over Day One leader, Aaron Martens, who turned in another solid effort on Friday with a limit weighing 17-6, but was unable to keep pace with the streaking Myers. 

With a small limit in the boat early, Myers said that he made a critical mental error on the first quality bite that he had.  “I finally hooked a 4-pounder, and I could see that it had one hook in the bottom lip. I made the dumb decision to try and flip it in the boat, and it came off.”

Britt Myers

The good natured Myers turned to his Marshall and asked if he would slap him in the face for not taking his time landing the quality largemouth.  “Sure enough, he slapped me,” said Myers with a chuckle.  “I deserved it.” 

While many anglers near the top of the leader board are keying on several massive schools of offshore largemouth and culling through a number of keepers, Myers said that he’s not playing the numbers game this week on Douglas.

“I’m not catching that many fish,” he explained.  “It’s just one here and one there.  Thank goodness, when I got a bite today it was usually a good one. There’s a bunch of big schools (of bass) out there that everyone is fishing, but to be honest, I can’t ever get on them,” he continued. “When you finally do get a chance to fish them, they’re beat to death and you don’t catch any. I’m not fishing schools.  I’m just covering a lot of water.  I have one school of bass, and all I had from it today was a 10-pound limit.”  

As was the case two weeks ago at Bull Shoals, Myers divulged that he believes the depth that he’s keying on is critical to his success.  “I think that they’re all fat post-spawn bass,” he said.  “They’re definitely out there feeding.”

Heading into the weekend, boat traffic, both from spectators and fellow competitors, is a major concern for Myers.  “Today, Aaron Martens had one of the largest entourages of boats that I’ve seen.  It’s really critical that the spectator boats stay way back, because today, they came up schooling.  If the boats are all around, they just won’t come up.”

Currently in the midst of the best hot streak of his career, Myers said that he hasn’t taken the time to reflect on his recent accomplishments yet.  “I like fishing offshore like this, so I’m just going to go with it.  Honestly, you see guys get on rolls like this, and I’m not doing anything different.”

2nd Place: Aaron Martens (41-4)
Leading the tournament after the first day of competition with an impressive 23-14 limit, Alabama’s Aaron Martens knew that it would be an uphill climb to hold on for three more days to capture his third Elite Series victory and qualify for the 2013 Classic. 

While he lost the lead to Britt Myers on Friday, Martens remained a key player heading into the weekend after bringing in 17-6 on Friday to boost his two day total weight to 41-4.  Sitting less than 4-pounds behind Myers, the offshore expert is well within striking distance heading into the weekend.

Aaron Martens

After spending the majority of Thursday targeting tightly grouped schools of bass that he located on his graph, Martens said that Friday was a different story.  “The fish were really scattered,” he explained.  “A lot of the schools that I’m fishing really started to break up.  When you’re graphing a spot, they’ll start showing up with a few here and there.  Yesterday, there’d be like 40 arches (on the graph) in one spot.  They’ve spread out over the size of a football field.” 

Marten’s credited the dissolution of his primary schools to a combination of catching some of the fish, local pressure, and boat traffic.  “There were a lot of boats following me, but after the first few stops they stayed back and did really well.  I think it might have hurt me, but the good thing is that Britt (Myers) will have them following him tomorrow.”

On Saturday, Martens is hoping that his early takeoff number (three) will pay dividends.  “I’ll have a lot of choices, but I’m not really sure where to start,” he admitted.  “I have to do a lot of thinking about it and make sure that I don’t make a bad decision.  The first hour wasn’t very crucial this morning, but it was yesterday.”

Martens said that over the course of the day on Friday he caught between 10 and 12 keepers, and shared some of his key areas with tournament leader Britt Myers.  “Britt might not be catching them there, but one spot that he kept beating me to has all big ones on it,” said Martens. “You can see them on the graph, and they look like 4- to 6-pounders.  If they’re biting at all, you can crush them there.”

Relying on two baits, Martens said that he has narrowed down his bait selection for the weekend.  “It’s hardcore. This is the hardest that I’ve ever had to work,” he explained, referring to his primary technique. 

3rd Place: Jeremy Starks (39-2)
After a year away from the Elite Series in 2011 for a medical exemption, West Virginia’s Jeremy Starks has returned for the 2012 season with a renewed focus.  Having cashed checks in the first three tournaments of the season with finishes of 47th, 24th, and 49th, Starks all but assured himself his highest finish of the season on Friday with an impressive limit weighing 23-1.   After 16-1 on Thursday, Starks will enter the weekend in 3rd Place with a total weight of 39-2. 

“I’m staying in one little area, and I have two or three schools of bass found,” said Starks. “I had a really terrible practice as far as catching fish goes.  I just did a lot of idling and looking and figured out a way that I was going to fish for them in the tournament.”

Jeremy Starks

Having never fished Douglas Lake before, Starks said that he was pleasantly surprised to find that the lake fished similarly to some of his home waters.  “Summersville Lake is nearly identical to this lake, and I’ve done well on Summersville in the past.  It’s a small lake, but the structure is really deep like it is here.”

While his area is key, Starks said that he believes his lure choice is the main reason he has remained near the top of the leader board over the course of the first two days.  “The bait is completely the deal.  There’s no question in my mind that my technique is making all the difference,” he allowed.  “I don’t think that you can just catch fish on anything.” 

Dean Rojas4th Place: Dean Rojas (38-7)
After missing the Top 50 cut in back to back tournaments on Lake Okeechobee and Bull Shoals, Arizona’s Dean Rojas, a notoriously fast starter out of the gates, found himself in an unfamiliar position coming in to Douglas Lake – on the wrong side of the Classic cut.

With a 2nd Place finish in the 2001 Megabucks tournament on Douglas, it appears as though Rojas has again found his mojo on the Tennessee fishery, as he backed up his 16-7 effort on Thursday with an impressive 22-0 limit on Friday to finish the day in 4th Place with a total weight of 38-7.

“I knew that the area I had was good, and with the morning that we had weather wise, I knew that it could be even better,” said Rojas, who boxed a limit early in the day on Friday.  “I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

While Jeremy Starks said that his presentation made all the difference, Rojas said that he’s not doing anything drastically different to garner the quality bites. “I’m not doing anything different than anybody else,” he explained.  “I’m catching them in three different water columns – shallow, middle, and deep. I’m just kind of playing the weather and letting it come to me.”

Although he fished hard throughout the day, Rojas said that he spent a portion of Friday looking for new water for the weekend. “You really have to manage your fish,” he explained. “I’ve got a lot of fish in a lot of places, but I only caught about nine keepers today.” 

Andy Montgomery5th Place: Andy Montgomery (33-15)
As one of only four anglers with a limit surpassing the 20-pound mark on Thursday, Andy Montgomery was unable to duplicate the effort on Friday, slipping to 5th Place after weighing a limit for 12-14 for a two day total weight of 33-15.

Mining several schools of fish on Thursday, the South Carolina pro said that he was unable to get on his most productive water on Friday. “I just wasn’t able to fish the place where I caught my two big ones yesterday,” he said.  “I have some other places with good fish, but I just wasn’t able to get them to fire.”

Suffering through two lost kickers, Montgomery said he had a limit in the livewell by 8:00 and caught more fish than on Thursday but was unable to upgrade.  “With the wind and the rain that we had early in the day, I thought that I could catch them pretty good out (offshore) today,” he said.

Still in a prime position to make a run, Montgomery said that based on what he saw in practice, a comeback isn’t out of the question. “On the second day of practice, I probably had 23-pounds and could have had a great big bag if I’d boated everything that bit,” he said.  “Right now, it’s just hard to get on the good stuff.” 

DAY 2 STANDINGS

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