UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. (Aug. 22) — Fueled by determination this weekend, pro angler David Walker put himself in great contention near the top of the leaderboard to make the first cut at the Bassmaster Elite event at Cayuga Lake.
The Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler culled to a competitive 18 pounds, 11 ounces on the first day of Elite Series competition, and after a slow start on Day 2, he caught another solid bag of 14 pounds, 2 ounces. Bringing in a two-day total of 32 pounds, 13 ounces landed Walker in the 17th spot, knocking on the door of making the final 12.
“I got a few big stringers today, just not as many as I did yesterday,” Walker said. “I think that had a lot to do with the weather. We had a lot of sunny, slick conditions making the fish a little harder to catch. I was fishing a lot of moving baits, but those just weren’t working for me like I wanted this morning.
“Good news is I still managed to scramble around and get 14 pounds. When I had my first 11 pounds this morning, I caught two three-pounders right away almost back to back. I caught another two-pounder, which filled my limit, and right then I felt like the weight of the world had lifted off my shoulders. Up to that point I was stressing about getting a limit, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Walker will launch from Frontenac Park at 6:15 a.m. ET hoping to bring in enough at weigh-in at 3:15 p.m. to break the top 12 and make it to championship Sunday.
While Walker would love to bring home his first Elite Series win of the season, he has a bigger goal in mind: Gain points in the Angler of the Year standings. After struggling the past couple of weeks, a strong first two days on Cayuga Lake has moved him into the 24th spot in the standings, 70 points ahead of the cut mark.
“Right now I’m a lot more relaxed about this weekend than when it started,” Walker said. “When you’re fishing the first two days a lot can go wrong that can cause you to fall and really put you behind. However, fishing the third day you have a safety net, you can’t fall out of the money.
“Tomorrow I will feel a lot more relaxed about it, not nearly as tense as I was the past two days. To be honest with you, I don’t want to have a bad day tomorrow either because of the point factor. If I can have a solid finish in the teens or maybe have a really big day and make the final cut, it will be a much bigger points day than if I finish further down.
“Gaining points right now is really the important thing, and I feel like I got that accomplished by making the first cut. I really put myself in a bind the past few tournaments and I had to fight my way out of it. I’m really glad that I did.”
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler David Walker caught 14 pounds, 2 ounces on Friday to advance to Saturday’s round with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 13 ounces.