By BassFan Staff

Longtime guide Ryan Coleman predicted earlier this week that somebody would catch a bag of spotted bass that weighed in excess of 22 pounds on windy day 1 of the Lake Lanier FLW Tour. That angler turned out to be Bradley Hallman.

The Oklahoman secured a lead of more than 3 pounds with a 23-11 stringer of spots caught from various depths. There wasn't a true giant among the five fish he brought to the scale - all ranged from 4 1/2 to just over 5 pounds.

Rookie Tim Cales, whose 7-pound largemouth took big-bass honors for the day, is 2nd with 20-05. Jason Meninger, a Georgia resident with a lot of experience on Lanier, is 3rd with 19-05.

Deep-fish guru Randy Haynes caught 19-03 to grab the No. 4 slot. Bryan Schmitt, formerly a Potomac River ace but now a threat to win just about anywhere he goes, completed the top 5 with 18-13.

Here's a glance at the initial top 10, with deficit margins from the leader indicated by red numbers in parentheses:

1. Bradley Hallman: 23-11
2. Tim Cales: 20-05 (3-06)
3. Jason Meninger: 19-05 (4-06)
4. Randy Haynes: 19-03 (4-08)
5. Bryan Schmitt: 18-13 (4-14)
6. Sheldon Collings: 18-12 (4-15)
7. (tie) David Williams: 18-07 (5-04)
7. (tie) Jason Reyes: 18-07 (5-04)
9. Jason Johnson: 18-04 (5-07)
10. Jeff Gustafson: 17-12 (5-15)

The top 35 in the standings all caught at least 15 pounds on a day that featured a partly cloudy sky and winds that topped 25 mph at times. The clouds will go away for day 2 and the wind will taper off, which will undoubtedly reposition some fish and alter the bite.

Chris Johnston, the winner at Florida's Harris Chain of Lakes 2 weeks ago and the Angler of the Year points leader coming into this event, is in 120th place after weighing a 10 1/2-pound bag. Brothers Jared and Brandon McMillan - 2nd and 3rd, respectively, on the points list - are also outside the top 50.



FLW
Photo: FLW

All five of Hallman's weigh-in fish were approximately the same size.

The 184-angler field will be trimmed to the top 30 at the conclusion of the day-2 weigh-in. Only the top 10 will advance to Sunday, when the winner will be determined based on cumulative weight.

Great Day for Hallman

> Day 1: 5, 23-11

Hallman said he had a good practice, but nothing that portended the kind of weight he boxed today.

"It was just my day," he said. "I'd pull up on a spot and catch a big one, then pull up on another spot and catch another big one. The wind helped me, for sure. I think it helped everybody.

"I'm real pround of that bag - I consider it a lifetime achievement. I told (tournament director) Bill Taylor that I wanted a picture of all five fish with him in it because something like that doesn't happen every day."

He pulled fish from depths that ranged from 5 to 25 feet.

"I'm doing different things throughout the day. To tell you what kind of day it was, I had over 20 pounds and I took my co-angler to a place to try to get him some fish. We pulled up and I caught a 4 1/2 and culled a 4-04. It was a place where I wasn't even expecting a big one to be."

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Photo: FLW

Tim Cales' stringer was topped by a 7-pounder.

He'd love to catch a similar bag on day 2, but knows that's highly unlikely.

"Fifteen to 17 pounds would be great - I'd be super-tickled with that. Today was just a magical day and everything went right."

2nd: Cales Caught Big Largemouths

> Day 1: 5, 20-05

Cales, who moved to the front of the boat this year after 3 solid seasons as a Tour co-angler, caught two big largemouths (the 7-pounder and a 5) and lost one in the 5-pound class.

"I knew a good day was possible, but I didn't know if the largemouths were going to bite for me or not," he said. "I spent all morning up the (Chattahoochee) River throwing a jerkbait for spots, then I went to an area where I saw some big largemouths in practice.

"Two of the bites came off one dock and the 7-pounder came off another dock."

He hopes that locale will replenish for day 2.

"I know there were more fish under there in practice - it looked like two 8s, a 6 and a 4 under one dock. They were just chilling under there for some reason and hopefully I can go back tomorrow and catch a couple more of them."

3rd: Meninger Knew what to Do

> Day 1: 5, 19-05

The many hours that Meninger's spent on Lanier paid off for him today. His bag contained all spots - a 5-pounder, a couple of 4s and two 3s.

"It helps being a local - knowing where to go, knowing where to get out of the wind and knowing where to be to take advantage of the wind," he said. "This is a very technical fishery and it can change by the minute, and you have to adjust.

"I caught some from 6 or 7 feet of water on the wind-blown banks and I caught some suspended in 60 feet. They're all over the place right now. They should be positioned a litle better on the weekend when it's warmer. After the first couple hours today, after the sun got up, it got slow."

He said that if he catches a largemouth, it'll be purely by accident.

"I tried fishing for them for about an hour today and never got a bite, so I went back to fishing for the spots."

4th: Two 5s for Haynes

> Day 1: 5, 19-03

Haynes' sack was highlighted by a pair of 5-pound spots. Naturally, all of his weigh-in fish came from deep water.

"I put in a lot of work into preparing for this one, but I wasn't sure what I was going to catch because the bite's changing so much every day," he said. "I'm having trouble keeping up with them, but fortunately I didn't lose them but for about 3 hours today.

FLW
Photo: FLW

Jason Meninger was able to capitalize on his vast Lake Lanier experience.

"I moved around a lot and just caught them throughout the day."

He went through nine keepers and the smallest fish he took to the scale was a 2 1/2-pounder.

"I'll pull out a map tonight and see if I can find some more places, then I'll wait and see what the wind's going to do tomorrow."

165th: Castledine Lost a Bunch

> Day 1: 3, 7-13

Todd Castledine said he suffered through a period during which he lost 17 consecutive bites.

"They'd just bite and start swimming off, and when I'd pull back there'd be nothing there," he said. "I figured it was just because of the cold front and it was going to be tough for everybody, but obviously not. I think for some people, it didn't affect anything.

"A lot of guys caught them way better than I thought they would."

He said he won't know what he's going to do on day 2 until just before he leaves the launch.

"I'll figure it out about 5 minutes before take-off. Part of me wants to just catch a decent bag and salvage something, but that's not the way I fish. I'll probably try to catch a big bag and take the chance of zeroing.

"None of what happened today makes any sense to me. The fish were fairly easy to catch in practice - you couldn't hardly shake them off."

Notable

> Day 1 stats 184 anglers, 145 limits, 19 fours, 7 threes, 9 twos, 3 ones, 1 zero.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., March 9 - Sunny - 56/40
- Wind: From the W at 11 mph

> Sat., March 10 - P.M. Rain - 60/47
- Wind: From the WSW at 8 mph

> Sun., March 11 - Rain - 54/37
- Wind: From the ENE at 9 mph

Day 1 Standings

1. Bradley Hallman -- Norman, Ok -- 23-11 (5)

2. Tim Cales -- Sandstone, Wv -- 20-5 (5)

3. Jason Meninger -- Saint Augustine, Fl -- 19-5 (5)

4. Randy Haynes -- Counce, Tn -- 19-3 (5)

5. Bryan Schmitt -- Deale, Md -- 18-13 (5)

6. Sheldon Collings -- Grove, Ok -- 18-12 (5)

7. David Williams -- Maiden, Nc -- 18-7 (5)

7. Jason Reyes -- Huffman, Tx -- 18-7 (5)

9. Jason Johnson -- Dawsonville, Ga -- 18-4 (5)

10. Jeff Gustafson -- Keewatin, On -- 17-12 (5)

10. Rob Kilby -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 17-12 (5)

12. Tyler Stewart -- West Monroe, La -- 17-10 (5)

13. David Nichol -- Gainesville, Ga -- 17-6 (5)

14. Kyle Weisenburger -- Ottawa, Oh -- 17-5 (5)

14. Scott Martin -- Clewiston, Fl -- 17-5 (5)

16. Scott Suggs -- Alexander, Ar -- 17-3 (5)

17. Aaron Britt -- Yuba City, Ca -- 17-0 (5)

18. David Dudley -- Lynchburg, Va -- 16-9 (5)

19. Joseph Webster -- Winfield, Al -- 16-7 (5)

20. Zack Birge -- Blanchard, Ok -- 16-6 (5)

21. Rob Jordan -- Flowery Branch, Ga -- 16-1 (5)

22. Michael Wooley -- Booneville, Ms -- 15-13 (5)

22. Bryan Thrift -- Shelby, Nc -- 15-13 (5)

22. Timmy Thompkins -- Myrtle Beach, Sc -- 15-13 (5)

25. Joey Cifuentes -- Clinton, Ar -- 15-12 (5)

26. Mark Rose -- West Memphis, Ar -- 15-11 (5)

27. Billy Shelton III -- La Crosse, Va -- 15-10 (5)

28. Cody Meyer -- Auburn, Ca -- 15-8 (5)

28. Alex Davis -- Albertville, Al -- 15-8 (5)

30. Billy McCaghren -- Mayflower, Ar -- 15-7 (5)

31. Glenn Browne -- Ocala, Fl -- 15-6 (5)

32. Matt Becker -- Finleyville, Pa -- 15-2 (5)

32. Matthew Stefan -- Junction City, Wi -- 15-2 (5)

34. Austin Felix -- Eden Prairie, Mn -- 15-1 (5)

35. Jeff Sprague -- Point, Tx -- 15-0 (5)

36. Miles Howe -- San Juan Capistrano, Ca -- 14-15 (5)

36. Justin Atkins -- Florence, Al -- 14-15 (5)

38. Chris Gosselaar -- Fresno, Ca -- 14-14 (5)

39. James Niggemeyer -- Van, Tx -- 14-13 (5)

40. Clent Davis -- Montevallo, Al -- 14-12 (5)

41. Greg Mansfield -- Olathe, Ks -- 14-11 (5)

41. Greg Bohannan -- Bentonville, Ar -- 14-11 (5)

41. Shane Lehew -- Catawba, Nc -- 14-11 (5)

44. Kerry Milner -- Bono, Ar -- 14-9 (5)

45. Wes Logan -- Springville, Al -- 14-7 (5)

46. Mike Surman -- Boca Raton, Fl -- 14-5 (5)

46. Britt Myers -- Clover, Sc -- 14-5 (5)

46. Carl Jocumsen -- Frisco, Tx -- 14-5 (5)

49. John Cox -- Debary, Fl -- 14-4 (5)

49. Jamie Horton -- Centerville, Al -- 14-4 (5)

51. Rusty Trancygier -- Hahira, Ga -- 14-2 (5)

51. Jared McMillan -- Belle Glade, Fl -- 14-2 (5)

53. Braxton Setzer -- Montgomery, Al -- 14-0 (5)

53. Richie Eaves -- Nauvoo, Il -- 14-0 (5)

55. Josh Douglas -- Isle, Mn -- 13-15 (5)

55. Grae Buck -- Harleysville, Pa -- 13-15 (5)

57. Buddy Gross -- Chickamauga, Ga -- 13-13 (5)

58. Cody Hahner -- Wausau, Wi -- 13-12 (5)

58. Jimmy Reese -- Witter Springs, Ca -- 13-12 (5)

60. Randy Blaukat -- Joplin, Mo -- 13-10 (5)

60. Anthony Gagliardi -- Prosperity, Sc -- 13-10 (5)

62. Mark Fisher -- Wauconda, Il -- 13-9 (5)

62. Clark Wendlandt -- Leander, Tx -- 13-9 (5)

62. Dylan Hays -- Sheridan, Ar -- 13-9 (5)

65. Ramie Colson Jr -- Cadiz, Ky -- 13-5 (5)

66. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, Tx -- 13-4 (5)

67. Jim Tutt -- Longview, Tx -- 13-3 (5)

68. Ryan Chandler -- Hebron, In -- 13-2 (5)

68. J Todd Tucker -- Moultrie, Ga -- 13-2 (5)

68. Brandon McMillan -- Clewiston, Fl -- 13-2 (5)

68. Kurt Dove -- Del Rio, Tx -- 13-2 (5)

72. Barry Wilson -- Birmingham, Al -- 13-0 (5)

72. Allen Boyd -- Salem, In -- 13-0 (5)

72. Kyle Cortiana -- Broken Arrow, Ok -- 13-0 (5)

75. Andrew Upshaw -- Tulsa, Ok -- 12-15 (5)

76. James Watson -- Lampe, Mo -- 12-14 (5)

76. Darrel Robertson -- Jay, Ok -- 12-14 (5)

76. Larry Nixon -- Bee Branch, Ar -- 12-14 (5)

79. Matt Arey -- Shelby, Nc -- 12-12 (5)

79. Tom Monsoor -- La Crosse, Wi -- 12-12 (5)

81. Brandon Cobb -- Greenwood, Sc -- 12-10 (5)

81. Jordan Osborne -- Longview, Tx -- 12-10 (5)

83. Jason Lambert -- Michie, Tn -- 12-9 (5)

84. Shawn Murphy -- Nicholasville, Ky -- 12-8 (5)

84. Bill McDonald -- Greenwood, In -- 12-8 (5)

86. Gary Yamamoto -- Palestine, Tx -- 12-6 (5)

87. Andy Morgan -- Dayton, Tn -- 12-5 (5)

88. Jay Yelas -- Lincoln City, Or -- 12-4 (5)

89. Shane Lineberger -- Lincolnton, Nc -- 12-3 (5)

90. Bradley Dortch -- Atmore, Al -- 12-2 (5)

90. Daryl Biron -- South Windsor, Ct -- 12-2 (5)

90. Terry Bolton -- Paducah, Ky -- 12-2 (5)

93. Chris McCall -- Palmer, Tx -- 12-0 (5)

93. Michael Neal -- Dayton, Tn -- 12-0 (5)

95. Casey Scanlon -- Lake Ozark, Mo -- 11-15 (5)

96. Russell Cecil -- Willis, Tx -- 11-14 (5)

96. Scott Canterbury -- Odenville, Al -- 11-14 (5)

96. Furman (Joe) Thompson -- Clayton, Ga -- 11-14 (5)

99. Rex Huff -- Corbin, Ky -- 11-13 (5)

99. JT Kenney -- Palm Bay, Fl -- 11-13 (5)

101. Scott Dobson -- Clarkston, Mi -- 11-11 (5)

101. John Devere -- Berea, Ky -- 11-11 (5)

103. Kurt Mitchell -- Milford, De -- 11-10 (5)

104. Chad Morgenthaler -- Reeds Spring, Mo -- 11-8 (5)

105. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, Tx -- 11-7 (5)

105. Evan Barnes -- Hot Springs , Ar -- 11-7 (5)

107. Cory Johnston -- Cavan, On -- 11-5 (5)

108. Robert Behrle -- Hoover, Al -- 11-4 (4)

108. Clint Brown -- Bainbridge, Ga -- 11-4 (5)

110. Lendell Martin Jr -- Nacogdoches, Tx -- 11-3 (5)

111. Tom Redington -- Royse City, Tx -- 11-2 (5)

112. Taylor Ashley -- Warrior, Al -- 11-1 (5)

113. Peter Thliveros -- Saint Augustine, Fl -- 11-0 (5)

114. Glenn Chappelear -- Acworth, Ga -- 10-13 (3)

114. Brandon Mosley -- Choctaw, Ok -- 10-13 (5)

116. Luke Dunkin -- Lawrenceburg, Tn -- 10-12 (5)

116. Robert Pearson -- Herndon, Va -- 10-12 (5)

118. Brett Preuett -- Monroe, La -- 10-9 (5)

118. Chris Neau -- New Orleans, La -- 10-9 (4)

120. Chris Johnston -- Peterborough, On -- 10-8 (5)

120. Jay Kendrick -- Grant, Al -- 10-8 (5)

120. Capt Blake Smith -- Lakeland, Fl -- 10-8 (5)

123. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, Tx -- 10-6 (5)

124. Tim Frederick -- Leesburg, Fl -- 10-5 (5)

124. Scott Ashmore -- Broken Arrow, Ok -- 10-5 (5)

126. Johnny McCombs -- Morris, Al -- 10-3 (5)

127. Matt Wittekiend -- Angleton, Tx -- 10-2 (5)

128. Jim Moynagh -- Carver, Mn -- 9-15 (5)

128. Matt Garner -- Seminole, Ok -- 9-15 (5)

130. Craig Rozema -- Simpsonville, Sc -- 9-13 (5)

131. Keith Bryan -- Novato, Ca -- 9-9 (4)

131. Brian Latimer -- Belton, Sc -- 9-9 (5)

131. Richard Lowitzki -- Hampshire, Il -- 9-9 (5)

134. Clark Reehm -- Elm Grove, La -- 9-8 (5)

134. David Larson -- Mound, Mn -- 9-8 (5)

136. Charlie Evans -- Berea, Ky -- 9-7 (4)

136. Todd Hollowell -- Fishers, In -- 9-7 (4)

138. Ronald Young -- Lake Wales, Fl -- 9-6 (5)

139. Billy Hines -- Vacaville, Ca -- 9-4 (5)

139. David Smith -- Edmond, Ok -- 9-4 (4)

141. Darrell Davis -- Dover, Fl -- 9-2 (5)

141. Jeff Dobson -- Bartlesville, Ok -- 9-2 (4)

141. Brad Knight -- Lancing, Tn -- 9-2 (4)

144. Jim Jones -- Big Bend, Wi -- 9-1 (5)

144. Scott Wiley -- Bay Minette, Al -- 9-1 (4)

144. Troy Morrow -- Eastanollee, Ga -- 9-1 (4)

147. Chad Grigsby -- Maple Grove, Mn -- 9-0 (5)

148. Jimmy Brewer -- Marshall, Tx -- 8-15 (5)

148. Jason Abram -- Piney Flats, Tn -- 8-15 (5)

150. Koby Kreiger -- Bokeelia, Fl -- 8-14 (5)

151. Wade Curtiss -- Lincoln, Ca -- 8-13 (5)

152. Jeremy Lawyer -- Sarcoxie, Mo -- 8-12 (5)

153. Chad Randles -- Elkhorn, Ne -- 8-10 (5)

154. Curtis Richardson -- Belleville, On -- 8-8 (4)

155. Dennis Tietje -- Roanoke, La -- 8-6 (4)

156. Clayton Batts -- Macon, Ga -- 8-3 (4)

156. Harry Moore -- Valley, Al -- 8-3 (5)

158. David Wootton -- Collierville, Tn -- 8-2 (5)

159. Cody Kelley -- Conway, Ar -- 8-1 (5)

159. Pete Ponds -- Madison, Ms -- 8-1 (5)

161. Derrick Blake -- Rockwood, Tn -- 8-0 (4)

162. John Voyles -- Petersburg, In -- 7-14 (4)

162. Dean Alexander -- Georgetown, Tx -- 7-14 (4)

162. Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, Sc -- 7-14 (4)

165. Todd Castledine -- Nacogdoches, Tx -- 7-13 (3)

166. Kenneth (Boo) Woods -- London, Ky -- 7-8 (4)

166. Andy Wicker -- Pomaria, Sc -- 7-8 (2)

168. Jim Dillard -- West Monroe, La -- 7-2 (4)

169. Jimmy Houston -- Cookson, Ok -- 6-10 (2)

170. Cameron Gautney -- Muscle Shoals, Al -- 6-2 (3)

171. Bob Morin -- Seymour, Tn -- 5-6 (3)

172. Chase Brooks -- Iraan, Tx -- 5-4 (3)

173. Bill Hutchison -- Bessemer, Al -- 5-0 (3)

174. Christopher Brasher -- Longview, Tx -- 4-11 (3)

175. John Hunter -- Shelbyville, Ky -- 4-7 (2)

176. Nick Gainey -- Charleston, Sc -- 4-3 (2)

176. Matt Greenblatt -- Port St Lucie, Fl -- 4-3 (2)

178. Jim Moulton -- Merced, Ca -- 4-2 (2)

179. Tony Dumitras -- Winston, Ga -- 3-13 (2)

180. William Campbell -- Middlesboro, Ky -- 3-12 (2)

181. Steven Hatala -- St. Clair Shores, Mi -- 2-9 (1)

182. Joshua Weaver -- Macon, Ga -- 2-2 (1)

183. Eric Jackson -- Walling, Tn -- 2-0 (1)

184. Freddy Hurley -- Somerset, Ky -- 0-0 (0)