Two University of Tennessee Martin anglers cracked the code and landed the day’s only limit in frigid conditions yesterday on the Red River out of Natchitoches during Day 1 of the Bassmaster College Series Central Regional.

Brandon Koon and Kyle Winstead managed to land five fish totaling 13-5 in extreme weather conditions that caused a 2 1/2 hour delay for the launch.

“We had a pretty rough practice,” Winstead said. “We scrapped everything and just tried something off the wall.”

That pattern seemed to work well on Day 1. When asked if they thought the pattern would hold up, the UT Martin team seemed fairly confident that not only would their primary area hold up, but that they also could also expand on their pattern.

“It’s a unique pattern, but we found one other place where we can duplicate it and one more place we think we can catch them in,” Winstead said. “We just didn’t have time to try it today.” 

As a strong cold front pushed into the state Wednesday, air temperatures plummeted from 82 degrees at 4 p.m. to 29 degrees by midnight. A sleet and snow mixture shuffled around by a 25-mile-per-hour wind greeted anglers as they launched at Grand Ecore Thursday morning.

 Of the 90 boats participating, only 36 registered one or more fish on Day 1. The potential maximum number of fish those 90 boats could have brought in would max out at 450 if they all caught a five-fish limit. Instead only 70 fish came across the scale on Day 1.

Tyler Craig and Blake Alford of the University of Louisiana Monroe were in second after Day 1 with four fish weighing 11-10, while Brock Enmeier and Colten Hutson of the University of Central Oklahoma held down the third spot with three fish for 10-3.

Today’s weigh-in will begin at 2:45 p.m. at the Grand Ecore landing.