Practice didn’t make perfect for Casey Scanlon of Lenexa at the Bassmaster Elite Series national tournament on Table Rock Lake.
He weighed a limit of five bass totaling 13 pounds, 14 ounces Thursday, leaving him in 22nd place after the first round of the four-day tournament. But he left State Park Marina wishing he had caught a bass like he had in practice.
“I caught a huge bass — it had to be close to 10 pounds — in practice, and I just got depressed,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why couldn’t I catch that fish a couple days later?’
“But at least I know that bass like that are in here. I’ve caught them as big as 12 pounds here in the past.
“You catch one of those in a big tournament like this and it can really change things.”
That’s what most of the field of 108 pros were thinking after the weigh-in Thursday. No, the big ones weren’t easy to come on a stormy day at the nationally known bass lake in the Ozarks. But there’s always a chance of catching one of those line-stretchers.
Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., leads the tournament with 18 pounds, 11 ounces. Included in his catch was the big bass of the day, a largemouth that weighed 8 pounds. Close behind are Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., with 18 pounds, 8 ounces and Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala., with 18 pounds, 5 ounces.
Other fishermen from Missouri and Kansas are within striking distance. Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo., is in 15th place with 14 pounds, 10 ounces, and Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira is in 20th with 14 pounds, 2 ounces.
“ When they first announced the dates for this tournament, I was afraid the bass would already be spawning here,” Chapman said. “Now I wish they were further along.
“They are just now starting to move up (shallow). But it’s changing by the day. I had a bad practice, but I caught 30 keepers today.
“If I can get a few big ones to bite, I still have a shot.”