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

2012 St. Johns River Showdown Live Blog

Swindle boats nice one

10:21 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

This photo is from Marshal Kirk Lockwood who is in the boat with Gerald Swindle.  

Swindle currently has two fish for 6 pounds. 

Empty beds at Lake George

10:12 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Mark Zona tells us David Walker has made it into Lake George and he's surprised to find so many empty beds.

He's looking, though, trying to find one of those dark shadows hovering around one of those light spots dotted around the lake.
Lot of anglers reporting an abundance of empty beds. But at the same time, listening to Paul Elias a few moments ago, they may also be seeing beds from Tilapia or bluegill.

Hot spot: East Lake George

9:42 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Just pulled up to the east side of Lake George. In a 300 yard stretch I can see Alton Jones, Todd Faitcloth, J. Todd Tucker, and Randy Howell. That's first, fourth, seventh, and eighth place right now in the tournament.


We had a quick chat with Randy Howell. He's hoping this east wind picks up a little earlier today than it did yesterday. He said the "wind is key for these fish. Anything I catch before the wind is a bonus."


As Randy was telling us that, J. Todd hooks up on a "bonus" fish. It looks to go four pounds. That gives him three fish for an estimated eight pounds. That  should push him into the top five.


Hank Weldon 

Leaderboard taking shape

9:28 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

The leader board is starting to take some shape.

Greg Hackney may be building one of his patented "Hack Attacks." His first fish of the day is a 5-pounder. You will recall he had a great day on Day One, then fell off the pace some on Day Two. He could actually move into this thing with that kind of pace.
Skeet Reese is catching a few too. He has a couple of fish that weigh 6-pounds. Meanwhile, Dean Rojas has three fish that weigh about 4-pounds.
Some of that is encouraging. But we still have to keep in mind that late in the day is when the meat starts showing up. The guys who get a couple of those good ones early will be in a position to build by the end of the day.

Walker moves to Lake George

9:02 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Mark Zona tells us David Walker is now making a move. After spending the first hour in the backs of canals, he's caught three keepers.


You can see some of that action on BassCam.


He's giving up on that and is now moving to Lake George, where he's caught the bulk of his weight that last two days.

Update: Walker with three fish

8:20 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

David Walker now has three fish for about 5-pounds. He's staying tucked away in a canal. 

According to Mark Zona, these fish are all bonus catches until the sun comes out.

On the water with Fletcher Shryock

8:17 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

Day Three of the St. John's River Showdown. I am on my way to Lake George  with 2012 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier and Elite Series Rookie, Fletcher Shryock.

 We will be bouncing around to several different anglers today. Fletcher will help us break down what each pro is doing.

 With a forecast high of 85 degrees and winds east 5-10 mph, the conditions should be conducive for more sight fishing.

 We will send updates as the action unfolds.


Hank Weldon

Fast start for Walker

8:12 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

It didn't take long for Walker to get started on his day.


He just caught a 2-pounder. He's concentrating in some little hidey hole areas and casting around the shad spawn.

He gets a limit that way and then moves for the bigger ones.

We'll see how that plays out.

Analysis: murderers row at St. Johns

7:47 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

This could be an over-statement of gross proportions, but it bears saying. This is one of the more interesting fishing days of recent Bassmaster history.


We have a battle shaping up that really defies all description. Alton Jones is sitting at the top of the heap in an eerily similar position as he was in last year, with an almost identical margin over second place, Rick Morris.


Below him you have a murderers row of sorts with Morris, David Walker, Todd Faircloth, Brent Chapman, Matt Herren, J. Todd Tucker, Randy Howell, Dean Rojas topped off by the potentially biggest assassin of all, Terry Scroggins in 10th place.


Jones knows he can’t stumble with that crew chasing him. His toe is likely still bruised from last season when Edwin Evers and Scroggins caught him.


The drama this little race will produce today is something that bears watching.


Add in three rookies to the mix, a resurgence of Skeet Reese (13th place) and a charging Shaw Grigsby (15th place).  I could go on and on.


In the middle of all of that are a couple of us guys bent on trying to keep you informed on as much of it as possible.


The War Room starts at 8 a.m. EST, this blog will be rolling along, BassTrakk will be up. Overstreet will be on the water along with Mark Zona.


We won’t have every detail, but we will get enough to keep an eye on things as they progress.  It should be worth watching.

Follow today's action live: nine ways

7:31 am EDT, Mar 17, 2012

There’s nothing like being at a Bassmaster Elite Series event. But if you can’t be in Palatka, Fla., for the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series St. Johns River Showdown this weekend, we’ve got you covered. You can keep up online in a way that will make you feel like you’re soaking up the Florida sun yourself.


Here are nine ways we’ll keep you informed:


1. War Room

At the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, B.A.S.S. introduced the War Room, a concept that was extremely popular with fans. The doors to the formerly private TV and production trailers have been pried open, and you now get to hear what B.A.S.S. officials hear, when they hear it.


Even better, if you have a question, just ask it in the comments box below the War Room video, and the producers will make every effort to get your question answered.


The War Room runs from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET Sat. and Sun.


2. Live Blog

The Live Blog is what you’re reading right now and where our reporters’ on-the-fly updates will be posted throughout competition. B.A.S.S. reporters take to the St. Johns, seeking out contenders and trying to get the scoop, which we then deliver to you, right here.


3. BASSTrakk

The very popular BASSTrakk will be running during competition hours today and tomorrow. When a contender catches a fish, his Marshal reports the estimated weight via the special BASSTrakk phone, which in turn is posted online so you can see how your favorite pro is doing — and where the fish are.


4. Live weigh-ins

You get a front row seat to the weigh-ins each day. From the comfort of your home, you can watch the pros weigh in right in front of you on your computer screen without delay. You’ll know who wins at the same time the winner finds out! Tune in to the live weigh-ins at 4 p.m. ET both today and tomorrow.


5. Twitter

In fewer than 140 characters apiece, you can read updates of the tournament as it is happening. From your laptop, phone or desktop, you can watch the event unfold, tweet by tweet.


There are several ways to follow along on Twitter. You can follow the official B.A.S.S. Twitter account, www.twitter.com/BASS_nation, where you’ll get insider info provided by B.A.S.S.’s on-site staff, B.A.S.S. emcees and tournament officials.


You can follow the official hashtag of B.A.S.S., #bassmaster. Anyone connected to or interested in the tournament tags his or her posts with this keyword, and fans can read multiple perspectives on the tournament’s goings-on. Even the pros post with this hashtag, so you could get actual updates from contenders who have spectators on the water tweeting for them. To follow the hashtag, whether you have a Twitter account or not, just go to http://tweetchat.com/room/bassmaster.


You can also follow the pros’ or insiders’ Twitter accounts. Click these links to follow the lists of Bassmaster Elite Series pros, including Edwin Evers and J Todd Tucker, or to follow B.A.S.S. insiders, including emcee Dave Mercer and host Mark Zona.


6. Toyota Hooked Up!

B.A.S.S. emcee Dave Mercer and Bassmaster host Mark Zona team up for Toyota Hooked Up! a live video special, which airs before and after the weigh-ins. The final episode will air tomorrow evening after the champion has been crowned, and you’ll hear from the winner in his own words — while he’s still absorbing the shock of his win.


7. BASSCam

BASSCam is a series of videos shot on the water and uploaded immediately so you can get near-live updates of what’s happening out there, often in the pros’ own words. Yesterday, fans saw Cliff Crochet lose a critical fish on the BASSCam camera; who knows what you might see today and tomorrow?


8. Facebook

Fans of B.A.S.S.’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bass, get updates and photos throughout the day right in their newsfeed. You can comment, ask questions and share photos, all within Facebook. Plus, most of the Bassmaster Elite Series contenders have their own fan pages, so you can watch your favorites (and get their fishing advice) all year long.


9. Live Leaderboard

During the live weigh-ins, fans can watch the Live Leaderboard to see who’s on the bubble for the final cut (from 50 to 12 during today’s weigh-in) and to keep up with who has performed consistently over the last couple of days and how much they need to bring to the scales to secure a win.


All nine of these options are completely free! We invite you to tune in, interact and enjoy!