Scott Rook now has five keepers. His Marshal estimates 10.8 pounds. So our previous estimate of 13 pounds was wrong. Harder to hear in this wind.
Rook also just lost a 3-pounder.
And by the way, those of us in this boat — Bowman, myself and driver Eisch — are soaked from the waves and spray. But we're having fun. The sun is warming things up and the waves are calming down. What better way to spend a Saturday morning? Oops, I spoke too soon, a wave just came over my back.
Randy Howell has no fish yet. He's waiting for the wind to lay down to hit his best stuff.
If you were to use baseball as a metaphor for professional bass fishing, then the guy you want coming to plate at the end of the year with your season on the line would be Oklahoma's Tommy Biffle. Biffle, of course, is a legend in the sport and one of the all-time greats. We talk a lot about Aaron Martens and his second-place finishes in the Bassmaster Classic; Martens has been runner-up four times. Well, Biffle has twice finished second in the Classic and three times been the bridesmaid at the FLW Championship. That's a lot of second place! He knows how to close out a season, though.
In the seven years of the Elite Series, Biffle averages a Top 12 finish in the season finale. No one is better— or even close. He typically gets off to a slow start — averaging a 47th-place finish at the season opener — and finishes strong enough to get into the Classic. He's doing it again this year and enters Saturday's competition in fourth place.
We've found Randy Howell and he's drawn first blood -- a 6-inch smallmouth not much longer than his white spinnerbait. Howell said he tried the open water but the wind and waves made that uninviting. "I'm just waiting for the birds to start working," Howell said. When bass chase shad to the surface, gulls congregate and dive on injured baitfish. That's a tell for anglers that bass are schooling and can be caught.
The pattern has been paying off for Howell the past two days well enough to put him in first with 32 pounds, 2 ounces. For now he's fishing weedbeds directly in front of the boat ramp at Oneida Shores Park.
Overstreet and I are kicking ourselves for making a long, jarring boat ride to where we thought he'd be, only to have to run back to where we began.
The wind is laying and Howell is moving.
This message comes to us from B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon:
Zell Rowland’s Day Two catch has been disqualified for violation of part of rule C13:
“Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters.” Rowland fished a man-made marina boat basin considered under New York law as “private property.”
So Rowland does not make the cut for Day Three, and instead Matt Reed moves from 50th to 49th and competes today.
After getting "the monkey" off his back by winning his first Bassmaster tournament last year -- a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open on Lake Toho, Fla. -- Gerald Swindle said he likes to keep the monkey in front of him. Hence the stuffed toy he straps to his boat's navigation light pole. Not only is it a reminder to be confident in his abilities, the monkey provides a way to vent his frustrations. "Yesterday, every time I'd get mad at myself, I'd drop-kick that monkey," Swindle said as he waited for the launch of Day 3 on Oneida Lake.
It appears that a school of active fish showed themselves, and Duckett capitalized by putting three keepers in the boat. Duckett, Starks and Jordon are playing bumper boats and within arm's reach of each other at times.
Brent is still using all reaction baits, no bottom baits. No more fish in the boat but several short strikes.
The morning bite has not been good to Tommy Biffle this week. He just told us to come back this afternoon and they would be biting then.
Boyd Duckett, Jeremy Starks and Kelly Jordon are all fishing within a long cast of eachother. We have seen a couple short fish caught, but it appears to be a slow bite this morning.