The way bass move in this vast Mississippi River system, what you catch in a place one day may be gone the next. That's the only thing Aaron Martens was worried about yesterday, after he found this spot that was so good he laid off it after 9 a.m.
He caught another eight bass after he had his weight for the day, and none of them had hook marks in their mouths, so he assumed they were "fresh fish" – bass that were replenishing this area.
It appears none of the fish left overnight. We now understand Martens caught a 2-pounder on his first cast today, before the 4 1/2-pounder. And he just landed a 2 1/2-pounder, which should give him about 9 pounds now.
The lake area Chris Lane is fishing is very grassy, lots of vegetation. Basically shallow water grass, which is perfect for a guy from Florida. Dennis has commented several times how similar this area is to the Lousiana Delta, With lily pads, hydrilla, eelgrass and duck weed.
"In my book, it can't get any better for fishing," he said.
In a tournament where the big bass has been a 4-13 one day and two 5-3s the next, Aaron Martens got off to a hot start Saturday. He landed a bass that weighed 4 1/2 pounds, maybe a little more, at 6:35.
He is fishing in a small canal, near a "No Wake" buoy. It's less than a five-minute boat ride from the launch site.
I'm riding with Louisiana pro angler Dennis Tietje today. He had back surgery and is taking a year of medical leave from the Elite tour. Great to have his expertise in the boat.
We followed Chris Lane just south of the launch to Target Lake. He has already caught two fish but tossed them back in. The river is on the rise. It is muddy, whereas the lake water is clearer. Bass like the clearer water, so that's why Chris is here.
There’s nothing like being at a Bassmaster Elite Series event. But if you can’t be in La Crosse, Wis., for the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Mississippi River Rumble this weekend, we’ve got you covered. You can keep up online in a way that will make you feel like you’re on the water yourself.
Here are nine ways we’ll keep you informed:
You get a front row seat to the weigh-ins each day. From the comfort of your home, you can watch the pros weigh in right in front of you on your computer screen without delay. You’ll know who wins at the same time the winner finds out! Tune in to the live weigh-ins at 3:15 p.m. CT all four days of competition.
In fewer than 140 characters apiece, you can read updates of the tournament as it is happening. From your laptop, phone or desktop, you can watch the event unfold, tweet by tweet.
There are several ways to follow along on Twitter. You can follow the official B.A.S.S. Twitter account, www.twitter.com/BASS_nation, where you’ll get insider info provided by B.A.S.S.’s on-site staff, B.A.S.S. emcees and tournament officials.
You can follow the official hashtag of B.A.S.S., #bassmaster. Anyone connected to or interested in the tournament tags his or her posts with this keyword, and fans can read multiple perspectives on the tournament’s goings-on. Even the pros post with this hashtag, so you could get actual updates from contenders who have spectators on the water tweeting for them. To follow the hashtag, whether you have a Twitter account or not, just go to http://tweetchat.com/room/bassmaster.
You can also follow the pros’ or insiders’ Twitter accounts. Click these links to follow the lists of Bassmaster Elite Series pros, including Randy Howell and Keith Poche, or to follow B.A.S.S. insiders, including emcee Dave Mercer and host Mark Zona.
BASSCam is a series of videos shot on the water and uploaded immediately so you can get near-live updates of what’s happening out there, often in the pros’ own words. Videos are posted all four days of competition.
Fans of B.A.S.S.’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bass, get updates and photos throughout the day right in their newsfeed. You can comment, ask questions and share photos, all within Facebook. Plus, most of the Bassmaster Elite Series contenders have their own fan pages, so you can watch your favorites (and get their fishing advice) all year long.
During the live weigh-ins, fans can watch the Live Leaderboard to see who’s on the bubble for the final cut (from 50 to 12 during Saturday’s weigh-in) and to keep up with who has performed consistently and how much they need to bring to the scales to secure a win.
B.A.S.S. emcee Dave Mercer and Bassmaster hosts Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona team up for Toyota Hooked Up!, a live video special, which airs at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT Saturday and Sunday. It airs again at 2:45 p.m. CT Saturday and 3:15 p.m. CT Sunday. After the champion has been crowned, you’ll hear from the winner in his own words — while he’s still absorbing the shock of his win.
7. War Room
At the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, B.A.S.S. introduced the War Room, a concept that was extremely popular with fans. The doors to the formerly private TV and production trailers have been pried open, and you now get to hear what B.A.S.S. officials hear, when they hear it.
Even better, if you have a question, just ask it in the comments box below the War Room video, and the producers will make every effort to get your question answered.
The War Room opens at 9 a.m. CT Saturday and Sunday and provides updates on the hour until 2 p.m. CT.
8. Live Blog
The Live Blog is where our reporters’ on-the-fly updates will be posted throughout competition on Saturday and Sunday. B.A.S.S. reporters take to the Mississippi River, seeking out contenders and trying to get the scoop, which we then deliver to you, right here.
The very popular BASSTrakk will be running during competition hours Saturday and Sunday. When a contender catches a fish, his Marshal reports the estimated weight, which in turn is posted online so you can see how your favorite pro is doing — and where the fish are.
All nine of these options are completely free! We invite you to tune in, interact and enjoy!