Garrett’s Gamble Delivers Day 1 Lead: BassMaster Elite Series on Harris Chain

PressRelease-header.png

Tennessee’s John Garrett has taken the lead on Day 1 of the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes with a total of 24 pounds, 2 ounces.

Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

April 12, 2024

Garrett’s gamble delivers Day 1 lead at Bassmaster Elite Series event on Harris Chain of Lakes 

 

Elite_eventLogo_2024_HarrisChain_Vector.png

LEESBURG, Fla. — The combination of quantity and quality define bass tournament success, and John Garrett gladly sacrificed the former for the latter’s potential.

 

The Tennessee angler’s decision paid big dividends with a five-bass limit of 24 pounds, 2 ounces, which leads Day 1 of the Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain of Lakes.

 

“I only got seven bites today, but they were the right ones,” Garrett said. “This was a totally blessed day.”

 

After extreme weather postponed Thursday’s scheduled start, anglers fished under clear, sunny postfrontal conditions. Thankfully the front did not significantly drop air and water temperatures.

 

More importantly, the fish Garrett found in practice held their ground.

 

“I kinda gambled today; I went to an area that I knew had the right size fish in it,” he said. “There aren’t many fish there and they’re extremely hard to catch.”

 

Garrett said he made a long run from the take-off site on Lake Harris’ northwestern corner. The round-trip journey burned a big chunk of his day, but he said it was a calculated risk.

 

“It was so tough everywhere else, I knew if I caught one fish there, it would equal two or three of the fish I was catching (elsewhere in practice),” he said. “I knew if I could catch two or three fish on the spot I ran to, I’d have the right ones.

 

“The size is there. I know the winning caliber of fish are there; it’s just getting some of them in the boat.”

 

The bass Garrett targeted were patrolling shell bottom, often running with tilapia. A mix of reaction baits earned his bites.

 

“There was a lot of clear water in this area,” Garrett said. “Those fish were just cruising and when they’d swim through, you might catch one, you might not.”

 

Garrett said he believes he was catching fish that had spawned several months ago.

 

“These fish have had a lot of time to recover,” he said. “They’re the healthiest fish I’ve seen on the chain.”

 

Garrett said he committed to his game plan fully expecting a tedious day. The pace, however, became more stressful than he’d anticipated.

 

“I didn’t have a fish at 10 o’clock today,” Garrett said. “I caught all of my fish between 10 and 1. I had a bite about every hour.”

 

As for Round 2, Garrett said he’ll return to his sweet spot in hopes of grinding out another good bag.

 

John Cox of DeBary, Fla., is in second place with 22-5. Sampling several lakes, he settled into one location and channeled lessons from his early instructor to sack up three big bass in a 20-foot section of Kissimmee grass.

 

“I grew up here fishing with (the late) Joe Kremer and he pretty much taught me how to fish the Harris Chain,” Cox said. “It was unreal today, I pulled into an area and I was like, ‘Joe always used to catch a couple here.’

 

“I caught a good one and for some reason, in my head, it was where I remember seeing him make a flip. I ended up catching two more big ones on that spot.”

 

Cox caught all of his bass on a Texas-rigged Berkley MaxScent The General in the tilapia color.

 

Brad Whatley of Bivins, Texas, is in third place with 22 pounds. His day started with a big bite, but he then endured a painfully slow morning, before returning to the scene of his early success for a second helping.

 

“I caught a big one that weighed 7-14 at 8:30 and I did not catch another fish until probably 11,” Whatley said. “I swapped lakes and filled out my limit. Then I came back to where I caught that first big one and caught a 7-12.”

 

Using a mix of reaction baits and slow presentations, Whatley said he was catching postspawn fish that were holding in grass that was 4 to 7 feet deep. During practice, he caught a 5-pounder on his main spot, but he said catching two nearly 8-pounders in competition was a pleasant surprise.

 

“That’s typical Florida fishing — a big fish goes a long way,” Whatley said. “I was just fortunate enough to get two good ones.

 

“I know there are some more there. I had one more giant (hooked) and I didn’t get him.”

 

Whatley and Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Conn., share the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors, each with a 7-14.

 

Rookie Trey McKinney of Carbondale, Ill., leads the Progressive Insurance Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 287 points. Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala., is in second with 283, followed by Patrick Walters of Summerville, S.C., with 273, Tyler Williams of Belgrade, Maine, with 272, and J.T. Thompkins of Myrtle Beach, S.C., with 261.

 

Saturday’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. ET at Venetian Gardens (Ski Beach). The weigh-in will be held at the Ski Beach at 3 p.m.

 

Follow all the action on FS1 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. ET. On Semifinal Sunday, watch live coverage on FS1from 8-11 a.m. and on Bassmaster.com from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

 

The event is being hosted by the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.

2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Bass Pro ShopsDakota Lithium, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Progressive Insurance, Ranger Boats, Rapala, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha
2024 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Daiwa, Garmin, Lew’s, Lowrance, Marathon, Triton Boats, VMC

 

About B.A.S.S.B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting-edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

 

2024 Lowrance Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain 4/12-4/15
Harris Chain Of Lakes, Leesburg  FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  John Garrett           Union City, TN           5  24-02  103
Day 1: 5   24-02
2.  John Cox               Debary, FL               5  22-05  102
Day 1: 5   22-05
3.  Brad Whatley           Bivins, TX               5  22-00  101
Day 1: 5   22-00
4.  Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  21-13  100
Day 1: 5   21-13
5.  Jordan Lee             Cullman, AL              5  21-06   99
Day 1: 5   21-06
6.  Joseph Webster         Hamilton, AL             5  20-15   98
Day 1: 5   20-15
7.  David Gaston           Sylacauga, AL            5  20-03   97
Day 1: 5   20-03
8.  Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
8.  JT Thompkins           Myrtle Beach, SC         5  19-11   96
Day 1: 5   19-11
10. KJ Queen               Catawba, NC              5  19-00   94
Day 1: 5   19-00
11. Timothy Dube           Nashua , NH              5  18-02   93
Day 1: 5   18-02
12. Trey McKinney          Carbondale, IL           5  17-14   92
Day 1: 5   17-14
13. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  17-13   91
Day 1: 5   17-13
14. Kyle Norsetter         Cottage Grove, WI        5  17-06   90
Day 1: 5   17-06
15. Cody Huff              Ava, MO                  5  17-03   89
Day 1: 5   17-03
15. Ed Loughran III        Richmond, VA             5  17-03   89
Day 1: 5   17-03
17. Tyler Williams         Belgrade, ME             5  17-02   87
Day 1: 5   17-02
18. Wes Logan              Springville, AL          5  15-13   86
Day 1: 5   15-13
19. Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC           5  15-12   85
Day 1: 5   15-12
20. Mike Huff              London, KY               5  15-09   84
Day 1: 5   15-09
20. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  15-09   84
Day 1: 5   15-09
22. Logan Latuso           Gonzales, LA             5  14-13   82
Day 1: 5   14-13
22. Bryant Smith           Roseville, CA            5  14-13   82
Day 1: 5   14-13
24. Chris Johnston         Otonabee Ontario CANADA  5  14-12   80
Day 1: 5   14-12
25. Robert Gee             Knoxville, TN            5  14-08   79
Day 1: 5   14-08
25. Patrick Walters        Eutawville, SC           5  14-08   79
Day 1: 5   14-08
27. Jason Christie         Dry Creek, OK            5  14-06   77
Day 1: 5   14-06
28. Jeff Gustafson         Kenora, ON Ontario CANA  5  14-05   76
Day 1: 5   14-05
28. Jake Whitaker          Hendersonville, NC       5  14-05   76
Day 1: 5   14-05
30. Lee Livesay            Longview, TX             5  14-04   74
Day 1: 5   14-04
31. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            5  14-02   73
Day 1: 5   14-02
32. Brandon Card           Salisbury, NC            5  13-15   72
Day 1: 5   13-15
33. Jay Przekurat          Plover, WI               5  13-11   71
Day 1: 5   13-11
34. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  13-05   70
Day 1: 5   13-05
35. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR               5  13-04   69
Day 1: 5   13-04
36. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  13-01   68
Day 1: 5   13-01
37. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  13-00   67
Day 1: 5   13-00
37. Chad Pipkens           Dewitt, MI               5  13-00   67
Day 1: 5   13-00
39. Matty Wong             Honolulu, HI             5  12-15   65
Day 1: 5   12-15
40. Justin Hamner          Northport, AL            5  12-14   64
Day 1: 5   12-14
41. Todd Auten             Clover, SC               5  12-11   63
Day 1: 5   12-11
42. Shane LeHew            Catawba, NC              5  12-10   62
Day 1: 5   12-10
43. Scott Martin           Clewiston, FL            5  12-08   61
Day 1: 5   12-08
44. Jonathan Kelley        Old Forge, PA            4  12-08   60
Day 1: 4   12-08
45. Austin Felix           Eden Prairie, MN         5  12-07   59
Day 1: 5   12-07
46. Cory Johnston          Otonabee CANADA          5  12-06   58
Day 1: 5   12-06
46. Kyle Patrick           Cooperstown, NY          5  12-06   58
Day 1: 5   12-06
48. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  12-05   56
Day 1: 5   12-05
49. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  12-03   55
Day 1: 5   12-03
50. Matt Arey              Shelby, NC               5  12-02   54
Day 1: 5   12-02
51. Bryan Schmitt          Deale, MD                5  11-15   53
Day 1: 5   11-15
52. Brandon Cobb           Greenwood, SC            5  11-14   52
Day 1: 5   11-14
53. Marc Frazier           Newnan, GA               5  11-11   51
Day 1: 5   11-11
54. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  11-10   50
Day 1: 5   11-10
54. Caleb Sumrall          New Iberia, LA           5  11-10   50
Day 1: 5   11-10
56. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA  5  11-08   48
Day 1: 5   11-08
57. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  11-04   47
Day 1: 5   11-04
58. Pat Schlapper          Eleva, WI                5  11-02   46
Day 1: 5   11-02
58. Hunter Shryock         Ooltewah, TN             5  11-02   46
Day 1: 5   11-02
60. Logan Parks            Auburn, AL               5  11-01   44
Day 1: 5   11-01
61. Alex Redwine           Blue Ash, OH             5  11-00   43
Day 1: 5   11-00
61. Alex Wetherell         Middletown, CT           5  11-00   43
Day 1: 5   11-00
63. Buddy Gross            Chattanooga, TN          5  10-15   41
Day 1: 5   10-15
63. Tyler Rivet            Raceland, LA             5  10-15   41
Day 1: 5   10-15
65. Gregory DiPalma        Millville, NJ            5  10-09   39
Day 1: 5   10-09
66. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TN AUSTRALIA  5  10-08   38
Day 1: 5   10-08
67. Will Davis Jr          Sylacauga, AL            5  10-07   37
Day 1: 5   10-07
67. Chris Zaldain          Fort Worth, TX           5  10-07   37
Day 1: 5   10-07
69. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  10-04   35
Day 1: 5   10-04
70. Kyoya Fujita           Yamanashi CA JAPAN       5  10-03   34
Day 1: 5   10-03
71. Justin Atkins          Florence, AL             5  10-01   33
Day 1: 5   10-01
72. Kyle Welcher           Valley, AL               5  10-00   32
Day 1: 5   10-00
73. Jacob Foutz            Charleston, TN           5  09-13   31
Day 1: 5   09-13
74. Wesley Gore            Clanton, AL              5  09-09   30
Day 1: 5   09-09
75. Drew Cook              Cairo, GA                5  09-05   29
Day 1: 5   09-05
76. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                5  09-01   28
Day 1: 5   09-01
76. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  09-01   28
Day 1: 5   09-01
78. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             5  09-00   26
Day 1: 5   09-00
78. Bryan New              Leesville, SC            5  09-00   26
Day 1: 5   09-00
80. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  08-15   24
Day 1: 5   08-15
80. John Soukup            Sapulpa, OK              5  08-15   24
Day 1: 5   08-15
82. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  08-13   22
Day 1: 5   08-13
82. Cooper Gallant         Bowmanville Ontario CAN  5  08-13   22
Day 1: 5   08-13
84. Cole Sands             Calhoun , TN             5  08-11   20
Day 1: 5   08-11
85. Ray Hanselman Jr       Del Rio, TX              5  08-08   19
Day 1: 5   08-08
86. Luke Palmer            Coalgate, OK             5  08-05   18
Day 1: 5   08-05
87. Kenta Kimura           Osaka OK JAPAN           5  08-04   17
Day 1: 5   08-04
88. Frank Talley           Belton, TX               5  07-14   16
Day 1: 5   07-14
89. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  07-08   15
Day 1: 5   07-08
90. Derek Hudnall          Zachary, LA              5  07-00   14
Day 1: 5   07-00
91. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY              5  06-14   13
Day 1: 5   06-14
91. Clark Wendlandt        Leander, TX              5  06-14   13
Day 1: 5   06-14
93. Scott Canterbury       Odenville, AL            5  06-10   11
Day 1: 5   06-10
93. Seth Feider            New Market, MN           5  06-10   11
Day 1: 5   06-10
95. Koby Kreiger           Alva, FL                 5  06-09    9
Day 1: 5   06-09
96. Ben Milliken           New Caney, TX            4  05-11    8
Day 1: 4   05-11
97. Matt Robertson         Kuttawa, KY              3  04-15    7
Day 1: 3   04-15
98. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  04-14    6
Day 1: 5   04-14
99. Jason Williamson       Aiken, SC                4  04-12    5
Day 1: 4   04-12
100. Taku Ito               Dalton GA JAPAN          4  04-09    4
Day 1: 4   04-09
101. Caleb Kuphall          Mukwonago, WI            3  04-08    3
Day 1: 3   04-08
102. Joey Cifuentes III     Clinton, AR              2  03-07    2
Day 1: 2   03-07
103. Bob Downey             Detroit Lakes, MN        0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1   Paul Mueller             Naugatuck, CT       07-14          $0.00
1   Brad Whatley             Bivins, TX          07-14          $0.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        95       499      1248-05
———————————-
95       499      1248-05