It took awhile, but photographer James Overstreet and I have found leader Bitt Myers in the thick fog of Mud Creek, where Myers started Saturday. He reportedly has one 2 1/4-pound bass in the boat.
We can barely see his outline in this fog. Bassmaster TV host Mark Zona is in the boat with Myers and should have some accurate updates.
You could see better on Douglas Lake last night under the "supermoon" than you can this morning.
Yesterday we had storms, today we have some fog. Evidently a pretty thick layer of it has developed in the area where Jeremy Starks and Britt Myers are fishing.
It's kind of a scary thought. It was clear at take off this morning, where there was an armada of spectator boats waiting to take off with the final 12 competitors. It only takes one of them getting lost to create a bad situation.
We have our fingers crossed. Meanwhile we are seeing some catches taking place on BASSTrakk.
Britt Myers has a 2-pounder; Dean Rojas has two for 6-10; Andy Montgomery has three for 6-4; Jeremy Starks has a 3-pounder and Jamie Horton has two for 4-4. No real moves in the standings, except for Rojas who has moved to second place.
Rojas has jumped out each day with a solid limit caught within the first hour and a half, followed not to far behind with Myers catching his.
They both seem to be on the same track today.
Here's a foggy photo of Jeremy Starks and spectators, taken by Darren
Britt Myers has never led an Elite event before yesterday and his best ever finish came at the last Elite tournament on Bull Shoals when he was second behind Brandon Palaniuk.
Brent Chapman was running away with the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race until he hit a brick wall at Douglas Lake and finished a very disappointing 68th. Luckily, he didn't fall far off the pace. If the season ended today, he'd be in third place behind Randy Howell and David Walker. If he can come back to win AOY this year, his Douglas Lake performance will be the worst ever by an angler in an AOY-winning season. The worst finish by an AOY to date was Michael Iaconelli's 66th-place finish among 102 anglers on Lake Champlain in 2006.
Halfway through the season, only nine Elite anglers have made the first cut (top 50) in all four tournaments: Brandon Card, Ott DeFoe, Randy Howell, Bill Lowen, Jeremy Starks, Gerald Swindle, J Todd Tucker, Kevin VanDam and David Walker. Eight others have missed every cut: Denny Brauer, Jami Fralick, Chad Griffin, Jared Miller, Bernie Schultz, Kevin Short, Michael Simonton and Dave Smith.
Ott Defoe with another solid 3 and 3/4 pound fish
Photo by Tim Leopard.
After hitting a few points on Muddy Creek with no action Aaron Martens pulled up on Brandon Card on a long point where my boat driver Stan Hackworth says there is a house foundation in about 20 feet.
Martens objects to Card being on the spot, saying he had not "seen him on it all week."
Card says "I have a lot of spots. I live here. You're not the only one who knows about this spot. This is the biggest community hole on the lake."
They debate it for about 10 minutes, with Martens cruising back and forth in front of Card.
Card boats two bass about two minutes apart. The first goes back. The second goes in the box and he culls. After that Martens leaves, taking his floatilla of spectators with him.
With 18 pounds in the boat, Britt Myers may be practicing for Sunday as much as he is fishing for today. We just thought he was running-and-gunning early today, but he's been moving quicker than ever since boating his last fish about an hour ago.
He's making only a cast or two on each stop, and he's probably spending more time looking at his electronics than he is actually fishing.
Myers needs to do as much as he can to assure himself of a good day Sunday, more so than he needs to catch another bass today.
We're tired of watching this routine, and we are out of here.
Think there's such a thing as momentum in tournament bass fishing? Think again. The numbers say you're very wrong. Yes, Chris Lane and Brent Chapman were going pretty strong, but far more anglers have run the gamut from hot to cold this year. After winning at St. Johns, Alton Jones was 69th at Okeechobee. Ish Monroe won the Okeechobee tournament and was 15th the next time out at Bull Shoals, but he sandwiched those performances with a 96th at St. Johns and a 79th at Douglas.
Brandon Palaniuk has been even more inconsistent. He won on Bull Shoals, but his other three Elite performances this year have been absolutely dismal; he was 67th at St. Johns, 90th at Okeechobee and 88th at Douglas. And after winning the Central Open on Table Rock, Casey Scanlon backed it up with an 82nd place finish this week on Douglas.
It all goes to prove that you're as "hot" as your last cast.
Nate wellman with a 5 pounder.
Photo by David Sullivan