LET THE GAMES BEGIN
More than 70 of the world's top anglers took to the St. Johns River Thursday for the first day of the Bassmaster Elite Series.
Palatka Daily News photographer Fran Ruchalski captured shots of anglers, officials and the crowd as the competition began and rounded out its first day.
The top catch of the day went to John Crews, whose biggest fish weighed in at 11 pounds, 2 ounces. Mark Menendez had the highest total weight among his five fish, hitting 24 pounds, 8 ounces on the scale.
Palatka is the first of nine stops the series will make throughout the country the year. This leg of the series lasts until Sunday.