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Salewske leads first day at Harris Chain

Salewske leads first day at Harris Chain

Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif. weighed a 26-10 sack to take the early lead in the FLW Pro Circuit event at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida. He holds a 2-ounce lead over 2nd-place Miles Burghoff, with the rest of the 154-angler field more than 4 pounds back.

Today was an amazing day, said Salewske, who is fishing in his first season back at FLWs top-level circuit since 2011. Im fishing an area I call it offshore, but its not a long way offshore. I found the spot during the first day of practice and caught 15 fish there a 6-pounder, two 4-pounders and a bunch of little ones. The next two days there, I shook every fish off.

Im not a Florida guy and I dont really know this place well enough to know exactly what theyre doing, but I think it is a staging area, Salewske continued. I had seven quality fish there today, and around 8:30 I culled out a 3-pounder with a 4-pounder and decided I needed to leave. I dont know if there are more there, or if a school just swam up, or if theyre staging there. But Ill find out tomorrow.

Salewske said his key area was about 200 feet off the bank. His most effective baits were dark-colored Zoom Speed Worms, Zoom Trick Worms and a Zoom Brush Hog.

After 8:30, I spent the day practicing and I found a secondary pattern that was working for me, Salewske said. I had four spots coming into this event that I thought could be good, but I only fished one today. Now, if those four are no good, Ive got another pattern that I can run and Im excited about that. Youve got to be around fish to get bit and I know Im around them so well see what tomorrow brings. I cant wait to get back out there.

Here are the numbers for the initial top 10:

1. Rusty Salewske: 26-10
2. Miles Burghoff: 26-08
3. Jared McMillan: 22-01
4. Grae Buck: 21-07
5. Robert Nakatomi: 21-05
6. Kyle Gelles: 21-03
7. Jimmy Washam: 20-00
8. Tim Frederick: 19-09
9. Joshua Weaver: 19-07
10. Erik Luzak: 18-01

Jason Meninger took big-bass honors for the day with an 8-09.

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