Randy Howell just got on the scoreboard with his first fish of the day. The smallmouth looks like a 3-pounder but that's hard to tell — these bronzebacks are so chunky and thick, it might weigh a tad more or less. Howell, the leader among the 12 finalists in the Ramada Championship today, appears to be fishing a jerkbait. Whatever he's using, he's working it with violent motions. I'm sure it takes a lot of action to stir up the fish and get their attention in today's conditions.
As I'm sure other bloggers have pointed out, it's rough out here. I'm amazed at the weather conditions on this lake. Forecasts yesterday and today called for 4 or 5 mph winds, but it's a good bit stiffer than that. The boat James Overstreet and I are using today — Dave Mercer's Skeeter — has taken three waves over the bow or gunnel already, and we're not even motoring. At this morning's launch, the flag was barely waving during the "Star Spangled Banner." But it's rolling out here.