Mark Hugus and Cody Hahner of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point brought in 19-10 of Lake of the Ozarks bass to take the Day 1 lead in the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Midwestern Regional.
After a long, cold day, the scales settled for Hugus and Hahner just shy of the 20-pound mark. Most anglers at takeoff predicted close to 20 pounds to be the bar to reach. With water temps in the lower 40s, the common consensus was a slow bite but a big bite.
The slow bite showed up with the most productive baits being a jerkbait and a jig. Anglers had to slow down because of the cold water and fish their jerkbaits with 5- to 10-second pauses in their cadence.
The big bite showed up for most of the field as well, but the numbers weren’t there. Most anglers only caught one or two fish while trying to fill their limits, but those fish averaged 4 to 5 pounds.
Hugus and Hahner were the only team that came close to putting together a limit of those 4- to 5-pounders.
“We had one little one around 2 1/2 (pounds), but other than that we had all solid fish,” Hahner said .
Like most of the anglers on Day 1, Hugus and Hahner caught their fish primarily on a jerkbait with the majority of their bites coming after 1 o’clock.
“At about 1 o’clock we had three fish in the boat,” Hahner said. “We knew we had to make something happen.”
After a gut instinct led to an adjustment, Hugus and Haher caught a 5-pounder and a 6-pounder propelling them into the Day 1 lead.
The team of Cody Lincoln and Jason Hawksford and the team of Matt Feiten and Brian Kirt, second and third place respectively, both also of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, round out the Top 3 after Day 1.
Ryan Gilbert and Jacob Cllisch of the University of Wisconsin-Plattville caught the Day 1 Carhartt Big Bass weighing 7-1.
Hugus’ and Hahner’s 19-10 bag took the Nitro Bass Pro Big Bag honors for Day 1.
The Top 14 teams after Day 2 will advance to the Carhartt College Series National Championship to be held later this year.
Anglers will takeoff from Lake of the Ozarks State Park at 7:30 a.m. for Day 2 of competition. Follow all the action at Bassmaster.com and tune in to watch the live weigh-in on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. CT.
Image courtesy Shaye Baker/Bassmaster