Fishing & Boating News

Reehm Takes Over In Bassmaster Open On Ross Barnett

Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open No. 1

by: JamieDay Matthews,

Clark Reehm of Elm Grove, La., took the lead on the 1st day of the Central Open No. 1 held on Ross Barnett . Reehm brought 20 lbs, 15 oz to the scales at Thursday's weigh-in.
Photo by James Overstreet/B.A.S.S.
(Mar 2, 2018 - Ridgeline, MS.) While most everyone else focused on catching bass in various spawning stages, the opposite held true for Clark Reehm. On Ross Barnett Reservoir, he intentionally avoided spawning bass and took the lead at the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open.
Reehm’s limit weighing 20 pounds, 15 ounces, leads over the second-place catch weighing 19-8 caught by Caleb Sumrall. Fred Roumbanis is third with 18-8, and Brad Whatley is fourth with 18-5.
Most impressive is what Reehm is not doing. Normally, playing the spawning card is a wise move. Bigger bass are shallower and easier to catch. Those same fish can be unreliable under suddenly changing weather conditions. Both scenarios have panned out so far.
“I am looking for largemouth that are unaffected by the weather,” said Reehm of Elm Grove, La. “A cold front like we had this morning can completely change a spawning bite.”
Actively feeding bass are his target. That is a smart move for obvious reasons.
“If they are hungry they will bite,” he continued. “Twelve months of the year fish will be hungry, so why bother chasing those doing anything else?”
Reehm proved the point after catching the big bass of the day — a largemouth weighing 8-1 — on his third cast of the morning, and he did so fishing in a crowded area. If no one catches a heavier bass by the end of competition Saturday, Reehm will win the Phoenix Boats big bass award of $750.
“I’m not at all concerned about the fishing pressure because I’m using something different,” he said.
What that something different is remains a mystery, although a “reaction lure” capable of triggering strikes is a logical assumption.
Searching for new water is a daunting task when beginning a tournament, but that forced move paid off for Sumrall. Incoming cloud cover made the gamble worth the risk.
“The clouds turned on a big bass bite for me as I moved along,” said Sumrall of New Iberia, La. “I’m fishing what I know because it’s my first experience here.”
Moving along meant using a lure capable of covering water, stimulating a reaction bite along the way. That may change with Friday’s weather, and Sumrall plans to be ready. Fishing with an open mind, as he did today, is the game plan.
“Hopefully, I can take what I found today and expand on it tomorrow, given the adjustments,” explained Sumrall, who earned paid entry fees for the Opens after winning the 2017 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
While cloud cover benefited Sumrall, it hindered Roumbanis.
“It made it worse, scattering my fish,” he admitted. “I’m running a lot of areas and the change forced me to figure their next move as I went along.”
Anticipating where his fish will move next and remaining confident in the lure choice will be his focus Friday.
“The water is dropping, and that has the fish on the move, so I plan to adjust accordingly,” said Roumbanis of Russellville, Ark.
The sudden wave of rain and falling temperatures triggered good thinking by Whatley.
“When the front came through at 9 o’clock this morning it changed my presentation, and it will again tomorrow,” said Whatley of Bivins, Texas.
“Slowing down was all it took to stay in the game,” he added. “After I slowed down my day got better.”
Whatley also has a good idea of where his chosen fish are in the spawning cycle. Should conditions change Friday, he’ll try to adjust accordingly. Whaley said he’s confident the same lure will continue to produce, although working it even slower might be necessary.
Rapidly changing weather conditions were a challenge to most of the field, and that should be the case again Friday.  Air temperatures plummeted from a high of 85 degrees on Wednesday to  55 by weigh-in today. With the chill came more rain, adding to abnormally high precipitation in previous days. Sunny skies and much cooler temperatures are forecast for the second round of fishing.
Justin Leet of Memphis, Tenn., leads the co-angler division with a three-bass limit weighing 13-4. Larry Savell Jr., holds down second with 12-11, and Bob Burgess of Millington, Tenn., is third with 9-13.
This season’s Opens circuit features the Central and Eastern divisions with four tournaments apiece. The season concludes with an Opens Championship that will be held Oct. 18-20 at a location yet to be announced.
The championship field will include the eight winners from the Opens tournaments. Joining them will be the Top 10 anglers in the point standings from each division. The 28 competitors will fish for invitations to the 2019 Elite Series and Classic.
Takeoff time is 6:15 a.m. CT from Madison Landing/Pelican Cove Restaurant with weigh-in beginning at 2:15 p.m. on Friday. The championship weigh-in begins Saturday at 3:15 p.m. Location is Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in the Jackson suburb of Pearl.
Local event host is Visit Ridgeland.

2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops

2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Premier Sponsors: Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury

2018 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine

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The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.