Morning Bite Stronger On Day1 Of Bassmaster Classic Bracket On Niagra River

Judging from the weight totals, it seems like the early bite was stronger than the afternoon bite.

Three of the four pros who fished this morning caught limits of bass. Only one of four competitors did so this afternoon.

Tomorrow they flip-flop which means Kevin VanDam will defend the tournament’s biggest Day 1 lead atop what should be an even more difficult hill for Elite Series rookie Drew Benton to climb. Benton caught one bass this morning while KVD led all anglers with 10 pounds, 4 ounces, though he’s only competing against Benton today and tomorrow.

Brett Hite, the lone limit-getter of the afternoon, nearly equalled VanDam’s exploits with 10-2 as he leads Keith Combs who caught 3 fish for a total 7-15.

Combs shared with me at the recent ICAST show that he grew up catching a few smallmouth in Texas, but that – as he points out in this EXCELLENT blog post on – they are not very similar to the critters he’s chasing this week.

Jordan Lee also had 7-15 (on 4 fish) but it was enough to give him a lead in this head-to-head style tournament where he was paired against Dean Rojas. Rojas had 3 fish that weighed 3-11.

The same anglers are matched against the same opponents for Wednesday’s action, though Combs and Hite will enjoy the morning bite alongside Lee and Rojas and VanDam vs Benton will resume, as will Jacob Powroznik (9-14) vs Koby Kreiger (8-14) in the afternoon.

You can catch tomorrow’s LIVE broadcast on WatchESPN or the ESPN app along with millions of sports fans who are not normally exposed to competitive bass fishing. will continue to stream it live on Thursday and during Friday’s championship round.