Kevin Short didn't make the cut yesterday, so he and his wife, Kerry, have gone fishing north of the tournament waters in Sturgeon Bay.
We told them where the three of us had whacked 50 smallmouth in four hours on Tuesday, including one bigger than anything caught in this tournament so far.
Short just e-mailed us this photo of Kerry with a nice smallmouth "caught on the first drop."
Terry Scroggins just idled by us on his way out of here.
"I caught 35 and Dean (Rojas) caught 25 in here yesterday, and we can't catch nothing today," he said.
Scroggins and Rojas have one bass each in the livewell. Rojas is staying put for now.
Alton Jones has been disqualified for today. Jones tried to cut across a flat this morning and got his boat stuck a short distance from take-off. According to BASS rules, your Marshal cannot assist you in any way. After various attempts to get the boat unstuck, Jones, knowing the ramifications, had no choice but to get his Marshal to aid in getting the boat off the bar. He immediately notified BASS officials of his actions. His standing will reflect a zero today.
The tournament leaders have both been here before. Aaron Martens — likely the best natural fisherman in professional angling — has led Day 1 of an Elite event two previous times (Falcon in 2008 and Douglas earlier this year), but didn't win either of them. Dean Rojas led at Toledo Bend after two days last year and went on to win. Both have won two Elite events.
So far this year, the angler leading after two days has won every event but one. Jeremy Starks was in third place after the second day at Douglas Lake and went on to win. Similarly, the Day 3 leader has won every time but one — Starks was second after Day 3 on Douglas.
Elite tournaments are not generally events where big comebacks happen, but this leaderboard is a little volatile because the fishing's been tough. The top 20 have all limited both days, but if an angler comes to the scales with just three or four bass today, his chances of winning are done. It's not a situation where we're likely to see any big moves upward on the leaderboard, but there may be some anglers who take a tumble if they can't catch a limit today.
All this talk about turf wars has me itching to jump in! Yes, there are lots of unwritten rules about how close you should get to another angler's water if he has a chance to win, but those "rules" are far from enforceable, and as the season goes along there are lots of other factors that come into play.
For example, although an angler might not have a realistic chance to win the tournament, a good finish could put him in the Bassmaster Classic or earn him valuable AOY points or just give him a check that will allow him to keep fishing professionally.
Those factors don't get much press, but they're huge, and they get bigger as the season progresses. When you see two anglers bumping boats out there and only one is in position to win the tournament, you sometimes have to look a little deeper to figure out why the other angler is there. Is he fighting for a Classic berth? Does he really, really need a check? Maybe it's just bad blood between the two.
If you put late season tournaments on bodies of water that fish "small" (and Lake Michigan is fishing small this week), these sorts of turf wars pop up with great frequency.
Dean Rojas just landed what we think is his first fish of the day, and it was a good one, a solid 3-pounder.
So maybe mid-morning is magic time here.
Aaron Martens has left Dean Rojas and Terry Scroggins. Martens appeared to lose a decent fish right at the boat about 15 minutes ago, but didn't get another bite and took off further north.
Scroggins and Rojas are grinding away on the spot where they caught them yesterday. But a short bass that Rojas caught and released is the only fish we've seen.
The thing to keep in mind is that Rojas didn't join Scroggins here until 10:30 yesterday morning.
It's still early.
Of course, the reason the consecutive limit streaks are falling so fast right now is that the fishing has been pretty tough. In the average Elite Series tournament, the average angler brings just better than 4.5 bass to the scales each day. That's the norm.
Here in Green Bay, the average angler has been bringing just 3.9 bass to the scales each day. That's very, very low. In fact, it's easily the worst of this season. The average size bass here on Lake Michigan is not bad (about 2-12 — which is average in Elite Series competition), but there just aren't enough of them.
The average catch brought to the scales this week in Green Bay is 10-10, which is easily the lowest of the season.
While most of our content gatherers try their best to stay away from controversy, this will be one we can't shy way from vey much.
Simply put, Aaron Martens and Rick Morris are fishing close to each other in this event. Most everyone is fishing close to each other in this event. Martens actually led on Day One and is in second on Day Two, but Morris doesn't want Martens around him at all.
I can't say I blame him. Martens is a fish seine of epic proportions.
Martens, though, has every right to be there, probably more so than Morris. But these are the type things we see in crowded events. There were several yesterday. Some of them won't take place today, because half the issue didn't make the cut. Other will start anew, when in the normal course of catching all your fish in two days and spreading your wings to other places, new angler clashes will be created.
Still think we should have a cage match at a couple of these events.