2012 Elite Series St. Johns River Showdown St. Johns River - Palatka, FL, Mar 15 - 18, 2012

2012 St. Johns River Showdown Live Blog

Jones watching 5 pounder

11:57 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Alton Jones  just trolled  by us to swap cameraman Rick Mason for his
marshal. And he confirmed that he has just over 9 pounds in the boat - a
3, two 2.25s and a 1.75.

 

He said there's a 5-pounder near the marker buoy he threw out earlier,
which he is now fishing.

Jones still stalking

11:54 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Watching Alton Jones is a lesson in stealth. He slowly bent down to his
knees and laid his rod on the boat deck, as if he were setting an egg on
a granite countertop, before grabbing another rod.

 

He has a marker buoy out in one  spot where he obviously saw something
worth coming back to check.

 

Jones moved away from the buoy and caught his fourth fish, this one just
a keeper. We are estimating he has about 9 pounds in the boat.

Jones lands number 3

11:50 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Just like  last time, Alton Jones' Power Poles went down and he promptly
put his third bass of the day in the boat. We are quite a way from him
now, but James Overstreet's long lens captured the catch, which appeared
to be at least 2.5 pounds, maybe 2.75.

 

He has moved slightly, and the  poles are down again.

Jones in stealth mode

11:48 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

We've been observing Jones enough to detect a pattern. It's almost like
he's hunting for deer. He moves, stops and looks  for motion around
a bed.

We've seen lots of push poles in boats this weekend. Alton Jones probably
has one in his boat this morning, but he isn't  using it. He figured out
yesterday that he can cover a lot more water by staying on the trolling
motor. Plus, if a big female isn't spooked by the trolling motor, it's a
sign that bass is catchable.

Jones discovered that when he accidentally pulled up within a foot of one
of those 8-pounders yesterday. Glare from the sun kept him from seeing
the fish until he was way closer than he wanted to be. But  the fish
didn't spook, and he was able to back away from the bed and catch the
fish.

Jones goes camo

11:42 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

There's definitely a stealth factor  when trying to ease up on bedding
bass. Alton Jones has taken off his tournament jersey in favor of a
natural green colored shirt.

"Earth tones," said Jones. "I want to look like a big blade of eel grass.
I don't want to have on anything red, and preferably not  yellow or white
either.

Alton Jones, 3-pounder

11:39 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

We just got in close enough to  speak with Alton Jones, who told us he has a 3-pounder in the livewell. It was caught about 8:45, and Jones considers that a bonus because he hasn't been catching much early.

 

"I was just blind fishing," Jones said.  "I saw a hole in the grass and just pitched in there."

 

He caught it on a Yum Dinger and he's also using a finesse worm.

Crowded around KVD

11:36 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Just moved over to the south west corner of Lake George. We have pulled up on KVD. He has his usual flotilla of boats around him.

 

I can see David Walker, Shaw Grisby, and Dean Rojas nearby.

 

All the above mentioned have their Power Poles down fishing beds.

 

We are working our way closer to the anglers to get a report.

Walker misses 6 pounder

11:28 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Mark Zona has been keeping us in touch with what David Walker is doing.

 
Currently, he has four fish that weigh about 6-pounds. His last fish was a male that was found guarding a bed, with a 6-pounder sitting next to him.
 
Zona said Walker caught the smaller male and the 6-pounder next to him bolted. That type of thing has been happening all week.

Rojas setting on big fish

10:50 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

From David Cahan, who is the Marshal for Dean Rojas: Rojas is setting up on a "good" fish hoping to catch it off the bed.

 
For the moment we have Rojas in the lead with a limit that weighs almost 13 pounds, pushing him toward the 45-pound range.
 
Todd Faircloth has a limit as well in the 9-pound and change range. Skeet Reese has the only other limit with 11 pounds and change.
 
The catches seem to be coming in at a better pace. Things are heating up on a lot of fronts.

Skeet Reese has limit

10:44 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Skeet Reese has his fifth fish, photo by Preston Rogers.

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