We've been watching Jeff Kriet for forty minutes and he's moved all of 200 yards. Our boat driver Bobby Adams says he's going slower than yesterday. I look down the line and he's only got about 5 more miles of bullrush walls with submerged veg. out front. This place is so vast but the good stuff so compact, it seems.
Another pound or so bass just got caught. Zona says a 4-5 pounder just rolled on the swim jig but no bite. All in all more aggressive fish than yesterday.
8:00 comes and still no keepers. Wind is up from some weather passing north and west--spitting rain. Water temp 75. Now comes two small keepers about a pound each. From Mark Zona: both fish came on the swim jig inside line of the pads.
Mark Zona and Jeff Kriet were in the boat at take off, practicing how they would handle the situation should Kriet lose another Giant fish at the boat (which he did on Sat.). They vow that this time around, bad words will be replaced with more positive expressions like "too bad but wasn't that fun", "hey I'm just happy to be here today" or, at the worst, "aw hecky durn!".
Inspiring, I tell ya.
Day Four of the Power-Pole slam. The anglers just left the takeoff and are on their way to their first spot.
Weather conditions are completely different today. We have a small front pushing through for the next couple of hours. There are some thunderstorms associated with it.
Chris Lane this morning was excited about the changing weather conditions. "This is a different wind we have had all week. We have a good chance of crushing them today. The West shore has been pounded all week by that easy wind. This west wind is going to clean up the water today."
We have said it all last week and this week, this is Florida. Meaning a big bag can come at any time of the year. Fortunately for us we have a nice little derby going into the final day. Ish Monroe's 13 pound 9 ounce lead was cut down to a mere 10 ounces yesterday. So both of these anglers have to swing for the fences versus playing defense.
Things should get interesting as the day progresses. We will keep you updated as the info comes in from our on-the-water team.
Zona is in the boat with Jeff Kreit not far from the takeoff. He says Kreit's baits are: swim jig, frog and soft plastic stickbait. The whole key, he says, is that the thickest dollar pads hold the bigger females.
Appropriately, on a day when a Bassmaster Elite Series pro will earn a $100,000 first-place check, the sky over Lake Okeechobee was decorated with a rainbow during the 7:30 a.m. takeoff.
Leader Ish Monroe and Chris Lane, who trails by only 10 ounces going into the final day, appear to be the most likely candidates to end up with the pot of gold at the end of the day.
There were some dark clouds on the horizon, prompting Monroe to joke, "Cancel the tournament. There's a 100 percent chance of tornadoes. Cancel the tournament."
Monroe, after leading by over 13 pounds going into Saturday's competition, now knows he's got a battle on his hands.
The weather isn't likely to be a factor today. And several anglers predicted the bass would bite better than they have the last three days with some cloud cover today.
James Overstreet and I are on our way to Harney Canal to launch our boat, then make a beeline to Chris Lane.
Watching BASSTrakk we can see a lot of the anglers starting to head back toward the weigh-in area.
We've seen several of those big stringers taking place in these waning hours.
Mike McClelland boats a quality fish.