Gary Klein and Woo Daves, two tournament pros from different parts of the country, took entirely different approaches to scouting the bass areas of the Upper Chesapeake Bay for the BASS Masters Classic.
Klein, from Montgomery, Texas, based a lot of his scouting on overflights that allowed him to quickly spot promising grass beds, muddy creek heads, good feeder streams, etc.
"I spent seven days on the water and an afternoon flying," Klein said. "And every hour I spend flying is worth a day on the water."
Klein's belief is that from 5,000 feet, the charts of lakes, creeks and rivers begin to make more sense than they do from the deck of a boat.
"It helps me orientate myself with the lay of the lake," Klein said, "but it also gives me an overall look at the whole picture: predominate wind conditions, good aquatic growth in the lake, major feeder creeks."
Klein is not the only one who uses the flyover approach. At many bass tournaments, Klein said, there are as many as 30 or 40 pros who fly over.
"It is getting to the point where you better make a reservation at the airport before you book your hotel room," Klein said.
Daves, from Spring Grove, Va., put his feet to work and waded promising shoreline to determine the extent of the cover.
Daves said his approach could give him a toe up on the competition because he has a more intimate knowledge of structure he will be fishing.
"In the places I plan to fish, I have walked every inch of shoreline," Daves said. "If there is a submerged tree or an old pile of bricks that will hold fish, I know where it is."
After Day 1, Daves was in 13th position with 9 pounds, 2 ounces.
Klein was 19th with 7 pounds, 8 ounces.
* The Bush River was closed to competition yesterday by the U.S. Army and will be closed again today.
Yesterday, Denny Brauer of Camdenton, Mo., went into the Bush, and the Army decided it wouldn't let him out until test firing had been completed.
"So, I got a real good knowledge of the Bush -- probably more than I want," said Brauer, who weighed in one fish.
The Bush River is bordered by Aberdeen Proving Ground and Edgewood Arsenal.
* Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., who has a popular television fishing show, said at the weigh-in that he probably caught more fish than anyone yesterday -- stripers, blues and a 30-pound carp.
But he weighed in three bass for 3 pounds, 9 ounces, leaving him in 32nd place.
* Rick Clunn of Montgomery, Texas, last year became the Classic to become the only four-time winner of the event, and there is a notable photograph of him catching the fish that put him over the top on the final day.
The photo shows Clunn, with his third big fish of the day in hand and his mouth open, ostensibly proclaiming triumph.
There is, of course, a story behind the photograph, and Clunn smiles a lot when he recounts the situation.
On that Saturday on the James River, Clunn already had caught two of the larger fish in an 18-pound, 7-ounce stringer.
"That third fish," Clunn said, "was hooked all the way across the mouth and there was no place to put my fingers when I got him to the boat.
"But I knew the importance of this fish, so I went and grabbed him and pushed a hook right into the back of my thumb. I had
just popped out the hook and kind of let out that yell of relief when they clicked off the picture."
* The Classic Outdoors show opened to the public yesterday at the Baltimore Convention Center. At lunchtime there were several thousand buyers and browsers in the aisles.
Local businesses and national manufacturers are represented, and it seems worth the time to go down and peruse the latest introductions from complete bass-boat rigs to plastic worms.
The show is free, but it will be closed during the weigh-in hours today. Tomorrow, the final weigh-in will be carried on closed-circuit broadcast to the Convention Center.
Show hours are noon to 9 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow.