HENDERSON, N.C. – Welcome to the “grind” at Kerr Reservoir: That was probably the most popular word used to describe fishing after day one of the Stren Series Northern Division event.
As many suspected, Kerr Reservoir, or Buggs Island Lake, did not show what it’s capable of today and limits in the low teens took bragging rights.
Leading the event after day one is Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C. with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 12 ounces. His limit was anchored by a 4-pound, 12 ounce bass.
Wilks lives close to Kerr, but says he has fished the lake very little in the last 10 years.
“I just kind of grinded it out in a couple of areas today,” said Wilks, who ended up with nine keeper bass for the day. “I mostly stayed put in one general area because I’m trying to save some other places for later in the tournament.
“Consistency is going to be the key to going the distance in this event and I didn’t want to burn up every good place I know of in one day. I wanted to get a solid start and see what the weights looked like today before I started running a bunch of other water. I figure the more I can save, the better off I’ll be.”
Mark Inman of Greensboro, N.C., grabbed the second place position after day one with five bass for 13 pounds, 12 ounces.
“The fish had been real deep before this water came up,” said Inman who fishes Kerr quite a bit. “Before the water came up, I was catching fish in 30 feet of water, but now I’m hopping back and forth between shallow and deep, just kind of junk fishing.”
“The main thing for me is to find baitfish,” he added. “That’s what I really looked for in practice was concentrations of bait.”
Inman only boated five keepers, but his last keeper was the one he needed – a 5-pound, 4-ounce kicker.
Kurt Dove of Fairfax, Va., is in third place with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces.
“It was a tough grind,” Dove said. “I’m fishing shallow – zero to 4 feet – in one area and I’m basically pitching a baby brush hog to every thing I see in there.”
“I didn’t know what to expect today,” he continued. “The first day of practice I got a couple of bites way up in this one area and I didn’t think much about it until things got really tough during the next three days of practice and suddenly this one spot started looking pretty good. So that’s where I went this morning and ended up catching six keepers.”
Rodney Sorrell of Stokesdale, N.C., is in fourth place with five bass weighing 12 pounds, 12 ounces.
Sorrell caught 10 keepers today by fishing about 50 different spots.
“A lot of the fish are suspended right now and they’re chasing bait,” Sorrell said. “So I’m just trying to hit a bunch of different spots and hopefully catch them feeding somewhere.”
“The key to this tournament will be catching a limit every single day,” he offered. “It’s not so much about big weight as it is being consistent and bringing in five a day.”
The current Stren Series Northern Division points leader, Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J., holds down the fifth spot after day one with 11 pounds, 12 ounces.
Despite feeling like a lot of fish are still deep, Iaconelli is fishing shallow.
“I’m probably fishing for a minority of the fish by fishing shallow,” Iaconelli offered. “I think most of these fish are still real deep – like 40 to 60 feet. But I also think the fall migration is starting to happen and with all that water the lake just received, it put a lot of new shallow cover in the water and that helps the shallow bite.”
“I’m fishing a pattern and most of the water I’m fishing is all new water – places I’ve never fished before,” he added. “I caught 9 keepers today and that’s about what I figured my pattern will produce, 10 to 11 pounds per day.”
Howard Hammonds of Portersville, Pa., caught the big bass in the Pro Division on day one weighing 5 pounds, 5 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 pros in the Stren Series event on Kerr Reservoir after day one:
6th: George Lambeth of Thomasville, N.C., five bass, 11-7
7th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., five bass, 11-5
8th: Mike Miller of Trinity, N.C., five bass, 11-3
9th: Howard Hammonds of Portersville, Pa., four bass, 11-1
10th: Mike Comeau of Winooski, Vt., five bass, 10-15
Shelton leads co-anglers
William Shelton of nearby Lacrosse, Va., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 11 pounds, even.
Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., is in second place in the Co-angler Division with five bass for 9 pounds, 15 ounces.
Gary McClain of Chesapeake, Va., is in third place with 9 pounds, 15 ounces.
William Dorton of Church Road, Va., is in fourth place with 9 pounds, 11 ounces.
Chris Sims of Virginia Beach, Va., rounds out the top five co-anglers with 9 pounds, 2 ounces.
Billy Carroll of Fayetteville, N.C., caught the big bass in the Co-angler Division on day one weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers in the Stren Series event on Kerr Reservoir after day one:
6th: James Richardson, Sr., of Harrison, Pa., five bass
7th: Valeri Timofeev of E. Stroudsburg, Pa., four bass
8th: Billy Carroll of Fayetteville, N.C., three bass
9th: Ricky Farr of Chesterfield, Va., three bass
10th: Jerry Hayden of Charlotte, N.C., four bass
Day two of the Stren Series Northern on Kerr Reservoir will begin Thursday at 7 a.m. from Satterwhite Marina located at 6470 Satterwhite Point Road in Henderson, N.C., at 7 a.m. each morning.