HIGH ROCK LAKE, N.C. The first day of the Bassmaster American presented by Advance Auto Parts dawned notably different than the previous three allotted practice days and that's just fine with most of the field who have struggled with the moody bass population.
A cool front pushed through Wednesday night, bringing rain and wind to the area. The wind shifted to the north, which could improve things a bit.
Still, it'll likely be a relative "deck chair off of the Queen Mary."
"The bite might be better. I was predicting eight to 10 pounds a day to make the cut. Now I might go 10 to 11," Chris Lane said. "Having this cool weather can sometimes fire them up or shut them off. It's tough to figure right now, especially the way things have been going this week."
Bassmaster Classic champion Boyd Duckett said anglers have caught this lake at the perfect time if the goal is to present anglers with the toughest conditions.
"This post-spawn funk that the fish are in affects fish just about everywhere, whether they're deep or shallow," said Duckett. "The females are in that three- to five-day period when they're just off of the beds where they just won't bite. There are a few buck (males) guarding, but that fry is just about grown up, so that's ending. It's tough all around."
Lane says one of the most perplexing things is the huge shad spawn he's found this week, but little or no active fish on them.
"The bait is there in the morning, but there's not much busting on them," said Lane. "All of the fish I'm catching are really fat and healthy, so they may be feeding at night. It's strange."
Competitors will fish the first two days on High Rock Lake before the field is cut to 12 after Friday's weigh-in. Those making the cut will fish the six-hole course on Townsend Lake north of Greensboro. Today's weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. ET the Greensboro Coliseum.
Editor's Note: Sunday, May 20, ESPNOutdoors.com will have live video coverage of the Bassmaster American at 3:30 p.m. ET as Bassmaster TV's Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders host Hooked Up. The final day weigh-in follows immediately after where you can see who wins the $250,000 prize!