Day one of the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine All-American presented by TINCUP saw a bit of everything in terms of weather with rain, fog and some brief sun, and the fishing on Lake Hartwell was maybe just as confusing. Catching fish wasn’t an issue, but the quality that calls Hartwell home eluded the majority of the field. Hauling in 12 pounds even today, Dustin Lippe took the early lead after day one, but the weights are stacked tight, with under 2 pounds separating first and 10th.
Hailing from the Ozark Division, this is Lippe’s first All-American, and both he and roommate Chris Macy are in the top five after day one.
“I was pretty excited about getting out there today, practice seemed pretty good, I could catch numbers, and the size was better than I anticipated,” says Lippe. “This morning, that was not the case. I started off with a small limit, it weighed like 7 pounds, I was not catching any big fish. I finally stumbled on one close to 3 ½, and that really helped my bag, and it was slow the rest of the day. Then, in the last 10 minutes, I culled up a pound and a half. Without those two fish, I’m not here.”
Lippe is doing what a lot of the other boaters are – keying on spotted bass schooling on brush, cane or just bait offshore.
“I’m covering a lot of water,” says Lippe. “I’ve got LiveScope, so I’m watching them, video game fishing, which a lot of these guys are.”
Catching about 12 keepers on the day, Lippe is a little cautious about day two.
“I’m not as excited about tomorrow as I was about today,” says Lippe. “It was tougher out there today; I need to decide if I’m going to do the same thing tomorrow. I mean, 12 pounds sounds good, don’t get me wrong, but I had three good fish. So, I’m excited to get out there, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”
Top 10 pros
1. Dustin Lippe – Lampe, Mo. – 12-0 (5)
2. Cole Floyd – Leesburg, Ohio – 11-10 (5)
3. Todd Goade – White Pine, Tenn. – 11-7 (5)
3. Bryan Dowdy – Florence, Ala. – 11-7 (5)
5. Chris Macy – Diamond, Mo. – 11-6 (5)
6. Wesley Sandifer – Chapin, S.C. – 11-4 (5)
7. Dennis Berhorst – Holts Summit, Mo. – 11-1 (5)
8. Mitch Crane – Columbus, Miss. – 10-12 (5)
9. Ryan Davidson – Branchland, W.Va. – 10-10 (5)
10. Michael Miller – Greenville, S.C. – 10-9 (5)
Rothweil tops co-anglers on day one
Larry Rothweil of Saint Charles, Mo., took the lead on the co-angler side to start things out. Fishing behind second-place boater Cole Floyd, Rothweil put a limit for 10-5 in the boat to kick things off.
“It was a great day, we got on them a little bit in the morning, and then finished it up late,” says Rothweil. “I caught my last keeper with 10 minutes to go. This is not my style of fishing, I fish the Ozarks a lot, and Mark Twain Lake a lot. This is a different animal, but it’s fun, it’s a learning experience.”
Fishing in his first All-American, Rothweil is raring to go Thursday.
“I’m ecstatic,” he says. “I want to fish on Friday so bad I can taste it.”