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

2012 Power-Pole Slam Live Blog

Mid-morning update

9:47 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

If you are paying attention to the War Room from time to time then you may notice we are actually playing the Sunshine Showdown from a few years ago on the Harris Chain.

If you will recall Brian Snowden was running away with that event and Mike McClelland came from way behind to win that event.
It was actually an accident that video was being played. But it's appropriate at this point.
Florida has a way of just melting big leads. Think back to just last week when Alton Jones was in a similar position and Todd Faircloth made a big run on the final day and almost over took him.
Add that with the tournament playing in the War Room and you can see how unsafe Ish Monroe really is at this point. He knows he can't rest on his laurels for a second or one of these guys will catch him.
Randy Howell's three-fish, one-cast catch has already shown us that magic can hit at anytime.
We still have Monroe with a zero. Nothing to be alarmed about at the moment. He also has a cameraman in the boat with him and as hidden as he is the cameraman may be too busy to plug in stats on the BASSTrakk.
Still, it's worth mentioning that crazier things have happened to big leads in Florida.

Chris Lane adds a lunker

9:36 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Chris Lane made a short run from the place where he caught his first two fish this morning, then promptly failed to get a hookset on what appeared to be a pretty good fish. Shortly afterward, Lane added a third bass to his livewell, but it's one he hopes to get rid of later, as it was barely a keeper.


Just as quickly, the action got frantic in Lane's boat. He set the hook on a big bass that he fought to the opposite side of the boat before lipping it. "Boom!," Lane shouted. "Bam!"


He estimated this one weighs 6 1/2 pounds. He should have about 15 1/2 pounds now with four fish, and it's only 9:30 a.m.

Three fish on one lure

9:30 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

To get a real feel for how special Lake Okeechobee is, check out the photo sent in from John Dial, one of the Bassmaster Marshals. 


Randy Howell, who had his limit quickly this morning, pulled off a hat trick of sorts in one cast. 


He caught three of his keepers in one cast on a topwater lure. That's pretty special.

Lane adds another one

9:09 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Chris Lane just put his second fish of the day in his livewell — a 2 1/2-pounder. He's working the edge of a thick stand of pencil reeds. As predicted by some anglers yesterday, Lake Okeechobee's bass are changing position a bit today.


"They're coming out," Lane said. "It's more like it was in practice." 


If that's true, look for some big bags at today's weigh-in. After the way bass bit in practice, most anglers thought they could sack 17 or 18 pounds fairly quickly, then go look for some big ones. But the first two days of this tournament proved far more difficult.

Lane has a 5-pounder

8:54 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Photographer James Overstreet and I have just  found Chris Lane, who is fishing north of Monkey Box. He's already got a 5-pounder in the boat and, equally important, hasn't missed any fish so far.


Yesterday he reported that he's been missing about two or three good fish a day, but he's not going to let that get in his head because there's nothing much he can do about it.


"This stuff is so thick and these fish are so mean," Lane said. "It's not like you can hem them in a reed head or something and they just give up. They'll keep fighting until they just rip out the hook."

Live action from Day Three

8:50 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

In a few minutes we will start our War Room broadcast. You can check that out by clicking the War Room button at the top of the page.

Every hour at the top of the hour we will give you an update of what we know, what we think we know and hopefully give you a look at what is taking place on the water.
Following those updates we should be able to bring you some video from other events as well as this one, giving you a bass fishing fix for the day.
Meanwhile, some of the things we are seeing at the moment include Randy Howell's impressive start.
We know Jeff Kriet has a couple of keepers, but at the moment they are only about 2 pounds total.
David Walker has caught a 5- to 6-pound lunker. No catches from Ish Monroe yet. But we expect some of these guys are just getting to their first spots.
Lake Okeechobee is big and long boat runs will be a part of the action all day.

Fast start for Howell

8:20 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

The morning has already gotten off to a fast and furious start, just the way you expect it to on Lake Okeechobee.


Randy Howell has the first limit of the day weighing around 14 pounds and change. That puts him near the top of the leaderboard. David Walker has his first fish, a 5-pounder. 


There are a few more catches starting to show on BASSTrakk, but the quick start of those two tells us that today could be pretty special.

Day Three begins!

8:05 am EDT, Mar 24, 2012

Day Three is officially underway. Every boat has left the take-off area and filtered out in the great Big O.

The last two days we've seen some spectacular fishing, especially from Ish Monroe. Anyone who didn't know Florida real well would think this tournament is over after only two days.
But this is Florida, where one or two bites can change everything. Sitting just two giant bites behind is one of the best locals in the area and the current reigning Bassmaster Classic champion, Chris Lane.
Lane may be the Classic champ, but he's hungry to win this event. He knows it's important to follow up the Classic with a strong statement. He's may have already made it, but you won't convince him he still doesn't have more work to do.
Meanwhile, Monroe is not going to go quietly into the abyss of Okeechobee. He seems to have found one of those special places all fishermen dream about. His only question is whether it will hold up and/or if the local traffic kill will him this weekend.
We will get a hint of the answers to those questions today. Hopefully this blog will be the first to answer them.
Stay tuned.