Original Caption: David Fritts waits for a catch in early morning fog at Kerr Lake. Fritts won the Red Man Regional Classic by catching 30 pounds of bass. October 1987, The Item, Photo by Terry Madewell

Today’s Friday Finale historical photo dates back to the 1987 Red Man Regional on Kerr Lake, an event won by our featured angler, David Fritts.  Fritts was a huge regional threat on the Red Man circuit in those days, previous to becoming the same on the Bassmaster circuit.  Outdoor Correspondent Terry Madewell was David’s press observer and logged an hour-by-hour log, titled, “A day in the life of a bass fisherman,” of David’s first day on the water enroute to a regional victory.

A very edited transcript follows.

  • 4:30 a.m. – Fritts believes in getting an early start to have plenty of time to get “all his ducks in a row,” so to speak. A couple cups of coffee and he’s ready to head for the lake.
  • 5:30 a.m. – The boat is safely in the water, and all systems seem to be functioning properly.
  • 6:45 a.m. – After talking shop with others for a while we get back into the boat and go through the boat check.
  • 7:00 a.m. – Each boat leaves individually according to assigned numbers. We’re number 33.
  • 7:25 a.m. – Our first stop. Fritts takes a few seconds to get everything organized, including his cigarettes, which I found out are standard equipment for this angler.
  • 7:50 a.m. – Move uplake and run into some heavy fog.
  • 8:05 a.m. – Move into Grassy creek, and fish a drop near the bridge. Finally the fog lifts a bit and he locates the cover but hangs up on his first cast to it. The plug knocker is used (and will be used many times during the day) to retrieve the lure.
  • 8:30 a.m. – We move further up Grassy creek and stop on a hump that goes from 30 feet to 12 feet. His favorite crankbait is made by Poe, a California based company. Poe baits have been making quite a name recently in bass fishing circles.
  • 8:55 a.m. – Fritts catches his first bass, a 4 pounder.
  • 9:45 a.m. – Back to the first bridge we fished. This time the fog was gone and Fritts lined up on his structure quickly. He hooked a “good fish” but lost it at the boat.
  • 11:45 a.m. – We moved about 50 yards to another spot and Fritts finally hooked another fish. This one would go about 3 1/2 pounds.
  • 12:15 a.m. – Moved about a quarter mile to a ridge that came up to 8 feet deep surrounded by deep water. No action.
  • 1 p.m. – We run for about 10 minutes and Fritts works three nearby places real quick. He catches a 2-pound bass from the second, and says, “I believe it’s simply going to be a matter of how many good places I can hit between now and weigh-in.”
  • 1:45 p.m. – David fished a pile of rocks with a log in them. “Come on now, I need at least one more good fish, two more would be better,” he says. Someone was listening, and Fritts caught 3 1/2 pound bass on back to back casts. A limit in the boat, and a smile on Fritts’ face.
  • 3 p.m. – Weigh-in. We were close on our estimates of the fish and Fritts’ total is 16 pounds, 3 ounces for his five-fish limit. Better than a a3-pound average, which is excellent.
  • 4 p.m. – All the fish have been weighed in and it’s official, Fritts leads the tournament by almost 3 pounds.

Epilogue: Fritts caught nearly 14 pounds of bass the second day to win the Red Man Regional Classic. He credited his Poe crankbaits for catching the fish (no doubt about that, it looked like that’s about all he owned).