Bradley Roy Takes Day One Lead of 2017 Elite Series Lake St. Clair

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2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Lake St. Clair Day One Leader Bradley Roy – photo by Seigo Saito – B.A.S.S.

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. — On a day when all eyes were on the most experienced anglers in the sport, a 26-year-old pro from Kentucky stole the show.

Bradley Roy, who has never finished higher than third in a Bassmaster Elite Series event, caught five bass that weighed 23 pounds, 3 ounces, during Thursday’s first round. It was good enough to take the lead in the Advance Auto Parts Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair.

Missouri angler Chad Morgenthaler is just 1 pound behind in second with 22-3, and Alabamian Matt Lee is third with 21-13.

“I had a good practice,” said Roy, who finished seventh at this year’s GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. “I was seeing a lot of quality fish in a lot of different areas. But this morning, I don’t know if they just didn’t bite or if they moved out of some of those areas.

“I fished several places and just didn’t get bit.”

Lake St. Clair smallmouth bass have a reputation for roaming — and Roy decided to roam in search of them.

“I just kept moving around, cycling through them, and about 9 o’clock they started to bite pretty good,” he said. “After that, it was just steady. You’d catch some small ones, and then you’d catch a good one.”

Morgenthaler’s day was the opposite of Roy’s, as he put a good limit in his livewell on the first place he stopped.

“It all happened really quick this morning,” Morgenthaler said. “I’m on one spot, and it’s just a place where they can get stacked up on. It’s not a very big spot, and there was another angler in there with me this morning — but we worked really well together.”

Lee followed Roy’s path, landing most of his larger fish beyond the morning hours.

“Later in the day, I just made a decision to go out to this one area where I had gotten bit in practice,” Lee said. “I rolled up out there, and they were all big ones.

“I caught 10 fish there — four were little, one was a 3-pounder and I jumped one off,” Lee said. “Then I weighed in three from there, and they were all hammers.”

Roy, Morgenthaler and Lee generated a lot of buzz as the leaders of the race for the $100,000 first-place tournament prize. But many were also interested in the hotly contested race for Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year — and the competition couldn’t be much tighter.

Tennessee angler Jacob Wheeler came into the day tied for second place in the AOY race, but moved into the lead with 794 points after landing 21-9 and finishing the first day of the St. Clair event in sixth place. Idaho pro Brandon Palaniuk, who came into the tournament as the AOY leader, caught just 17-13 and finished in 47th place on Day 1.

“Moving forward, this is a three-day deal,” Wheeler said. “I could go out there tomorrow and catch 17 pounds, or 16 pounds or even 12 pounds. You’ve got to catch them every day. Day 1 just doesn’t matter.

“At the end of the tournament, where you finish is what matters.”

Palaniuk is now in second place in the AOY race with 793 points, tied with Oklahoma pro Jason Christie. South Carolina pro Casey Ashley is also well within striking distance in fourth with 769 points.

“My biggest fish (a 6-8 smallmouth) was my second fish of the morning, and after that I thought I was going to smash them,” said Palaniuk, who took the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the week with his lunker. “But after that, I just caught small ones. I also lost one 4-pounder.”

Christie said he thinks he’s on the fish to win the tournament.

“It could happen if everything goes right,” he said. “But how often does everything go right?”

After Friday’s weigh-in, only the Top 50 remaining anglers will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round. Daily takeoffs will begin at 6:30 a.m. ET at Lake St. Clair Metropark. Weigh-ins will be held back at the park at 3:15 p.m.

When the tournament is done, the Top 50 anglers in the AOY standings will advance to the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship on Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake next month.

The event is hosted by the Detroit Sports Commission, Sterling Heights Regional Chamber of Commerce and Macomb County.

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Mercury, Minn Kota, Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, T-H Marine, Shimano, Advance Auto Parts, Livingston Lures, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

2017 Advance Auto Parts Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair 8/24-8/27
Lake St. Clair, Macomb County  MI.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  23-03  110
Day 1: 5   23-03
2.  Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO         5  22-03  109
Day 1: 5   22-03
3.  Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         5  21-13  108
Day 1: 5   21-13
4.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  21-12  107
Day 1: 5   21-12
5.  Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL             5  21-11  106
Day 1: 5   21-11
6.  Jacob Wheeler          Harrison, TN             5  21-09  105
Day 1: 5   21-09
7.  Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  21-00  104
Day 1: 5   21-00
8.  Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  20-14  103
Day 1: 5   20-14
9.  John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  20-12  102
Day 1: 5   20-12
9.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  20-12  102
Day 1: 5   20-12
11. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  20-11  100
Day 1: 5   20-11
12. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  20-06   99
Day 1: 5   20-06
13. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  20-05   98
Day 1: 5   20-05
14. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA               5  20-04   97
Day 1: 5   20-04
15. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  20-02   96
Day 1: 5   20-02
16. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            5  19-15   95
Day 1: 5   19-15
17. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  19-11   94
Day 1: 5   19-11
18. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                5  19-09   93
Day 1: 5   19-09
19. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  19-08   92
Day 1: 5   19-08
20. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  19-07   91
Day 1: 5   19-07
21. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  19-06   90
Day 1: 5   19-06
21. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  19-06   90
Day 1: 5   19-06
21. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL         5  19-06   90
Day 1: 5   19-06
21. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  19-06   90
Day 1: 5   19-06
25. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        5  19-05   86
Day 1: 5   19-05
25. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  19-05   86
Day 1: 5   19-05
27. David Williams         Newton, NC               5  19-03   84
Day 1: 5   19-03
28. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY          5  19-01   83
Day 1: 5   19-01
29. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  19-00   82
Day 1: 5   19-00
30. Brent Ehrler           Redlands, CA             5  18-15   81
Day 1: 5   18-15
31. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  18-14   80
Day 1: 5   18-14
32. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC           5  18-13   79
Day 1: 5   18-13
32. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  18-13   79
Day 1: 5   18-13
34. Fred Roumbanis         London, AR               5  18-12   77
Day 1: 5   18-12
35. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA          5  18-11   76
Day 1: 5   18-11
35. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  18-11   76
Day 1: 5   18-11
37. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  18-10   74
Day 1: 5   18-10
38. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  18-09   73
Day 1: 5   18-09
38. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  18-09   73
Day 1: 5   18-09
40. Seth Feider            Isle, MN                 5  18-08   71
Day 1: 5   18-08
41. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL              5  18-05   70
Day 1: 5   18-05
42. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              5  18-02   69
Day 1: 5   18-02
43. Jesse Tacoronte        Orlando, FL              5  18-01   68
Day 1: 5   18-01
44. Ott DeFoe              Blaine, TN               5  18-00   67
Day 1: 5   18-00
45. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  18-00   66
Day 1: 5   18-00
46. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  17-14   65
Day 1: 5   17-14
47. Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID               5  17-13   64
Day 1: 5   17-13
47. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  17-13   64
Day 1: 5   17-13
49. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  17-12   62
Day 1: 5   17-12
49. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  17-12   62
Day 1: 5   17-12
51. Josh Bertrand          San Tan Valley, AZ       5  17-12   60
Day 1: 5   17-12
52. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  17-09   59
Day 1: 5   17-09
52. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL              5  17-09   59
Day 1: 5   17-09
54. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  17-06   57
Day 1: 5   17-06
54. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  17-06   57
Day 1: 5   17-06
56. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            4  17-05   55
Day 1: 4   17-05
57. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID         5  17-00   54
Day 1: 5   17-00
58. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  16-11   53
Day 1: 5   16-11
58. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  16-11   53
Day 1: 5   16-11
60. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  16-07   51
Day 1: 5   16-07
61. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  16-06   50
Day 1: 5   16-06
62. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  16-05   49
Day 1: 5   16-05
62. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  16-05   49
Day 1: 5   16-05
64. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             5  16-04   47
Day 1: 5   16-04
65. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  16-03   46
Day 1: 5   16-03
65. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  16-03   46
Day 1: 5   16-03
67. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  16-02   44
Day 1: 5   16-02
67. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  16-02   44
Day 1: 5   16-02
69. John Murray            Spring City, TN          5  16-00   42
Day 1: 5   16-00
70. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA             5  15-13   41
Day 1: 5   15-13
71. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 5  15-12   40
Day 1: 5   15-12
72. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  15-11   39
Day 1: 5   15-11
72. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  15-11   39
Day 1: 5   15-11
74. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  15-10   37
Day 1: 5   15-10
75. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             5  15-07   36
Day 1: 5   15-07
76. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  15-05   35
Day 1: 5   15-05
77. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  15-02   34
Day 1: 5   15-02
78. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  15-01   33
Day 1: 5   15-01
79. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  14-15   32
Day 1: 5   14-15
80. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  14-13   31
Day 1: 5   14-13
81. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          5  14-10   30
Day 1: 5   14-10
81. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX               5  14-10   30
Day 1: 5   14-10
83. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  14-09   28
Day 1: 5   14-09
84. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  14-09   27
Day 1: 5   14-09
85. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  14-06   26
Day 1: 5   14-06
86. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  14-05   25
Day 1: 5   14-05
87. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN            5  14-02   24
Day 1: 5   14-02
88. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  13-13   23
Day 1: 5   13-13
89. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  13-10   22
Day 1: 5   13-10
90. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  13-06   21
Day 1: 5   13-06
91. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  12-15   20
Day 1: 5   12-15
92. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  12-14   19
Day 1: 5   12-14
93. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                5  12-11   18
Day 1: 5   12-11
94. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  12-06   17
Day 1: 5   12-06
95. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN            5  12-04   16
Day 1: 5   12-04
96. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  12-03   15
Day 1: 5   12-03
97. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  11-10   14
Day 1: 5   11-10
98. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          3  10-13   13
Day 1: 3   10-13
99. Alton Jones Jr.        Lorena, TX               5  10-12   12
Day 1: 5   10-12
100. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     4  10-03   11
Day 1: 4   10-03
101. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA             3  09-12   10
Day 1: 3   09-12
102. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           3  09-04    9
Day 1: 3   09-04
103. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         4  09-01    8
Day 1: 4   09-01
104. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            3  09-01    7
Day 1: 3   09-01
105. David Fritts           Lexington, NC            3  07-05    6
Day 1: 3   07-05
106. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                2  06-06    5
Day 1: 2   06-06
107. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           2  05-04    4
Day 1: 2   05-04
108. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              2  04-00    3
Day 1: 2   04-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        97       518      1781-12
———————————-
97       518      1781-12