Pipkens Takes Early Lead At Bassmaster Elite Event On Sabine River

ORANGE, Texas — Chad Pipkens of DeWitt, Mich., broke with two of his historical patterns and sacked up a 14-pound, 7-ounce limit to lead Thursday’s opening round of the Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River.

On a fishery where limits are never assumed and only 11 anglers eclipsed 10 pounds, Pipkens heads into Day 2 with a lead of 1-5 over Hunter Shryock of Ooltewah, Tenn. Suffice it to say, Pipkens has positioned himself well to end a streak he’d rather forget.

Chad Pipkens of DeWitt, Mich., is leading after Day 1 of the Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River with 14 pounds, 7 ounces. Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

“It’s about time Sabine River!” Pipkens happily exclaimed. “I have fun at this place, but I have gotten my teeth kicked in every time I come here. This is the fifth time I’ve fished here and the good news is I think I can fish Saturday without catching a fish.

“I’m going to go out tomorrow and have some fun and try to put a few in the boat. We’ll see what happens.”

As Pipkens explained, breaking his streak of Sabine disappointment was the result of abandoning his previous preference.

“It was just a good day,” he said. “I had a good start and I was just able to mill around. That has not been the deal for me in the past. I would have three or four different areas and I would fish too quickly.

“That’s how I like to fish, but it’s not the deal in this place. You have to mill around (an area). It changes every 30 to 40 minutes and you might roll up and catch one.”

Pipkens caught his bass on a mix of reaction baits and slower presentations. Doing so produced several day-changing opportunities. Two-pound bass are welcome on the Sabine, so Pipkens was stoked to put a 5-12, a 3 and a 2 1/2 in the boat.

He said his main area has a few sweet spots that he’s cycling through and trying to get a bite every hour.

“I’m not getting a lot of bites, but there was one place that was pretty special this morning,” he said. “I caught a limit on my first spot. I caught probably half a dozen keepers. They weren’t there in practice, but they were there today.

“Outside of those sweet spots, I’m just fishing — keeping my bait wet. In years past, I tried to run too much. I didn’t fish where the fish moved to. Today, I fished where they moved to.”

Pipkens said most of that fish movement was tide related. The early morning’s combination of low light and incoming tide proved most productive. Surprisingly, his biggest fish came later in the day.

Looking ahead to Day 2, Pipkens said: “I’ll just keep my head down and stay focused. You need a bite about every hour to hour and a half.”

Shryock is in second place with 13-2. Making a bold decision to trash his pre-event work and opt for minimal running proved to be the right call.

“My practice was just a waste,” he said. “I tried to go to so many different areas and never really found something, so I stayed close and maximized my fishing time. I knew I had a long day, so I knew if I could keep my line wet for as long as possible, that was going to give me my best chance.”

Shryock said his success was predicated on being in the right place when the fish started biting. He found the morning outgoing tide most productive. Although he managed a couple of bites later in the day, all of his weight came earlier.

“I fished everything — rock, wood, grass; it didn’t matter,” Shryock said. “Basically, I fished whatever was in front of me. I just put my head down and kept fishing.

“It was mostly reaction baits that produced my weight, but I did catch a few flipping and dragging baits.”

Kenta Kimura of Osaka, Japan, is in third place with 13-1. Running about 100 miles from takeoff, he benefitted from the recent heavy rains.

“I didn’t expect this,” Kimura said. “That spot I fished was dry in practice. The rain from yesterday raised the water level. I know it’s going to be dry tomorrow, so I’m not going to do it again.

“I just tried to catch as many as I could catch because I don’t think I’m going there (on Friday).”

Describing an active day that produced 30 keepers, Kimura said he caught the majority of his fish on a Deps Evoke 1.2 squarebill. Multiple colors produced keepers, but Kimura found precision casting critical to his success.

“All of my fish were concentrated on one spot about the size of (a golf cart),” Kimura said. “That was the coolest experience I’ve had in a tournament day.

“I think current is the whole key. That’s what I’m concentrating on.”

Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, S.C., placed 60th with 6-3, but still leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings with 530 points. Kyle Welcher of Opelika, Ala., is in second with 501 points, followed by Tyler Rivet of Raceland, La., with 483, John Cox of DeBary, Fla., with 476, and Drew Cook of Cairo, Ga., with 474.

Joey Cifuentes III of Clinton, Ark., is in 20th place with 8-15 and reclaimed the lead in the Dakota Lithium Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings with 419 points. Previous ROY leader Will Davis Jr. fell to second with 407 points.

Pipkens took Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the Day honors with his 5-12 largemouth. He also currently leads for the VMC Monster Bag award with his catch of 14-7.

Friday’s takeoff is scheduled for 6 a.m. CT at the City of Orange Boat Ramp. The weigh-in will be held at the ramp at 3 p.m., with only the Top 50 anglers advancing to Championship Saturday. Bassmaster LIVE coverage starts at 7 a.m. on Bassmaster.com, Tubi and the FOX Sports digital platforms.

The Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River is being hosted by the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce.

2023 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2023 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops, Dakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2023 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew’s, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC
2023 Bassmaster Conservation Partners: AFTCO, Yamaha Rightwaters

Connect with #Bassmaster on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Strike King Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Team Championship, Yamaha Rightwaters Bassmaster Kayak Series powered by TourneyX, Yamaha Bassmaster Redfish Cup Championship presented by Skeeter and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Toyota.

2023 Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River 6/1-6/4
Sabine River, Orange TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Chad Pipkens DeWitt, MI 5 14-07 104 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-07
2. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 5 13-02 103
Day 1: 5 13-02
3. Kenta Kimura Osaka JAPAN 5 13-01 102
Day 1: 5 13-01
4. Alex Wetherell Middletown, CT 5 11-09 101
Day 1: 5 11-09
5. Jacob Powroznik North Prince George, VA 5 11-05 100
Day 1: 5 11-05
6. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 5 11-03 99
Day 1: 5 11-03
7. Keith Poche Pike Road, AL 5 11-02 98
Day 1: 5 11-02
8. Patrick Walters Eutawville, SC 5 10-15 97
Day 1: 5 10-15
9. Larry Nixon Bee Branch, AR 5 10-13 96
Day 1: 5 10-13
10. Mike Huff London, KY 5 10-08 95
Day 1: 5 10-08
11. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 5 10-03 94
Day 1: 5 10-03
12. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 5 09-15 93
Day 1: 5 09-15
13. Wes Logan Springville, AL 5 09-09 92
Day 1: 5 09-09
14. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 5 09-08 91
Day 1: 5 09-08
14. Joseph Webster Hamilton, AL 5 09-08 91
Day 1: 5 09-08
16. Masayuki Matsushita Tokoname-Aichi JAPAN 5 09-07 89
Day 1: 5 09-07
17. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 5 09-06 88
Day 1: 5 09-06
18. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 5 09-03 87
Day 1: 5 09-03
19. Cole Sands Calhoun, TN 5 09-02 86
Day 1: 5 09-02
20. Joey Cifuentes III Clinton, AR 5 08-15 85
Day 1: 5 08-15
20. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 5 08-15 85
Day 1: 5 08-15
20. Logan Latuso Gonzales, LA 5 08-15 85
Day 1: 5 08-15
23. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 5 08-09 82
Day 1: 5 08-09
23. Bryan New Saluda, SC 5 08-09 82
Day 1: 5 08-09
23. Frank Talley Temple, TX 5 08-09 82
Day 1: 5 08-09
26. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 5 08-05 79
Day 1: 5 08-05
26. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 5 08-05 79
Day 1: 5 08-05
28. Darold Gleason Many, LA 5 08-03 77
Day 1: 5 08-03
28. Cody Huff Ava, MO 5 08-03 77
Day 1: 5 08-03
30. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 5 08-02 75
Day 1: 5 08-02
31. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 5 08-01 74
Day 1: 5 08-01
32. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 5 07-14 73
Day 1: 5 07-14
32. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 5 07-14 73
Day 1: 5 07-14
34. Gregory DiPalma Millville, NJ 5 07-12 71
Day 1: 5 07-12
34. Jay Przekurat Stevens Point, WI 5 07-12 71
Day 1: 5 07-12
36. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 5 07-09 69
Day 1: 5 07-09
37. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 5 07-08 68
Day 1: 5 07-08
37. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 5 07-08 68
Day 1: 5 07-08
37. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 5 07-08 68
Day 1: 5 07-08
40. Kyoya Fujita Minamitsuru, Yamanashi 5 07-05 65
Day 1: 5 07-05
40. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 5 07-05 65
Day 1: 5 07-05
42. Seth Feider New Market, MN 5 07-03 63
Day 1: 5 07-03
43. John Cox DeBary, FL 5 07-02 62
Day 1: 5 07-02
44. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 5 07-01 61
Day 1: 5 07-01
45. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 5 07-00 60
Day 1: 5 07-00
45. Michael Iaconelli Pittsgrove, NJ 5 07-00 60
Day 1: 5 07-00
45. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 5 07-00 60
Day 1: 5 07-00
45. Jake Whitaker Hendersonville, NC 5 07-00 60
Day 1: 5 07-00
49. Taku Ito Chiba, JAPAN 5 06-13 56
Day 1: 5 06-13
50. Kyle Norsetter Cottage Grove, WI 5 06-12 55
Day 1: 5 06-12
51. Josh Douglas Isle, MN 5 06-11 54
Day 1: 5 06-11
52. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 5 06-10 53
Day 1: 5 06-10
53. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 5 06-09 52
Day 1: 5 06-09
53. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 5 06-09 52
Day 1: 5 06-09
55. Jonathan Kelley Old Forge, PA 5 06-07 50
Day 1: 5 06-07
55. Matty Wong Honolulu, HI 5 06-07 50
Day 1: 5 06-07
57. Drew Benton Panama City, FL 5 06-06 48
Day 1: 5 06-06
57. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 5 06-06 48
Day 1: 5 06-06
57. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 5 06-06 48
Day 1: 5 06-06
60. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 5 06-03 45
Day 1: 5 06-03
60. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 5 06-03 45
Day 1: 5 06-03
60. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 5 06-03 45
Day 1: 5 06-03
63. Buddy Gross Chattanooga, TN 5 06-02 42
Day 1: 5 06-02
64. David Williams Newton, NC 5 06-01 41
Day 1: 5 06-01
65. Jason Christie Dry Creek, OK 5 06-00 40
Day 1: 5 06-00
65. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 5 06-00 40
Day 1: 5 06-00
67. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 5 05-15 38
Day 1: 5 05-15
67. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 5 05-15 38
Day 1: 5 05-15
69. Derek Hudnall Zachary, LA 5 05-14 36
Day 1: 5 05-14
69. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 5 05-14 36
Day 1: 5 05-14
71. David Gaston Sylacauga, AL 5 05-13 34
Day 1: 5 05-13
72. Bryant Smith Roseville, CA 5 05-11 33
Day 1: 5 05-11
73. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 5 05-10 32
Day 1: 5 05-10
73. Bob Downey Detroit Lakes, MN 5 05-10 32
Day 1: 5 05-10
75. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 5 05-09 30
Day 1: 5 05-09
75. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 5 05-09 30
Day 1: 5 05-09
77. Bradley Hallman Edmond, OK 4 05-09 28
Day 1: 4 05-09
78. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 5 05-08 27
Day 1: 5 05-08
78. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 05-08 27
Day 1: 5 05-08
80. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 5 05-07 25
Day 1: 5 05-07
81. Will Davis Jr Sylacauga, AL 5 05-06 24
Day 1: 5 05-06
81. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 5 05-06 24
Day 1: 5 05-06
83. Cooper Gallant Bowmanville Ontario CAN 4 05-06 22
Day 1: 4 05-06
84. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 5 05-05 21
Day 1: 5 05-05
85. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 5 05-02 20
Day 1: 5 05-02
85. Jacob Foutz Charleston, TN 5 05-02 20
Day 1: 5 05-02
87. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 5 05-01 18
Day 1: 5 05-01
88. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 5 04-15 17
Day 1: 5 04-15
89. Alex Redwine Blue Ash, OH 5 04-13 16
Day 1: 5 04-13
90. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 5 04-09 15
Day 1: 5 04-09
91. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 4 04-09 14
Day 1: 4 04-09
92. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 2 04-09 13
Day 1: 2 04-09
93. Skylar Hamilton Jefferson, TN 4 04-07 12
Day 1: 4 04-07
94. John Soukup Sapulpa, OK 3 04-06 11
Day 1: 3 04-06
95. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 3 04-00 10
Day 1: 3 04-00
96. Jeff Gustafson Kenora, Ontario CANADA 4 03-14 9
Day 1: 4 03-14
97. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 3 03-10 8
Day 1: 3 03-10
98. KJ Queen Conover, NC 3 03-05 7
Day 1: 3 03-05
99. Carl Jocumsen Queensland AUSTRALIA 3 03-02 6
Day 1: 3 03-02
100. Justin Hamner Northport, AL 3 03-00 5
Day 1: 3 03-00
101. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 3 02-11 4
Day 1: 3 02-11
102. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 2 01-12 3
Day 1: 2 01-12
103. David Fritts Lexington, NC 1 01-01 2
Day 1: 1 01-01
104. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Chad Pipkens DeWitt, MI 05-12 $1,000.00


Get all of your tackle here.

Help us reach 15000 subs! / @bass365

You can follow us here 👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇👇

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bass_365/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/365bass/

Keep up to date with everything going on in the fishing world http://bass365.com/

Download the BASS 365 LIVE app for free!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/bass-36…

https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…

Elites

Featured products

Recently viewed