In the War Room this morning, BASSTrakk manager Ryan Watkins figured up the following stats based on BASSTrakk data:
Between 8 and 9 a.m. ET, nine keepers were reported for a total of 16.02 pounds.
Between 9 and 10, 45 keepers were reported for 105.03 pounds.
And between 10 and 11, 71 keepers were reported for 151 pounds.
That shows a spike in the larger fish between 9 and 10. The average weight per bass went from 1.78 pounds in the first hour, jumped up to 2.33, and has since come back down to 2.13.
For reference, the average weight of the bass weighed in during this tournament is 2.59 pounds.
After conversing with his brother Bobby, Chris Lane left the crowd at Observation Shoal and made a three-minute run to an unoccupied section of it.
On the first pitch after setting his Power-Poles down, Lane set the hook on a 4-pounder. That also allowed him to cull a dink and should give him a total north of 19 pounds.
Observation Shoal has added a couple of new anglers. Terry Scroggins just pulled into the spot where Chris Lane started fishing here. Fletcher Shryock has also joined the gang. Chris and Bobby Lane are close enough to carry on a conversation.
Chris appears to be on the move and we are too.
Nate Wellman lands a good sized fish, just moments ago.
Observation Shoal is proving to be a popular area on Lake Okeechobee. Ott DeFoe has moved into sight. Chris Lane was working his way down the edge of the reeds when another Elite Series angler roared in and started fishing about 200 yards in front of him. Guess who? Brother Bobby Lane.
A few moments later, Chris added his fifth bass of the day — a small one — that should give him 16 or 17 pounds total.
Chris Lane just made about a 5-mile move and we followed. Along the way we passed Derek Remitz, Gary Klein, David Walker and Jason Williamson. They are all spread out at least a quarter-mile apart, fishing an expanse of pencil reeds on the west side of Lake Okeechobee.
Fishing conditions are close to perfect. A south wind is blowing about 10 miles an hour, just enough to keep a ripple on the water, and it's 76 degrees.
We are seeing a lot of anglers catching fish, but the big ones haven't really started to show up.
We do have David Walker with a 5- to 6-pounder, Chris Lane with a 5-pounder and Bradley Roy with a 7-pounder. But most of the catches have been what would normally be referred to as a solid keeper.
The video with this blog is from Darin Guglielmo, a Marshal with Steve Kennedy. Even though Guglielmo turned the camera sideways in the middle, you still get a good look at the fish and the fact that Kennedy is fishing around a spillway instead of the prolific vegetation around the lake.
Mark Zona is spending the morning with Jeff Kriet and keeping us posted on what he's doing.
He just sent us a text telling us that Kriet is fishing a lily-pad flat in about 3- to 5-feet of water. He has a couple of keepers. Kriet is telling him that there are different windows when the fish feed.
Zona followed that info up with a quick text: "Just missed a friggin' giant."
One of those windows may be opening up for Kriet.
Meanwhile, we've verified that Ish Monroe does have a limit. All we could get was "a small limit."
We have to guess that to be in the 10- to 11-pound range. That will be enough to stave off the charge for the time being. But Chris Lane seems to have some things going his way, in a big way, with 15 pounds and four fish.
One giant and he's over 20 pounds, with room to cull.