3:48 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
Ish Monroe and Chris Lane, leaders of the Power-Pole Slam, have made it back safely to the weigh-in area. And we will be proceeding with the weigh-in in a little bit. First up we'll do the Hooked Up! show and then the weigh-in. Right now it looks like we will be able to do the live streaming video. But the wind is still blowing hard, so keep your fingers crossed.
3:30 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
We are basically blind at the moment to the action taking place on the water.
If things went like they did yesterday, then the biggest part of this field is working on some 5- to 7-pound class fish right now. But since the storm wiped out virtually everything, including strangely enough, most of our cell service, we just don't know what's going on.
We do know that the Bassmaster staff has quickly got everything in place, made sure there were no injuries and have now assured me that we will have a live weigh-in and the preceding Hooked Up show.
Be sure and check out those things. We are still working diligently trying to reach the Marshals and/or cameramen, but the service is spotty around the weigh-in area and probably more so on the water.
The wind, though, continues to have a strong push out of the south. It's has to be rocking and rolling out on the lake.
3:10 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
The storm has really thrown kinks into a lot of good plans.
With our internet down, our feeds down, our BASSTrakk down and in an area where there is very little, if any, cell service it's tough to get any real knowledge of what is taking place on the water.
We assume it's rocking like it was in the middle of washing machine. We don't know for sure.
We hope it helped some of these guys catch more fish: No sense getting all that wet with nothing to show for it.
And we hope they all get back in safely. We will continue to make some calls and try and get some updates, but everything on BASSTrakk is from before the storm.
We now have to rely on spotty cell service and that's only if the angler isn't running back to the weigh in.
2:39 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
Below is an image that we took off of MyRadar that shows the storm that raced across the northern end of Lake Okeechobee.
Weather advisories said wind gusts could get as high as 45- to 50-miles per hour. Thankfully no one was hurt.
While, the venue has been damaged some, we have to think about the anglers on the water. Most of them were to the south of the storm, so the lightening and heavy rain may have missed them.
The winds, though, could really throw a kink into the plans of some of the anglers. Okeechobee is so shallow that even a 15-mile per hour wind will leave it rocking and rolling. Get it up to 45-miles and it can be treacherous.
Our current leader, Ish Monroe was at the south end of the lake when the storm hit. He was the furthest away, but now he has to fight his way through what could be huge waves and tough running conditions.
We will have to pay attention to that. But we have blinders on. The storm has knocked out our internet. The War Room feed is down, BASSTrakk is down and we are hoping to get all our people off the water (anglers included) as soon as we can.
The weigh in will go on, so hopefully we will have a feed by that time.
Stay tuned to the blog. We can send small emails through our smart phones.
2:26 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
We have just had a pretty major storm hit us at the weigh-in site.
We had been watching it build and knew it was coming, but had no way of knowing just how fierce.
Some weather sites said winds in the 45-mile-per-hour range. I believe them.
Part of the weigh-in stage was damaged: The top of it has been blown off. Sponsor booths have been blown over. There is about a foot of water in front of the weigh-in stage. And there are pieces and parts of everything laying around.
At the moment we don't know if anyone was hurt. We've not heard of any injuries. But we are assessing the damage and will get back to you.
2:18 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
Randy Howell told us earlier in the day that the sun Ish Monroe was enjoying was the biggest factor of the day so far.
The rest of the field was sitting under a bank of clouds. They haven't moved much either.
As a matter of fact a pretty strong thunderstorm is rolling across the War Room. There's steady rumbling, the wind is gusting strong and the rain is pouring.
I don't know how many of our anglers are seeing or in this storm. But it could have an impact of sorts on the day.
We've yet to see the big fish start rolling in like yesterday. We have 80 percent fewer anglers on the water, but still we have the best of the mix, so we expected to start seeing some movement quick.
This thunderstorm could help that. Bernie Schultz told the War Room audience yesterday that thunderstorms can really kick these fish into gear on this lake.
We are in the middle of a really good storm at the moment. And these fish were pretty much "in gear" based on yesterday's weights. We wonder if this storm will kick things backward or kick things into high gear.
12:36 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
Chris Lane just made an interesting observation, shortly after catching his third fish here in the last 30 minutes, even though this one didn't help him.
"As bad as I want to fish the inside (of the reeds), they seem to be on the outside," Lane said.
He's still got time to make a push, if he's starting to establish a pattern.
12:34 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
We lost him for a few minutes, but Chris Lane moved back to the north end of Observation Shoal, where he spent most of the morning and where the birds are still blaring.
He quickly caught two fish here, according to his marshal, including a 5-pounder. He's got a limit that weighs about 14 pounds.
"I need four more like that last one," Lane said.
He has no way of knowing what Ish Monroe has, but he's thinking in the right direction.
Lane still plans to spend the last 90 minutes in the area he just left.
"It's all about timing," Lane said.
12:24 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
We just got a better look at Jeff Kriet's BASSTrakk. The unit says he has a big sack, but that is some sort of technical glitch at the moment.
Kriet doesn't have as much weight as BASSTrakk says he has. We don't know exactly what he has, but it's much less than what is showing up.
We will get an update as soon as possible.
12:21 pm EDT, Mar 25, 2012
If Chris Lane can pull this one out, he'll become just the third angler in B.A.S.S. history to win three or more events on the same body of water. Chris Lane won Opens here on Okeechobee in 2006 and 2010. Shaw Grigsby won three events on Sam Rayburn Reservoir (1988, 1990 and 1992). Robert Lee (the King of the California Delta) won four consecutive BASS events on the California Delta between 1997 and 2003.