2012 Elite Series Power-Pole Slam Lake Okeechobee - Okeechobee, FL, Mar 22 - 25, 2012

2012 Power-Pole Slam Live Blog

Fish more aggressive today?

8:44 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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.

Slow start

8:41 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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.

"Aw hecky durn!"

8:13 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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 weather report

8:08 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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.
 

Key for Kriet

8:08 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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.

Starting under a rainbow

8:02 am EDT, Mar 25, 2012

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.

Battle lines shaping up

3:52 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Watching BASSTrakk we can see a lot of the anglers starting to head back toward the weigh-in area.

 
There might be a couple of catches in the last seconds, but as far as many of these guys are traveling it appears as if most of them will be running those last minutes instead of fishing.
 
They check in at 3:45 p.m. EST. That is the first flight, and since they took off in order of where they finished Day Two that means the leaders will get here first.
 
Chris Lane showed up 15 minutes early. And other boats are starting to filter in.
 
Unless something really shakes up the standings, this will be the last blog until tomorrow morning.
 
Right now we have this as a two-man race boiling down between Ish Monroe and Chris Lane. 
 
Monroe leads with about 78 pounds total (19 of that today), Lane is about 4-pounds back at 74 pounds (with 28 of that coming today).
 
Skeet Reese is more than 20-pounds back in third; followed by Biffle, Kriet, Grigsby, Rook, Chapman, Howell and Fox for a top 10.
 
All those later guys know anything can happen, although a 20-pound deficit is a little much to recover from even in Florida. But that doesn't mean they won't be fishing their hearts out. They all know how important those Angler of the Year points are. Not to mention, the higher you finish the bigger the check.
 
It's going to be an exciting weigh-in and is shaping up to be an even more exciting final day with the two horses out in front of this event.

Early leaders for Angler of the Year

3:35 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2012

 

Scott Rook is quietly having a great tournament. He started slow today, but in the last few hours he's built a stringer in the 20-pound range.
 
He's moved up into the 7th position. He and Randy Howell have been sharing water all week.
 
Both appear to be in the top 10 at the moment. 
 
Rook is battling to get things back on track after a poor 2011. Howell has been steady for some time.
 
We spent a little time talking about the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year race earlier in the day in the War Room. Expectations at the time were that Todd Faircloth and Skeet Reese would be neck and neck in that race at the end of this event.
 
That may be true, but there will be another neck in that race as well with Howell. He had a top 12 at St. Johns too. It's a good bet those three will be sitting atop the standings, with Chris Lane being close.

Big stringers coming in

3:24 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2012

We've seen several of those big stringers taking place in these waning hours. 

 
Earlier in the day we saw some sacks that we have to label "what could have been."
 
Jeff Kriet just caught another 5-pounder, bringing his total well into the teens and sitting him in the 5th-place neighborhood.
 
But for as long as Kriet lives he will remember the two fish that got away this morning. Both of them together would weigh in the 15-pound range.
 
Add that to what he has now and would be over 25-pounds and a few places up the standings. He would still be well behind Ish Monroe by about 10 pounds or so. But feeling like he could make a run at it on the final day.
 
As it is, unless he boats a couple of the "friggin' giants" he's going to be well off the pace, but still making a great showing.

McClelland grabs a keeper

3:08 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Mike McClelland boats a quality fish.

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