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Hamner leads day one of Bassmaster Classic, Palmer holds Mercury Big Bass

Mar. 22—Early in the morning on Friday, March 22, some unexpected rain started to roll through the skies as the Bassmaster Classic was ready to kick off on Grand Lake.

Just two days earlier, during the practice round, the rain was not forecasted changing multiple strategies. The tough conditions saw many anglers fill a limit, but struggle for that elusive big fish.

Even though the conditions weren't ideal, some anglers were able to capitalize on the day. After day one, Justin Hamner (22.06 pounds), Cody Huff (21.02) and Adam Rasmussen (19.05) occupy the top three spots after day one.

Hammer picked up his biggest fish of the day — a nearly 6-pound hog — on a jerk bait.

"I've dreamt of this for a pretty long time, since i was eight years old watching Jay Ellis win on the Alabama River that was my moment. It's still day one, calm down, breathe. My daughter told me to go catch some big catfish so [today] is for you."

The two Oklahoma natives in the tournament had a rough start. Throughout the morning both Jason Christie and Luke Palmer had a limit, but were looking to cull some fish.

By the time mid-afternoon hit Palmer had struck gold. Fishing with a finesse set-up, Palmer picked up a 6.05-pound bass, good for the Mercury Big Bass after the first day of the classic.

"It was tough in the morning, I couldn't get past that 2-and-a-half-pound mark. I broke through with this good one in the afternoon," Palmer said.

Overall Palmer came in with a total bag of

Despite being the veteran on Grand Lake, Christy wasn't able to figure out the tough conditions.

"It is what it is, good thing the rain is here early in the morning. I think guys are going to have to be like me and just go fishing," Christie said before the tournament.

Christie's prediction came true, during weigh-ins anglers were saying they had to just go out there and fish.

"I'm building a lot of drama," Christie said. "I didn't do anything wrong per se, I just never got that big bite, I thought I had a deal going where I could get a big one and I couldn't. Grand is tough to fish when it's low, clear and low win. It's going to get better. Someone is going to catch one of those good bags, I just hope it's me."

Christie finished the day with 13.01 pounds to sit in a tie for 35th place. As it stands, Christie is sitting on the outside of the top-25 cut for the final day.

The second day of the 2024 Bassmaster Classic kicks off at 7:15 a.m. at Wolf Creek Park Boat Launch in Grove. Weigh-ins start at 5 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

After the rainy first day turned into a sunny hot affair, anglers are anticipating more changes throughout the weekend. A windier Saturday is expected to bring in better bag sizes and individual fish size overall.

"It's going to make them bite. If I can get a little bit of wind, it could be really fun. I am comfortable with what I am doing, we are going to have fun tomorrow, I can promise you that," Hamner said.

The last day of the classic figures to be the windiest day of the event with gusts expected to reach at least 17 miles per hour. After rain was not likely, the forecast now shows a 50% chance of rain as of Friday night.

"They'll bite, the goal is to make it to Sunday. When the wind blows like that is when the big fish eat. Someone on Sunday is going to catch a giant Grand Lake bag, it might not be me but someone will," Christie said prior to launching on Friday.

Top 10

1. Justin Hamner — 22.06 pounds

2. Cody Huff — 21.02 pounds

3. Adam Rasmussen — 19.05 pounds

4. Lee Livesay — 18.15 pounds

5. Jay Przekurat — 18.05 pounds

6. John Cox — 16.14 pounds

7. Hank Cherry Jr — 16.08 pounds

7. Matt Robertson — 16.08 pounds

9. Tyler Williams — 16.07 pounds

10. Will Davis — 16.03 pounds

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