So how often do Day Three leaders go on to seal the deal and win Elite Series tournaments? Almost 64 percent of the time. There have been 61 previous Elite Series events, and the third-day leader went on to win 39 of them.
The angler in second place going into the finals has won 18 percent of the time. That means the Top 2 win more than 80 percent of all Elite Series events. Only three times has the eventual winner been in fifth place or worse going into Sunday.
Quick update on catches:
Cliff Pace has one fish for 3.5 total of 61-1 (in the lead by 3 ounces)
Brent Chapman has one fish for about 1 pound with a total of 60-14 (2nd place, but could be closer to a tie)
Marty Robinson has one fish for 2 pounds with a total of 60-9. (3rd)
Timmy Horton has one for 2 pounds with a total of 59-1. (4th)
Cliff Prince has his first catch of the morning with a 4-pounder. Total of 56-12. Moves him into 5th
Fishing still seems to be slow, but there are some moves taking place.
I just completed a semi-call around to the Marshals watching our anglers today. Many of them are out of cell service..
None of the ones we reached gave us any indication that the fish were biting this morning..
We have Timmy Horton and Marty Robinson with 2-pounders, Chapman with a 1 1/2-pound keeper and the others with either a zero or unreachable..
We will keep trying as the day progresses.
Marty Robinson might be best known for the dance moves he showed off on the Classic stage last year. So, I find it a little ironic that he is having his best event of the season on a jig. Headline: "Robinson does a jig for Toledo Bend win." Were his Classic gyrations simply foreshadowing this tourney? I say yes.
Robinson has switched to a deep diving crank, chartreuse with a white belly. No luck. He just picked up the buoy he dropped after catching his only fish of the morning and is sliding further up the flat. It's a very hazy, calm morning. Looks a bit surreal.
Brent Chapman caught his first fish of the day at 7:20, but it's not one he hopes to keep in his livewell at the end of the day. The bass, which looked to be in the 1 1/2-pound range, bit a big plastic worm thrown on a Carolina rig.
Chapman has caught most of his fish this week on a big flutter spoon. He's thrown it some this morning with no success so far.
Mark Zona is in the boat with Chapman and reports that Chapman isn't seeing a bunch of bass on his sonar. That's probably why Chapman just started his outboard motor and idled 100 yards or so to the west side of this area which is filled with standing timber.
Brent Chapman is still working his spoon. He then switches to a Carolina rig with a 10 inch worm and his comment to Zona: "I'm throwing a Carolina rig at 7:15 and that's not good."
But it works — first fish comes at 7:20 — 2 pounds.
Dennis remarks that we are not seeing any schools of bait come by. "That's got to change," he says. "That's the one and only reason those bass would be here."
Early into the fishing day and nothing yet for Brent Chapman, but as Brent reminded Zona, it took them a while to get going yesterday too. He's working the flutter spoon mostly — that's what most of his big fish have come on this week for him. Heavy layer of fog/cloud above us — it will be interesting to see if things pick up when it thins.
Forty spectator boats are in an almost perfect circle here as Brent hooks a fish and it quickly pulls off. Zona says that Chapman is starting to appear concerned.
Marty Robinson is poised to post his best Elite Series finish ever. Coming into the final round, he's second. His best previous finish was seventh at Grand Lake in his rookie season (2007). In the past three years he seems to have turned a corner in his career.
His first three years in the Elites were obviously learning experiences. Robinson finished 64th, 86th and 80th in the AOY standings in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. Since then, he's been solid. He jumped up to 43rd in 2010, missing the Classic by six spots. Last year he was 35th and earned his first Classic berth. This year, he ranks ninth and is looking to make another Classic. He definitely seems to have found himself as an angler.
Robinson's story is a bit unusual, though. For the most part, the anglers who struggle early in their Elite careers never turn it around. Terry Butcher has been another exception, though he struggled in 2011 and is just starting to get back on track.
Toledo Bend offers its challenges in a lot of ways. From an angling standpoint, more than 180,000 acres that swell up and bounce at even the slightest wind is just the beginning.
From a technical standpoint for blogging, BASSTrakking, etc., it becomes a different kind of monster. We were watching our GPS tracks this morning as the anglers left the take off. It's an interesting sight to see the anglers name inch out and actually move on the map. Kind of looks like those movie radar screens where you are watching the bombs come toward you, only in our drama they are moving away.
Watching them this morning, we got to track some of them as far as 5 miles away from the take-off before they simply disappeared as in vanished from view in the black, electronic hole that surrounds Toledo Bend.
Those kind of things always make it tough getting information. Even the guys on the water have another brand of problem trying to find service to send it back to the War Room and the blog. Hopefully we can work around some of the problems. We will still have the most up-to-date information any where.