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Posted By The Bass Hog

MONROE, La. — Jamie Laiche of Gonzales, La., only traveled four hours to get to the 2015 Old Milwaukee B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, so it seems like he would have home-lake advantage over the rest of the field. However, he had never fished the Ouachita River until he started pre-fishing it earlier this fall, and now he leads the event on Day 1 with 16 pounds, 6 ounces. 

“I call the Atchafalaya Basin my home water,” Laiche said, “and so I’d call myself a shallow-water, stump, cypress tree fisherman. This is right in my wheelhouse. 

“I’m used to fishing tough for seven to eight bites a day, which is how this is fishing,” he said. 

Laiche is one of a handful of anglers who brought small boats to navigate the stumpfield of the Ouachita. 

The drawback to that small boat? “It goes 28 miles per hour,” said Laiche with a laugh. “They’re all passing me.” 

He’s covering a lot of water in his area, though, just using his trolling motor. He’s relied a lot on a push-pole, too, which has left him muddy from each time he pulls it out of the water. 

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have that second day back,” Laiche said. The Ascension Area Anglers club member had qualified for the Classic that year through the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship. He had a great first day that put him in the Top 20. But then, the second day came. 

“I changed my game plan because of the weatherman,” he said. “I should have stayed with my game plan.” He ended up finishing in 38th place. 

Laiche is confident going into Day 2, but he’s not counting his chickens before they hatch. 

“There is no comfortable lead in the Central Division,” he said. “It’s got some phenomenal anglers. I can’t slip. I’ve got to make the right decisions, I’ve got to execute, and I’ve got to have all my equipment top-notch.” 

Laiche added that he would be very surprised if he could follow up with another 16-pound sack. 

Courtesy of BASS Communications.