Day one of the 2017 Federation National Championship is in the books. Anglers are finding fish but several struggled to reach that 15 inch mark. Others managed to land them and look forward to what tomorrow brings as day two rolls out on Table Rock Lake in Kimberling City, Mo.
Brad Brodnicki from New York brought in one of the five bass limits, which weighed 15 pounds 8 ounces to pull ahead of the 204 boat field. “My practice didn’t go as well, I’d catch one here and there but ending up running around looking for spots. Today, I basically stopped fishing around 11 o’clock, then laid off my spots,” Brodnicki said. “Figured if I had enough weight I’d kinda hold off until tomorrow. On multi-day tournaments you’ve got to manage your fish; that’s key.
Although the wind seemed to hold steady, the weather out there today couldn’t make up its mind. The sun peaked out one minute just to rain the next. “I don’t think the weather pattern affected my fishing at all. I do hear the fish change daily here though so we’ll see. I don’t have much experience fishing south, especially here; but, I do have a lot of confidence in my pattern.”
Leading on the co-angler side is Grey Pardue from North Carolina with a five fish limit weighing 12 pounds 11 ounces. “I didn’t realize I was in the lead; I had no idea,” Pardue said. “It had a lot to do with my boater. I picked up one rod and that’s what I threw all day; I did miss a lot of fish, so I’m just very fortunate to get those in the boat.”
Pardue owns a roofing company in North Carolina and his employees and daughter text him after seeing him walk across the stage on TBF’s live stream. “Yes, my daughter and my co-workers kept texting me after the weigh-in; apparently, I got to hurry up and win so I can get back and get them to work,” Pardue laughed.
Both the national champion boater and co-angler are vying for increased cash payouts and prize packages fishing on the Pro circuit level, so there’s a lot on the line this week. Tomorrow, the field will be cut advancing the highest finishing boater and co-angler from each of the 49 states represented. Those anglers will then get the opportunity to fish out of brand new, fully rigged Ranger Boats on Wednesday.
The fish are out there, some proved that today. It will all boil down to who can grind it out on an unpredictable, yet promising Table Rock Lake as the 2017 Federation National Championship continues.