Hite is the first one to say "no mas." He headed out of the little backwater and blasted off for parts unknown.
Jones and Hite are slowly winding their way through the backwater -- 15 feet apart. A little bit closer and they could shake hands.
Alton Jones has joined the party, too. He and Davy are headed into the backwater -- which can't be more than 15 or 20 acres. Welcome to the boat show.
Now Davy Hite and Kevin Wirth are here. They're not back with the other three, but they're not far away. Could this turn into another Beeswax or Catouatche or is it just a quick stopping point to nab some bonus fish early?
KVD, Aaron Martens and Jeff Kriet have all started within a long cast of each other. Is it a chance for the last two runners up to exorcise some demons or create new ones?
Word on the dock was that Greg Hackney plans to make a long run to Pool 3.
Hackney just confirmed that, saying he'll make a quick stop in Pool 5 (where anglers launch). He'll have about 15 minutes to fish there before heading to the first lock, which is scheduled to close at 7:50.
Then he'll run straight to the second lock, which will close at 8:50. He'l have about 3 hours to fish in Pool 3, but the advantage will be less company from other anglers.
Hackney said he saw Shaw Grigsby and Ish Monroe in pool 3 during practice, and he figures there's a chance they know about the same small pond he's going to fish.
But Hackney may get lucky in that regard. I talked to Monroe, and he's not headed to pool 3 this morning because he's in the second flight and wants to maximize fishing time.
I also talked to Grigsby, and he said he'll decide on whether to go long after checking a spot in pool 5. If he finds less than 3 other anglers in that spot, he'll fish there. If there are more, he'l go to pool 3.
So far, Hackney's plan to get away from the crowd seems to be falling into place. But it's a long way to pool 3 and much could go wrong with two locks and a lot of river miles.
But with big risks come big rewards.
Ish Monroe will try to take all he can from his primary spot this morning because he's cerain it'll be dead tomorrow. The expected 30-something temperatures overnight will be brutal, but he hopes the fish will bite ahead of the cold. Assuming it plays out that way he'll be one of the few and the brave who venture to Pool 3 tomorrow.
As of 6:20 this morning John Crews still hadn't made up his mind where to start the day. He'd narrowed it down to two candidates but was still torn as to which one would get the nod.
Second year B.A.S.S. MC Dave Mercer isn't bothered by today's heavy winds, and it's not because he's from Canada. "It's 90 and sunny in the arena," he said. "It's days like this that make my job choice easier."
On a fishery that is likely to fish small, many of the competitors covet an early boat number that will allow them to get on the "juice" early. Fred Roumbanis is not among them. He believes that his place in the second flight gives him an advantage. "I believe the afternoon is the most critical time," he said. "That extra time could be two extra fish." He added that in 2009 he did not slow down enough to maximize his effectiveness but today's long day gives him an opportunity to rectify thay mistake.