McCormick gave us a ride in so we could weigh our bass on time. My single fish was enough to keep me in 30th place. I was pleased to see that Snyder also made the top 40, which is the last place to receive a check.
Besides fishing the tournament, I wrote the articles covering each day’s proceedings for Bassmaster.com. I didn’t make the cut to fish on Saturday, so I spent the morning with official Bassmaster photographer James Overstreet. He shoots incredible tournament action photos.
The water level was coming up about 1 foot a day during the tournament. The rising water pulled logs and other debris off the bank, creating serious boat hazards.
On our initial run up the lake to find tournament leader Patrick Bone, we hit a log floating just under the surface. Fortunately, it had loosened the prop nut without damaging the prop or the lower unit. We backed the boat up to the shoreline so Overstreet could wrench the nut tight. Then we were back in business.
We followed Patrick Bone and his partner Clofus Christopher Barnett most of the morning, along with a handful of spectator boats. The spectators were respectful and gave Bone plenty of room to operate.
Overstreet ran the electric motor from a bow fishing chair and kept his Canon SLR with its giant telephoto lens busy. He stayed close enough to take good shots without getting in the way and seemed to have a knack of knowing when things were about to happen. Overstreet took amazing photos, never missed the action and made it look easy.
I got an education as I watched Bone fishing the A-Rig. I learned that there is more to it than blindly slinging this contraption. As with any bass bait, you have to know where to fish the A-Rig and how to retrieve it.
When we left Bone, he had four bass in his livewell with about four hours left to fish. He had his winning limit by the end of the day.