Kevin Wirth, 11 pounds off the lead, isn't sure he has a realistic chance of making a charge at victory, but he's going to switch things up today to try to bust a big bag.
Instead of pursuing the spawning fish in the backs of the backwaters, he'll pursue staging bass, "fishing cypress trees on ditch lines."
Every fish he's weighed over the first two days has been caught on a black/red Berkley Chigger Craw.
Bill Lowen has spent the majority of the first two days in the backwater where Chris Lane caught his big bag yesterday. On Friday he shared it with Matt Reed.
"Yesterday Chris showed up in the morning with Matt," Lowen said. "I'm coming in a little later."
He believes that there are enough quality fish there to produce three big bags today, "but it's all about getting the right bites."
As of 6am he hadn't talked to either of the others about how they'd share the water, but seemed confident they could work it out.
I talked to Chris Lane's Day Three observer Larry Beauboeuf, who declared Lane to be friendly, talkative and exceptionally confident. He implied that you'd never know Lane was fishing for a half million bucks.
"He's got a place here in Pool 5 he's going to check out and if that doesn't work we're going to Pool 4," Beauboeuf said. "He seems to know what he wants to do."
This is one of three lines that poured thousands of people into the CenturyLink Arena.
That’s it for our blog coverage today. We’re gathering up and preparing for the weigh-in. The blog is ending, but the coverage on Bassmaster.com is far from over. Here’s a quick schedule of coverage for your consumption:
From now until you go to sleep tonight, we’ll be putting up photos from the water, the weigh-in, and behind the scenes.
Right now, watch Hooked Up! Where Bassmaster Magazine editor James Hall is talking Classic with pros who didn’t make the dance until 4 p.m. CT.
At 4:30 p.m. CT, watch the weigh-in live and keep up with the latest standings on our Realtime-Leaderboard.
After the weigh-in at 6:30 (roughly), watch the angler press conference on the War Room page.
After your done watching the weigh-in and before your head hits the pillow tonight, check out the Classic page or Bassmaster.com home page to get analysis from our guys who spent the whole day on the water and talked to the anglers after the event.
We’ll launch the blog as the anglers hit the water tomorrow morning and the War Room stream will kick off again at 8 a.m. CT.
Thanks for following our comprehensive coverage of the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River.
The Day Two weigh-in draws near, but here are a few thoughts on today’s fishing action to wrap up my live blogging for the day.
For starters, it was a much better day for fishing – and reporting from the water. The wind was brutal on Day One, so we were thrilled with the Red River’s glassy surface this morning.
Then Bobby Lane set the tone for a good day when he hauled in a 4-pounder on his first cast, and we were in place to see it. Greg Vinson started putting fish in his livewell just a few minutes later.
We moved from Vinson and Lane (they’re fishing about 200 yards apart) and found Todd Faircloth and Keith Combs in another pocket of the area called the Little Jungle. Faircloth was on fire, catching a half dozen fish in about half an hour. They weren’t huge, but he incrementally increased his total to an estimated 16 or 17 pounds.
All this is a wordy way of saying Day Two, at least from my perspective, was a much better day at the Bassmaster Classic. The wind increased a little in the afternoon, but it was just enough to put a slight chop on the water that should’ve helped the anglers become less visible to the fish.
The weigh-in will tell us if it really was a better fishing day across the board, and I’m expecting that to be the case. I also expect Day Three to be even better.
Buckle your seat belts, B.A.S.S. fans, it’s going to be a good one on Sunday.
In the final hour of Day Two, Brent Chapman caught two bass that could change the game for him. According to Ryan Watkins, who has been working with boat Marshals, Chapman just landed a 3-10 and another (see photo below) that ended up weighing around 4 pounds from the Red River's Shaw Lake.
Aside from my recent case of blogger's thumb, the events developing on the water have proven to be pretty interesting. A case can be made that sight fishing will win this event.
Both Davy Hite and Keith Poche are mixing power fishing with looking at them. In both cases, the anglers were unable to boat a large bass and Poche will likely surrender his lead, perhaps he even cost himself a chance to win.
Because it was there within his grasp.
Twice today, Poche set up on a big bass near a stump and twice the fish pulled off after Poche briefly got a hook in her. He returned a few times after that and either she was gone or very skittish.
Both Poche and Hite locked down on a different bass that Hite hinted could be in the 7-pound range. Both set the hook a few times but never connected.
All that to say, the potential for a huge bag exists in their little pond. A shallow stumpy entrance separated by some filtering weeds has made the clarity near perfect. The water temperatures are into the low 60s in the afternoon and quality fish are cruising and locking onto beds. By no means have they exhausted the pond.
Most productive for these guys has been their covering water in between looking for beds. In fact, that's how we saw most of the fish caught. A 10- to 12-pound limit should be easy to come by. The challenge is getting a big bedding fish to bite. Tomorrow, those will change the leaderboard in a hurry if these two can catch one or more.
Conditions will be about the same and should set up for sight fishing to excel. Poche needs to wipe the slate clean and land those big fish. Let the ghosts haunt you tonight, but wake up refreshed and intense in the morning. For Hite, he just needs to generate bigger bites, more specifically, the 7-pounder he left sitting near a stump today. His 13 pounds yesterday and similar bag today, while respectable, just won't cut it in this first-or-last format.
If I learned anything today, it was the fickle nature of the Red River and the heavy burden a Classic Leader bears. I saw Poche on the water - he just wasn't the same laughing, joking angler I've seen in tournaments past. It's not easy knowing you have a chance to change your life: if I just caught that bed fish, if I didn't lose that fish on the log... If. If. If. All that matters is what hits those scales tonight and tomorrow.
It's far from over. If Hite or Poche can catch that big largemouth tomorrow, they could make a run at this thing. If.
Not all of the anglers have made it back in. A few must have been pushing it getting back from Pool 3, because I just saw Greg Hackney, Stephen Browning and Ish Monroe run by the launch area on Pool 4. They likely missed the first lock, but Trey Reid informed me a group of anglers also did the same thing yesterday and still made it in on time.
Those anglers likely belong to the second flight, which checks in at 3:45 p.m., while the first flight is due in at 3:15 p.m.
John Diaco, Ott DeFoe and Steve Kennedy have all located bedding bass and are trying to catch then currently. Kennedy estimates his at 6 pounds, DeFoe's is 4 and Diaco's is 3. Neither have had any luck. With about 15 minutes left to fish, they need to get these bass interested in a hurry. The bright skies have warmed the water and welcomed bass to the beds.