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Elite pro angler Morizo Shimizu holds up his catch during weigh-ins Thursday in Green Bay. / Evan Siegle/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com

BASS Elite Series Day 1 Leaders

PlaceNameTotal weight
1Aaron Martens20 lbs., 0 oz.
2Dean Rojas19 lbs., 14 oz.
3Todd Faircloth18 lbs., 3 oz.
4Brandon Palaniuk18 lbs., 0 oz.
5Matthew Herren17 lbs., 14 oz.
6David Walker17 lbs., 13 oz.
7Jonathon VanDam17 lbs., 11 oz.
8Tommy Biffle17 lbs., 1 oz.
9Greg Hackney17 lbs., 0 oz.
10Ishama Monroe16 lbs., 13oz.
10Terry Scroggins16 lbs., 13 oz.
10Chris Zaldain16 lbs., 13 oz.
13Ott DeFoe16 lbs., 11 oz.
14James Niggemeyer16 lbs., 9 oz.
14Mark Menendez16 lbs., 9 oz.
16Bobby Lane16 lbs., 8 oz.
16Jared Lintner16 lbs., 8 oz.
18Travis Manson16 lbs., 7 oz.
19John Crews16 lbs., 6 oz.
20Skeet Reese16 lbs., 0 oz.

All anglers among the top 20 in weight caught their limit of 5 fish each.Source: Bassmaster.com

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The prevailing theme of the day was gratitude among the B.A.S.S. Elite series anglers Thursday after the first day of their Green Bay tournament.

Many were thankful for an unusually calm day and flat water on the bay of Green Bay for their boat rides to and from Little Sturgeon where most of the anglers fished. Many of those who caught their limit and even those who caught three or four bass were grateful after limited success during their practice days.

Local favorite Travis Manson of De Pere was among thankful. He weighed in 16 pounds, 7 ounces of bass, good for 18th place.

Need more on the Bassmaster Elite Series?: More headlines | Bassmaster Elite Series photos

“I had a terrible practice,” Manson said. “But I was able to put something together today.”

Fans looking for big bass weren’t disappointed as Aaron Martens topped the scales with 20 pounds of fish, closely followed by Dean Rojas’s 19 pounds, 14 ounces.

Todd Faircloth, last week’s winner of the La Crosse event, turned in 18 pounds, 3 ounces, good for third place.

Overall numbers for the first day were good with 20 anglers posting 16 pounds of fish or more and 66 of the 97 anglers catching their limits. Fans were also treated to the sight of several large individual bass weighing in the high 4-pound range and Morizo Shimizu’s 5-pound bass, which holds the Carhartt Big Bass Leader spot.

Shimizu called his lunker “Big Mamma” and posted a 12-pound, 12-ounce total with just 3 fish, good for 47th place and ahead of several anglers who caught 5-bass limits.

Ishama Monroe’ 4-pound, 11-ounce smallie was the big bass until Shimizu’s fish. Monroe said he caught the bass on a lure given to him by John Crews. When Crews weighed in a 4-pound, 10-ounce smallie after Monroe’s he was gracious about being 1 ounce short.

More on fishing: Fishing news from around the state | Your fishing photos | Build a map | Read fishing reports | We're blogging about fishing

“We’re better when we work together,” said Crews.

As expected most of the anglers headed for the waters near Little Sturgeon in Door County.

“There were 60 to 70 boats in that area,” Kevin VanDam said.

Other anglers estimated most of most of the day’s fishing was done in a 3-mile stretch and even said at one point there were 14 boats in one of the few ‘honey holes.’

There were a few passing remarks about the limited water but overall the concern by most anglers was the roaming nature of smallmouth bass and winds picking up that would make for a bumpy ride back to Little Sturgeon.

“They don’t have to swim far to throw us off,” said Stephen Browning.

— Follow Daniel Higgins on Twitter @suburbanportsm.

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