There's still plenty of time left for the anglers in the tournament, but my time on the water has come to an end. I'm heading back to host the Bassmaster College Classic weigh-in at 3:30 p.m. CT on the Classic stage. It's a great experience for the three teams that are competing today at nearby Cross Lake: LSU, Arkansas and LSU Shreveport. LSU stands as the defending champions. We will see who ends up with bragging rights this year.
On a different note, I really enjoy coming to Shreveport. The crowds are huge and loud, the fans are friendly and the area is crazy about fishing. Take this monument at Bodacious BBQ, for instance. Even the pigs are getting in on the fish-catching action.
We met some great people, from my new friends in Columbus, Ohio that made the cross-country trek here to my camera boat driver Marty Jolly, who delighted me by arguing with Eric for most of the morning. He needs someone to keep him in line now and again. (If you missed that argument and have a strong opinion about the effects of moon phases on fishing, look back to this morning's blog and comment away.)
Tonight is going to offer plenty of excitement, for myself and the rest of the staff, for the fans and for the anglers. At the end of the night, one angler's life will change forever. Like you, I'll be following the last hour of live blogs with interest as things draw to a conclusion.
Can't wait until we come back!
Alton Jones has caught three fish in the last 30 minutes, two that helped him. But he's culling up by ounces, not by pounds, as he hoped to.
He has started throwing a soft plastic frog some now as the water has warmed up past the 60-degree mark.
JO and I just hiked a few hundred yards through the woods to get a better view. We still can't see Chris Lane, out Classic leader when the day began, but there's a single spectator boat who has offered to pick us up.
They reported that he caught one around 2 pounds and culled with it. Lane is leading on BASSTrakk with a bag of about 13 pounds today and a total of 48-8. Greg Vinson reportedly has 13-12 today for a total of 48-4, just 4 ounces behind Lane.
This is shaping up to be a wild finish. Where is the game-changer?
With the warmer temps and how they caught them yesterday afternoon, someone will land one.
We've relocated Chris Lane. He's in a tiny ditch with a mud bar and a tight clump of trees at the mouth.
Even if we were willing to crowd him, I'm not sure we could get in. Spectators report that he blew mud the whole way in. If we were to get stuck at the mouth, it could prevent him from getting out -- accordingly, we'll stay far outside the dead end slough.
After a 40-minute truck ride, we arrived at Red River South and hopped into a waiting boat. From that point we backtracked 15 minutes south, headed for Chris Lane's purported location.
Overstreet received a "pin" with Lane's location on his IPhone and now we're rolling into the backwater at a fast idle.
Yesterday, Chris Lane’s bite came on strong in the afternoon, as did Greg Vinson’s. It seems that Tim Horton’s bite has all but died.
Bjork, Horton’s observer, said that he got his last bite at 10:30 this morning. He has yet to put the spinnerbait down or change areas. We’ll see what kind of tactical changes he makes – if any.
Alton Jones said the water temperature had dropped to 53 degrees overnight in this area where he has been all day. Now it's up to 61.7 degrees. He's now moved past us again and is heading toward the far end of this hole. That rising water temperature has him encouraged that his second pass down there will be more productive than the first.
He is still fishing methodically -- picking this place apart -- but he's starting to swim a Yum Dinger a bit faster than he was earlier. He caught a fish right in front of us a few minutes ago; it didn't help him, but it illustrated the point he had just made. Jones saw the fish swirl before it actually took the bait.
He is planning to stay in here until about 2:30 p.m., then spend his last 30 minutes somewhere else.
This new stretch of water is paying big dividends for Greg Vinson -- maybe $500,000 worth if this keeps up.
Headed back toward his main area, Vinson was rolling the spinnerbait perpendicular to the backside hyacinths when he bowed up on one. But just as soon as he pulled it over the side of the boat, he shook it off and threw right back in the same spot.
I couldn't tell exactly what he said to his cameraman, but I think he was telling him that two fish went for the blade but the smaller one reached the bait first.
Vinson dropped the Power-Poles and caught two more within the next couple of minutes. He culled at least once, maybe twice (I couldn't determine if he threw back the fish he'd just caught or one out of the well from my vantage point). Either way, I'm estimating he's somewhere between 13 and 14 pounds now.