Brandon Palaniuk Extends Lead on Mississippi River Elite Day 2

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courtesy B.A.S.S.

Elite Series River Rumble Day Two Leader Brandon Palaniuk – photo by B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Mighty bad weather Friday morning on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse didn’t put the hurt on Brandon Palaniuk.

In fact, the morning storm helped the pro from Rathdrum, Idaho.

Only three hours into Friday’s competition, Palaniuk had 19-plus pounds of bass to bring to the scales at the Diet Mountain Dew Mississippi River Rumble presented by Power-Pole, the sixth event of the Bassmaster Elite Series 2013 season. Combined with his first-day bag of 18-4, Friday’s bag — five smallmouth that went 19-3 — was more than enough for the 25-year-old pro to hold on tight to the top spot for the second consecutive day.

With a two-day total of 37 pounds, 7 ounces, Palaniuk stayed 6-0 ahead of Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., in second place with 31-7.

Third place was taken by Tommy Biffle of Wagoner, Okla., who shot up from 14th place after weighing 16-0, giving him a two-day total of 30-0. Behind him was John Crews of Salem, Va., who with 28-8 fell one tick to fourth place. Fifth place was claimed by the 2012 Rumble champ, Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Ala., with 28-4.

Friday morning’s violent storm with lightning and high winds set back the Rumble’s launch time from 6:20 a.m. to 8 a.m., when B.A.S.S. tournament officials determined that the anglers could safely get on the water. The lost hour and 40 minutes shortened the competition day for everyone.

Once on the water, Palaniuk ran into instant trouble. Within the first 30 minutes, he hooked into, and lost, five smallmouth. He estimated all five were 3- to 4-pounders.

“That made me extremely nervous. I didn’t know if I was going to get another bite,” he said. “I was very close to spinning out.”

Instead, he buckled down to try to figure out why he couldn’t make a solid connection with the smallies.

“I did everything I could think of. I changed rods, I changed hooks, I changed lure colors. Finally, I realized there was nothing I could do about it. So I went back to the same setup I caught them on yesterday.”

Starting fresh at a new spot, the stormy weather actually helped him amass his 19-3 weight.

“It definitely made the bite better today, no doubt in my mind. The cloud cover, the rain, and even the wind blowing against the current, allowed those fish to be more active, a little more willing to bite,” he said.

On his second cast at the new spot, he boated a 4-pounder. Then he caught a 5-9. It was another smallmouth and his biggest of the day as well as the event’s largest bass brought to the scales by any pro in the entire 99-angler field over two days. He left the area with four that weighed about 15 pounds.

His next move yielded his fifth keeper, and a cull.

Palaniuk said he has a “milk run” of spots, and timing is the key.

“If you can pull up and cast when those fish are ready to feed, you can catch the big ones,” he said.

The leader said that a 6-pound lead isn’t enough of a safety net, especially with two more days remaining in the competition.

“If I had a 30-pound lead, yes. But you can’t have a big enough lead against these guys (the Elite field),” he said.

Palaniuk’s second-day success piled on the laurels. One, he was the recipient of the Livingston Leader Award, a bonus of $500 for being the Day 2 leader. Two, his 5-9 smallmouth became the leader for the event’s Carhartt Big Bass competition for a $1,000 bonus plus another $500 if the angler was wearing Carhartt apparel. Three, his 19-3 bag was the top contender for the Rumble’s Berkley Heavyweight Award of $500 for the best five-fish limit; Palaniuk actually beat his own Day 1 bag of 18-4.

While Palaniuk was targeting smallmouth exclusively, Martens went for largemouth. He brought five to the scales Friday. The 17-3 sack broke him out of a ninth-place three-way tie and pushed him into the runner-up spot.

For Martens, the storm relocated his bass. He spent about 10 minutes to find them about 100 feet away.

“I was a little concerned when I pulled up and didn’t get any bites in the first three or four casts. I fancasted around and found them,” he said.

Within about three hours, Martens had the limit he weighed in.

“Then I went fishing for a big one. I caught about a 13-pound limit, but nothing that helped me,” said Martens.

The Rumble’s first prize is $100,000 plus an instant qualification for the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. All Elite pros are earning points that count toward securing a Classic berth and a qualification for Toyota All-Star Week, the postseason event in September.

Points also count toward the Elite season’s biggest prize, the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., led the AOY race going into the Rumble. The non-final tally after two days had Evers still in the lead, but losing ground.

The field was cut to the Top 50 for Saturday’s round. Those 50 will compete to be among the Top 12 for Sunday’s championship finale. The pros will launch at 6:20 a.m. at Veterans Freedom Park in La Crosse. The weigh-in, at the same location, will begin at 3:15 p.m.

Fans can watch the pros prove the richness of the Upper Mississippi River, the fishery named as No. 17 on Bassmaster Magazine’s “100 Best Bass Lakes” list of 2013.

The Bassmaster Elite Series Expo will open at noon Saturday and Sunday. The Expo features products of Elite Series sponsors, activities for kids, and much more. Fans can sign up for demo rides in Nitro, Skeeter and Triton bass rigs powered by Mercury and Yamaha engines.

All Bassmaster events are free.

Bassmaster.com will provide extensive online coverage Saturday and Sunday, including blogs, video and BASSTrakk catch reports from on-the-water observers, and live reporting form the Lowrance War Room. During the weigh-in, streaming video and real-time leaderboards will be available. Live recaps from the Toyota Hooked Up! stage with Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona will be broadcast on Bassmaster.com. Access to all features is free.

Coverage of the Rumble will air on ESPN2 on June 30, 8-9 a.m. ET, on The Bassmasters TV show.

The event is hosted jointly by the La Crosse Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (www.ExploreLaCrosse.com); the La Crosse Park, Recreation and Forestry Department; and the Onalaska Tourism Commission.

2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha

2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Luck-E-Strike, Power-Pole, Ramada, Shimano

2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Proud Partner: Mustang Survival

About B.A.S.S.
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.

2013 Diet Mountain Dew Mississippi River Rumble presented by Power-Pole
6/20-6/23
Mississippi River, La Crosse, Wis.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

   Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts  

1.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID            10  37-07   99
Day 1: 5   18-04     Day 2: 5   19-03
2.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  31-07   98
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   17-03
3.  Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  30-00   97
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   16-00
4.  John Crews             Salem, VA               10  28-08   96
Day 1: 5   15-07     Day 2: 5   13-01
5.  Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  28-04   95
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   13-15
6.  Brandon Card           Caryville, TN           10  28-02   94
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   13-09
7.  Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK               10  27-10   93
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   13-06
8.  Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  27-07   92
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   14-01
9.  Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           10  27-07   91
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   13-13
10. Randy Howell           Springville, AL         10  27-06   90
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 5   13-08
11. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  26-12   89
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   12-09
12. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  26-12   88
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   13-00
13. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  26-07   87
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   15-11
14. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  26-07   86
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   11-12
15. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  26-05   85
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   12-01
16. Casey Scanlon          Lenexa, KS              10  26-03   84
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   11-14
17. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX              10  26-02   83
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   12-13
18. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  26-01   82
Day 1: 5   12-15     Day 2: 5   13-02
19. Bobby Lane             Lakeland, FL            10  25-14   81
Day 1: 5   14-05     Day 2: 5   11-09
20. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  25-13   80
Day 1: 5   12-15     Day 2: 5   12-14
21. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  25-12   79
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   12-14
22. Kevin Hawk             Guntersville, AL        10  25-11   78
Day 1: 5   16-00     Day 2: 5   09-11
23. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  25-11   77
Day 1: 5   13-05     Day 2: 5   12-06
24. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             10  25-09   76
Day 1: 5   13-01     Day 2: 5   12-08
25. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  25-08   75
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   12-02
26. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  25-08   74
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 5   13-00
27. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  25-07   73
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 5   13-00
28. Matt Herren            Trussville, AL          10  25-04   72
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   11-04
29. Michael Simonton       Fremont, OH             10  24-14   71
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   11-05
30. Billy McCaghren        Mayflower, AR           10  24-10   70
Day 1: 5   13-06     Day 2: 5   11-04
31. Shaw E Grigsby Jr.     Gainesville, FL         10  24-10   69
Day 1: 5   12-13     Day 2: 5   11-13
32. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS              10  24-09   68
Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   10-08
33. Rick Morris            Lake Gaston, VA         10  24-08   67
Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 5   12-06
34. Kevin Short            Mayflower, AR           10  24-07   66
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 5   12-03
35. Grant Goldbeck         Boerne, TX              10  24-06   65
Day 1: 5   12-12     Day 2: 5   11-10
36. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC          10  24-05   64
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 5   12-01
37. Kelly Jordon           Palestine, TX           10  24-03   63
Day 1: 5   10-02     Day 2: 5   14-01
38. John Murray            Phoenix, AZ             10  24-03   62
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   12-05
39. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  24-00   61
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   10-09
40. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  24-00   60
Day 1: 5   12-02     Day 2: 5   11-14
41. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  23-15   59
Day 1: 5   12-05     Day 2: 5   11-10
42. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  23-13   58
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-08
43. Casey D Ashley         Donalds, SC             10  23-13   57
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   11-07
44. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  23-12   56
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 5   11-03
45. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA            10  23-12   55
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   11-14
46. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  23-11   54
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   12-01
47. Pete Ponds             Madison, MS             10  23-09   53
Day 1: 5   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-04
48. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA             10  23-08   52
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 5   11-04
49. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA            10  23-06   51
Day 1: 5   13-12     Day 2: 5   09-10
50. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          9  23-05   50
Day 1: 4   11-05     Day 2: 5   12-00
51. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  23-05   49
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   11-07
52. Gerald Swindle         Warrior, AL             10  23-01   48
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   12-14
53. Jason Quinn            Rock Hill, SC           10  22-13   47
Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 5   10-12
54. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX         10  22-11   46
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   11-07
55. David Smith            Del City, OK            10  22-10   45
Day 1: 5   11-07     Day 2: 5   11-03
56. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            9  22-09   44
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 4   10-02
57. Boyd Duckett           Demopolis, AL           10  22-09   43
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 5   11-01
58. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  22-08   42
Day 1: 5   10-14     Day 2: 5   11-10
59. Derek Remitz           Grant, AL               10  22-05   41
Day 1: 5   10-03     Day 2: 5   12-02
60. Timmy Horton           Muscle Shoals, AL       10  22-05   40
Day 1: 5   12-01     Day 2: 5   10-04
61. Jamie Horton           Centerville, AL          9  22-04   39
Day 1: 5   12-10     Day 2: 4   09-10
62. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            9  22-02   38
Day 1: 5   13-04     Day 2: 4   08-14
63. Charlie Hartley        Grove City, OH           9  21-10   37
Day 1: 5   09-14     Day 2: 4   11-12
64. Jami Fralick           Martin, SD              10  21-09   36
Day 1: 5   10-15     Day 2: 5   10-10
65. Morizo Shimizu         Osaka JAPAN             10  21-07   35
Day 1: 5   10-07     Day 2: 5   11-00
66. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        9  21-06   34
Day 1: 4   09-00     Day 2: 5   12-06
67. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                9  21-05   33
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 4   07-14
68. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  20-14   32
Day 1: 5   10-08     Day 2: 5   10-06
69. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           9  20-12   31
Day 1: 4   08-00     Day 2: 5   12-12
70. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL               10  20-11   30
Day 1: 5   09-07     Day 2: 5   11-04
71. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             9  20-07   29
Day 1: 4   09-06     Day 2: 5   11-01
72. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  9  20-05   28
Day 1: 5   12-09     Day 2: 4   07-12
73. Hank Cherry            Maiden, NC               9  19-14   27
Day 1: 5   10-01     Day 2: 4   09-13
74. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           9  19-12   26
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 4   08-04
75. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                8  19-09   25
Day 1: 3   08-08     Day 2: 5   11-01
76. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  7  18-10   24
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 2   05-07
77. Chad Pipkens           Holt, MI                10  18-09   23
Day 1: 5   09-08     Day 2: 5   09-01
78. Nate Wellman           Newaygo, MI              8  17-12   22
Day 1: 5   12-04     Day 2: 3   05-08
79. Kenyon Hill            Norman, OK               9  17-09   21
Day 1: 4   08-00     Day 2: 5   09-09
80. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          9  17-05   20
Day 1: 5   09-15     Day 2: 4   07-06
81. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            7  17-03   19
Day 1: 5   11-08     Day 2: 2   05-11
82. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           8  17-02   18
Day 1: 3   06-07     Day 2: 5   10-11
83. Scott Ashmore          Broken Arrow, OK         8  17-02   17
Day 1: 4   08-08     Day 2: 4   08-10
84. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         8  16-15   16
Day 1: 3   04-12     Day 2: 5   12-03
85. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              9  16-09   15
Day 1: 5   09-06     Day 2: 4   07-03
86. Kevin Ledoux           Choctaw, OK              8  16-05   14
Day 1: 3   07-05     Day 2: 5   09-00
87. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            7  16-01   13
Day 1: 2   04-10     Day 2: 5   11-07
88. Chip Porche            Bixby, OK                7  15-12   12
Day 1: 5   11-03     Day 2: 2   04-09
89. Matt Greenblatt        Port St Lucie, FL        6  15-01   11
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 1   02-10
90. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                6  15-00   10
Day 1: 5   12-08     Day 2: 1   02-08
91. Zell Rowland           Montgomery, TX           7  14-07    9
Day 1: 5   10-09     Day 2: 2   03-14
92. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         7  13-09    8
Day 1: 5   09-10     Day 2: 2   03-15
93. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            6  13-07    7
Day 1: 5   12-00     Day 2: 1   01-07
94. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              6  12-13    6
Day 1: 5   10-04     Day 2: 1   02-09
95. BJ Haseotes            Centerville, MA          5  12-05    5
Day 1: 3   07-07     Day 2: 2   04-14
96. Jeremy Starks          Scott Depot, WV          5  12-00    4
Day 1: 5   12-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
97. Jared Miller           Norman, OK               6  11-01    3
Day 1: 4   07-13     Day 2: 2   03-04
98. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            6  10-05    2
Day 1: 3   05-12     Day 2: 3   04-09
99. Kurt Dove              Del Rio, TX              5  08-14    1
Day 1: 3   05-08     Day 2: 2   03-06
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        84       471      1156-03
2        73       435      1036-03
———————————-
157       906      2192-06