Tank Pond delivers lunkers for Classic top three

2011 Bassmaster Classic competitors are championship ready

The top-three finishers in today’s opening round of the 2011 Bassmaster Classic are all fishing the Lake Cataouatche Tank Pond, an area where warming temperatures are inspiring big female bass to move shallow to spawn.

Aaron Martens, Scott Rook and Kevin VanDam are chunking and winding spinnerbaits in the popular area to the west of the lake.

This morning’s launch was delayed more than an hour by a blanket of fog that shrouded the launch site at Bayou Segnette State Park.

When the boats were finally released at 8:10 a.m., Martens, Rook and VanDam headed directly to the Tank Pond, as did five or six other contestants.

Click here for full standings.

The action for the leaders began almost immediately, with Martens and Van Dam catching three fish each before the fog burned off. For a time, they were unaware of each other’s presence in the area.

“I finally got out of the fog, and 50 or 60 yards, there was Kevin right in front of me,” Martens said.

After the fog broke, local anglers and spectators moved in, which really chilled the bite, Martens said.

Still, VanDam and Rook were able to scratch out eight or nine fish each, and Martens reported catching a dozen.

That may change tomorrow when local anglers take advantage of the first warm weekend in months. It just happens to coincide with a full moon, which will help move fish to the beds.

“Those fish are heavily pressured,” Martens said. “The spectators were a little close. It shut the fish down. That’s going to play a big factor for us. We may have to work together to keep the locals out of there.”

Even with all the pressure, the pros feel the area is productive enough to continue to deliver fish.

“I’ll be stunned if it’s not won there,” VanDam said. “I caught an 8- or 9-pounder there in practice.”

The Tank Pond area will be featured in the March issue of Louisiana Sportsman, which will be on newsstands early next week.

Rounding out the top five were Brent Chapman and Bobby Lane, both of whom made the run to Venice despite the fog delay.

The entire day 1 press conference, featuring the top five anlgers, can be viewed here.

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About Todd Masson 745 Articles
Todd Masson has covered outdoors in Louisiana for a quarter century, and is host of the Marsh Man Masson channel on YouTube.