A few observations:
First, three periods separated by a couple 30 minute breaks where all the boats have to meet at a neutral location. I’m still not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, an angler that is on the bite is not going to want to leave it for a “timeout”. On the other hand, it was nice to see a couple of the guys down the leaderboard able to regroup and come back from a break to pull in several fish in a row and move up. It was fun to watch a guy sit near the bottom for the first two periods and move into Xxx place in the third. (Come on, I said I wouldn’t give it away…again, there was a really cool finish.)
Second, the No-Limit format really changes strategies I think. It was really a matter of quantity vs quality. Do the anglers want to take the time to look for the big ones? Or, do they want to get as many in the boat as possible? Is one angler going to be able to hook enough 4 and 5 pounders to keep up with the guys that pulls in 20…25 2 pounders? Also, they’re weighing the fish in quarter-pound increments. The official has to see the next quarter-pound line in order to count it. One angler probably had at least 5 fish that were just under that next ¼ lb mark (i.e. 2 lbs, 3 oz will count as a 2 lb fish…he just lost 3 ounces; multiplied by 5 is an additional pound). Trust me, it may have made a big difference for two anglers. Also, I’d like to see what each angler’s 5-fish bag would have looked like if they were culling. I think the leaderboard would have changed. First would probably still be first, but I think you would have seen two different guys in the top four.
Lastly, a few more observations that I won’t spend much time on right now:
We saw a couple anglers assessed a one-minute penalty for breaking a line. During their penalty they can do nothing, not even retie the line. They also didn’t go into what else they can be penalized for.
The eight anglers were all confined to a specific “zone” of the lake. I think that’s where the “unknown body of water” comes in to play.
Each angler is in an 18’ boat with an official and a cameraman…a little tight if you ask me.
There’s no weigh-in suspense. When it’s over, it’s over. Each tournament official announced any leaderboard activity to his angler. That really has to chew at the guys in 6th, 7th and 8th.
Marty Stone went out in a boat and interview anglers while they were fishing…no opinion.
My big question: When is the first official going to drop that leaderboard tablet in the water? I’m sure they have back-ups, but come on…that will be funny.
Yes, I will definitely be watching the rest of them on AdvanceCast. Next up: Biffle, Brauer, Evers, Faircloth, Grigsby, Iaconelli, Jones and Omori. There really wasn’t a real temper-tantrum in webisode 1, but I bet there will be at least one this time. Let me know if you watched, if you plan to watch, if you even care. See? I told you I wouldn’t give it away.