Things have cooled off here in McDade. Steve Kennedy is still lobbing his swimbait, while Iaconelli is still throwing a drop shot with a Havoc Bottom Hopper.
We've moved up to Aaron Martens and Dustin Wilks, and saw John Diaco on the way. Allan Glagow hasn't moved much today; he's still flipping down the same bank he was on yesterday and Wednesday's practice. Fred Roumbanis has moved up to the front of McDade, and is still working to fill out his limit.
Things just keep getting worse for Poche. He quickly gave up on the "white whale" and started moving around the area quickly throwing his moving bait. He made a long cast and set the hook hard on what looked like another good fish. This time, the fish dove down into a log and got him wrapped off.
Poche threw the trolling motor on high, "Please be on there." Nope...the fish was long gone.
"I just haven't been able to catch them," Poche said to us in frustration.
It has to be killing him to be getting the bites to win this thing, but be unable to convert. He shook things off quickly, catching and culling with a small keeper.
In the distance Hite is back on the same fish Poche was working on. I think both of them have tried that fish a couple times in the last few hours. It doesn't seem ready to go.
I'd like to give a shout out to Bronk from nearby Alexandria. He's one of the handful of spectators watching the action back in this pond. Bronk normally fishes down on Pool 3, but I'm guessing he just learned a lot of interesting places on this pool.
The wind has picked up and there are an abundance of coots back here. Likely, they are attracted to the abundance of submerged vegetation. It's something I haven't seen anywhere else on the river, maybe because this is the clearest water I've seen yet. The coots are kicking up water everywhere and creating a fuss but are keeping back from the anglers.
Time is ticking away for Keith Poche to catch this fish. He's already swung and missed once. My count has less than an hour remaining for these guys.
We left McDade and headed upriver. Halfway back we passed Jeff Kriet, so it's clear that he abandoned the pond by the ramp sooner than he did yesterday. Now we are trying to find the cut that Alton Jones is reputed to be in. Overstreet had the understatement of the day as we were stuck on a mud flat: "it's always an adventure." With a little bit of 4wd action we got off of it without getting too wet and we're on the hunt again.
Edwin Evers hasn't caught a fish since we've been watching him. He has moved from the very back of the pocket to the middle of it, covering about 150 yards, mostly with a push pole. He's obviously looking at one right now, but so far, he's having little luck enticing it to bite.
Keith Poche spent 10 minutes on a bed fish midway toward the back of his area. After a couple hook-ups gone awry, he raised his Power-Poles and is headed back our way toward another elusive fish he's missed multiple times. Maybe this time the fish will fully cooperate.
We've moved to the very back of the pocket where Todd Faircloth and Keith Combs are fishing. Edwin Evers is as far back as you can go. We are still 100 yards from EE because he has asked us to stay here. His camera boat estimated his weight at about 12 to 12 1/2 pounds. Through my binoculars, it appears he's doing more looking than fishing.
On a somewhat related note, the water is beautiful back here -- a nice green color with loads of vegetation, lily pad stems and wood, too.
The wind is picking up a bit now, which could be good or bad. It will allow anglers to sneak up on the fish a bit better, but for the guys sight fishing back here, it could also make it a little harder to see their targets.
Ott DeFoe left McDade a while ago to hit a secret hole that even my driver Beaux Yerger didn't know about. Yesterday when DeFoe left to hit it, he came back with a 5-pounder and a pair of 3s. All of that happened within several minutes. He hasn't returned yet, so it's probably producing well. The spot is small enough that DeFoe's camera boat couldn't fit in.
In McDade, though, Iaconelli has caught a few more keepers on a Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper; and Steve Kennedy is throwing his "secret" swimbait he used to win at West Point Lake last year in the Elites.
Dustin Wilks just caught one on a buzzbait. That's right, a buzzbait with clear, high skies. It's getting weird in here. Word has it that Martens is still catching fish out of deep trees near the front of McDade.
After Keith Poche lost a nice bed fish for the second time in the past hour, he and Davy Hite swapped sides of their shared water. Hite made a pass right by the fish Poche keeps missing but didn't appear to see it. Or maybe he saw it and decided to leave it alone out of good sportsmanship.
Either way, there is a solid fish hanging out in the sun next to a big stump. It would help both anglers upgrade if it decides to completely give in to the variety of lures being tossed in its face. But for now, both Poche and Hite have moved to the opposite side of their "pond" while the elusive monster gets a rest.
Amid the flurry of activity in the War Room and on the water, there's a whole other side to the Bassmaster Classic -- the dedicated folks who come to the Classic as fans and take advantage of the Expo and other activities.
Rodney and Amy Blank (weBfishin on Twitter) stopped by the first ever Bassmaster Classic Tweetup Saturday at the Expo to meet fellow Twitterers and B.A.S.S. owners Jim Copeland, Jerry McKinnis and Don Logan, as well as B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. The two drove from their home in LaGrange, Ga., to Shreveport-Bossier City, La., for their annual trip to the Classic. This time, they came with a story to tell.
In May 2011, Amy, 36, was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. "I've been on the kidney transplant list for months now, and no one in my family was a match or was healthy enough to be my donor," said Amy.
"We're the perfect match," said Rodney, looking at his wife with a smile, "in more ways than one."
Rodney, her husband of three years, will go through six months of recovery once the transplant takes place in March or April.
"I've lived my life," said Rodney. "Now, she is my life. I can live with one kidney, but I can't live without her."
"We're ready to get back out fishing," said Amy. "We got engaged on a bass boat, and we come to the Classic every year."
We wish the lovebirds the best, and we hope to see them back out on the water soon and in Tulsa next year for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.