Morizo Shimizu Leads Day One of 2016 Elite Series Cayuga

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2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Cayuga Day One Leader Morizo Shimizu - photo by Seigo Saito - Bassmaster

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Cayuga Day One Leader Morizo Shimizu – photo by Seigo Saito – Bassmaster

UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. — As a native of Osaka, Japan, Morizo Shimizu doesn’t speak quite as much English as the average angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

But he knows the words “Big Momma” very well.

That’s the nickname he uses for the size bass he likes to catch — and on Thursday, he caught five of them.

Shimizu, an 11-year veteran of the Elite Series, brought 23 pounds, 6 ounces to the scales and took the first-round lead in the Busch Beer Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake. His catch was anchored by a 6-3 largemouth that he said came during the afternoon hours.

“I catch about eight fish all day,” Shimizu said in his usual broken English. “But I only catch five big ones. I caught fish early and late — all day long — from about 5 feet of water. But the biggest one came during afternoon.”

Including Shimizu’s mammoth catch, the 107-angler field produced 12 bags that weighed 20 pounds or more. It took 19-5 to make the Top 20 and 16-15 to make the Top 50 — the highest Day 1 mark needed to make the Top 50 this year.

Spawning smallmouth played a role for many anglers, but Shimizu opted to fish for largemouth because the smallies he located during practice had disappeared.

“I saw some on beds, but they had gone,” he said. “I don’t know if somebody caught them or if they just left. But they weren’t there anymore.”

New Jersey pro Michael Iaconelli was second with 21-15 — and like Shimizu, he chose to concentrate mainly on largemouth.

He said two quick flurries helped him to his big limit.

“It was all timing for me,” Iaconelli said. “I’ve been fishing here long enough to know that you get them in little spurts. If you can be in the right area when they’re feeding, it happens so quickly.
“I had one flurry early that lasted about 30 minutes and a second one later that lasted about 40 minutes — and without those today, I would have only weighed in about 15 or 16 pounds.”

Iaconelli also said luck played a role in what he termed a “magical day.”

With a big limit already in the livewell, he said he was lingering in a good area, mainly to keep other anglers away. When another competitor approached, Iaconelli picked up an unlikely lure.

“I just picked up a different lure and chunked it out away from the spot I was sitting on,” Iaconelli said. “This lure … there was no way it should have worked. But I caught a 5 1/2-pounder on it.

“That’s the kind of day it was for me.”

Because Iaconelli is targeting postspawn largemouth, he said he might have a better chance of bass moving into his areas — “replenishing” in bass jargon — than some of the pros who are zeroing in on bedding fish.

Virginia angler Jacob Powroznik went the other route Thursday, mostly sight fishing for the spawning smallies that he found during practice. He said he used a topwater bait with no hooks to locate the fish while practicing — and he was shocked by their size when he went back to the catch them.

“I didn’t actually fish for them when I was practicing. I just went over the top of them,” said Powroznik, who weighed in four smallmouth and one largemouth. “I thought they were maybe 3 or 3 1/2 pounds, but they ended up being 4 1/2-pounders.”

Powroznik said he has more fish in reserve, and he believes the conditions will be even more conducive to his kind of fishing Friday.

“It’s supposed to slick off and be really calm, so I like my chances,” he said. “I’ve still got a good many largemouth left that I know are 3 1/2- to 4-pounders. So we’ll just have to see what happens.”

South Carolina angler Britt Myers, who won an Elite Series event earlier this year at South Carolina’s Winyah Bay, is fourth with 21-3, and Arizona angler Dean Rojas is tied with Connecticut pro Paul Mueller in fifth with 20-9.

Shimizu took the lead in the race for Phoenix Boats Big Bass with his 6-3 largemouth, and Louisiana pro Greg Hackney maintained his lead in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 17-8 that landed him in 36th place after one day of competition.

The tournament will continue Friday with a full field of 107 anglers. The field will be trimmed to the Top 50 for Saturday’s semifinal round and to the Top 12 for Championship Sunday. Daily takeoffs will be at 6:15 a.m. ET from Frontenac Park, with weigh-ins back at the park each day at 3:15 p.m.

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro,

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Power-Pole, Rapala, Shell Rotella, Shimano, Academy Sports + Outdoors

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), 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 presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2016 BUSCH BEER Bassmaster Elite at Cayuga Lake 6/23-6/26
Cayuga Lake, Union Springs  NY.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts  

1.  Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  23-06  110
Day 1: 5   23-06
2.  Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  21-15  109
Day 1: 5   21-15
3.  Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  21-14  108
Day 1: 5   21-14
4.  Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  21-03  107
Day 1: 5   21-03
5.  Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  20-09  106
Day 1: 5   20-09
5.  Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  20-09  106
Day 1: 5   20-09
7.  Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          5  20-06  104
Day 1: 5   20-06
8.  Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  20-05  103
Day 1: 5   20-05
9.  Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                5  20-03  102
Day 1: 5   20-03
10. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 5  20-02  101
Day 1: 5   20-02
11. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              5  20-00  100
Day 1: 5   20-00
11. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  20-00  100
Day 1: 5   20-00
13. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  19-13   98
Day 1: 5   19-13
13. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  19-13   98
Day 1: 5   19-13
15. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO         5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
15. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
17. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  19-10   94
Day 1: 5   19-10
18. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  19-09   93
Day 1: 5   19-09
19. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            5  19-07   92
Day 1: 5   19-07
20. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          5  19-05   91
Day 1: 5   19-05
21. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  19-04   90
Day 1: 5   19-04
22. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                5  19-01   89
Day 1: 5   19-01
23. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  19-00   88
Day 1: 5   19-00
24. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  18-15   87
Day 1: 5   18-15
25. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  18-14   86
Day 1: 5   18-14
25. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  18-14   86
Day 1: 5   18-14
27. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  18-11   84
Day 1: 5   18-11
28. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  18-09   83
Day 1: 5   18-09
29. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  18-06   82
Day 1: 5   18-06
30. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  18-01   81
Day 1: 5   18-01
30. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          5  18-01   81
Day 1: 5   18-01
32. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  18-00   79
Day 1: 5   18-00
33. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  17-13   78
Day 1: 5   17-13
33. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  17-13   78
Day 1: 5   17-13
35. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  17-10   76
Day 1: 5   17-10
36. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  17-08   75
Day 1: 5   17-08
36. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  17-08   75
Day 1: 5   17-08
38. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  17-07   73
Day 1: 5   17-07
39. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  17-06   72
Day 1: 5   17-06
39. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             5  17-06   72
Day 1: 5   17-06
41. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  17-05   70
Day 1: 5   17-05
41. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  17-05   70
Day 1: 5   17-05
43. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  17-03   68
Day 1: 5   17-03
43. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  17-03   68
Day 1: 5   17-03
45. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  17-00   66
Day 1: 5   17-00
45. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  17-00   66
Day 1: 5   17-00
45. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  17-00   66
Day 1: 5   17-00
48. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               5  16-15   63
Day 1: 5   16-15
48. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  16-15   63
Day 1: 5   16-15
50. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  16-15   61
Day 1: 5   16-15
51. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  16-14   60
Day 1: 5   16-14
52. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         5  16-13   59
Day 1: 5   16-13
53. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN    5  16-11   58
Day 1: 5   16-11
53. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  16-11   58
Day 1: 5   16-11
55. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  16-10   56
Day 1: 5   16-10
55. Billy McCaghren Jr     Mayflower, AR            5  16-10   56
Day 1: 5   16-10
57. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  16-09   54
Day 1: 5   16-09
57. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            5  16-09   54
Day 1: 5   16-09
59. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          5  16-08   52
Day 1: 5   16-08
60. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        5  16-03   51
Day 1: 5   16-03
61. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              5  16-01   50
Day 1: 5   16-01
62. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     5  16-00   49
Day 1: 5   16-00
63. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              5  15-13   48
Day 1: 5   15-13
64. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  15-12   47
Day 1: 5   15-12
64. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  15-12   47
Day 1: 5   15-12
64. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  15-12   47
Day 1: 5   15-12
67. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  15-10   44
Day 1: 5   15-10
68. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  15-08   43
Day 1: 5   15-08
69. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL         5  15-07   42
Day 1: 5   15-07
70. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            5  15-06   41
Day 1: 5   15-06
71. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         5  15-02   40
Day 1: 5   15-02
72. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  15-01   39
Day 1: 5   15-01
73. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  14-15   38
Day 1: 5   14-15
73. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  14-15   38
Day 1: 5   14-15
75. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  14-14   36
Day 1: 5   14-14
75. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                5  14-14   36
Day 1: 5   14-14
77. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  14-08   34
Day 1: 5   14-08
78. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        5  14-06   33
Day 1: 5   14-06
78. David Walker           Sevierville, TN          5  14-06   33
Day 1: 5   14-06
80. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             5  14-05   31
Day 1: 5   14-05
81. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           5  14-04   30
Day 1: 5   14-04
81. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  14-04   30
Day 1: 5   14-04
83. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  14-03   28
Day 1: 5   14-03
83. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             5  14-03   28
Day 1: 5   14-03
85. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC           5  14-00   26
Day 1: 5   14-00
86. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  13-14   25
Day 1: 5   13-14
86. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN          5  13-14   25
Day 1: 5   13-14
88. Casey Scanlon          Rocky Mount, MO          5  13-13   23
Day 1: 5   13-13
89. Jay Brainard           Enid, OK                 5  13-10   22
Day 1: 5   13-10
90. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  13-09   21
Day 1: 5   13-09
91. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  13-09   20
Day 1: 5   13-09
92. John Murray            Spring City, TN          5  13-08   19
Day 1: 5   13-08
93. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  13-07   18
Day 1: 5   13-07
94. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA  5  13-03   17
Day 1: 5   13-03
94. Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               5  13-03   17
Day 1: 5   13-03
96. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  12-08   15
Day 1: 5   12-08
97. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  12-06   14
Day 1: 5   12-06
98. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  12-05   13
Day 1: 5   12-05
99. Fabian Rodriguez       Ocean City, DE           5  12-01   12
Day 1: 5   12-01
100. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                5  11-10   11
Day 1: 5   11-10
101. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                5  11-10   10
Day 1: 5   11-10
102. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  11-06    9
Day 1: 5   11-06
103. David Williams         Newton, NC               5  11-00    8
Day 1: 5   11-00
104. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA               5  10-13    7
Day 1: 5   10-13
105. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           5  10-07    6
Day 1: 5   10-07
106. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  10-02    5
Day 1: 5   10-02
107. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY          4  09-12    4
Day 1: 4   09-12
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1       106       534      1755-08
———————————-
106       534      1755-08