Four days after losing his truck, boat and trailer in an I-5 accident, Jared Lintner managed his best first day in 43 Bassmaster Elite competitions here Thursday on Clear Lake in Lakeport.
Lintner, fishing out of a borrowed boat devoid of sponsor decals, threw big baits to bring a 23-pound, 4-ounce weight to the scales. He’s in second place, 5 pounds, 12 ounces behind the leader, Byron Velvick. Lintner, 36, had been higher than sixth after the first day in previous tournaments. That was at The Delta in 2007.
The Arroyo Grande bass pro barely managed to get much meaningful time in for practice for the second event on the eight-event Elite schedule. Persistent phone calls from insurance agents interrupted his focus during the three practice days leading up to the start of competition.
Velvick, who holds the Bassmaster record for a three-day tournament — 83 pounds, 5 ounces — owns the lead here with a 29-pound limit.
Elite tournaments are four-day affairs and monster weights are possible at Clear Lake. In fact, in 2007 the top seven finishers all had 20 fish weighing over 100 pounds. Lintner registered one of his four top 10 finishes here. He was ninth with a 97-pound, 4-ounce total. Steve Kennedy won with 122 pounds, 14 ounces.
All 93 anglers will compete today, and then the field will be cut to 47.