We managed to get unstuck just in time to see how Alton Jones gets in and out of the cut. First he used his big motor to jump a big log. Then he went back to the trolling motor and meandered to and fro across the same inches-deep shallow mud that had impeded our forward progress. He made it look easy.
This isn't just a fishing derby -- it's a test of who can maximize their navigational efficiency. Even if you catch the biggest cumulative weight, it doesn't count if you don't make it back to weigh-in.