Hemphill angler Andrew Upshaw couldn’t follow up his day one weight and dropped to 31st place after the second day of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River, missing the cut for the final day.
Upshaw managed five fish, but could only muster seven pounds, nine ounces at the scales.
However, it wasn’t all bad news for fans of Texas anglers at this year’s event.
Alton Jones, the 2008 Bassmaster Classic champ, jumped from 16th place into third place. From Woodway, Texas, Jones made his second-day charge with a 17-pound, 14-ounce sack. His two-day total was 31 pounds, 11 ounces.
Jones said he made an adjustment for the second day out that made all the difference. He didn’t change areas, but his presentation.
“Once I figured out how to catch the big ones, it was an ‘ah-ha!’ — but it was mid to late morning before that happened,” he said.
That was about 10 a.m., when he caught a 4-pounder. He was able to duplicate his pattern, even when moving to another area to leave some bass for Sunday.
Sticking to his guns led Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala., to the lead on the second day of the Classic.
Lane brought 19 pounds, 4 ounces, to the scales Saturday —the day’s heaviest — for a two-day total of 35 pounds, 8 ounces. He jumped from sixth place, and eased past Greg Vinson of Wetumpka, Ala., by one pound. Vinson again took the runner-up seat, just as he had on Friday, when he trailed leader Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., by a mere ounce.
Poche dropped to 10th place after bringing in 11 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday, a sharp difference from the 17 pounds, 13 ounces that took him to the lead the first day.
In fourth place was Chris Lane’s brother, Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., who had 30 pounds, 12 ounces over two days. Fifth was Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., just 5 ounces behind with 30 pounds, 7 ounces.
The field was cut to the top 25 anglers for Sunday’s competition for the $500,000 first prize and prestigious Classic crown.
Chris Lane said he changed locations, line size, lures, weights — almost everything for Saturday’s round. He chose his new spot and made a commitment to not abandon it until he had given it at least a two-hour chance to produce. He had to work it for over an hour and a half before he got his first fish of about 2 1/2 pounds.
“I stayed focused. I had confidence the decision I had made was right. I stuck it out,” Lane said.
But once the area heated up, it was game on for Lane.
“Catching that fish sat me down, sunk me in and told me it was time to get to work,” he said.
For Vinson, a 4-pounder in the final minutes of Saturday’s fishing time guaranteed he’d be in direct contention for the Classic crown on Sunday. The big bass gave him a cull that boosted his weight by about 1 1/2 pounds, he said.
“I had pretty much resigned myself to accepting that the weight I had would be it for the day,” said Vinson, who like Chris Lane is competing in his second world championship of bass fishing.
Also like Lane, Vinson had to sweat it out in slick, sunny conditions, a marked difference from the first day of competition under cloudy skies and in a brisk wind. But the overnight drop in air temperatures Friday wasn’t enough to spoil much for any of the 49 Classic competitors on Saturday.
The anglers will leave Red River South Marina at 7 a.m. Sunday. They’ll bring their catches to CenturyLink Center, where doors will open for fans at 3 p.m.