2012 Elite Series - Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship
Lake Decatur - Decatur, IL, Sep 22 - 23, 2012

2012 Toyota Trucks All-Star Week Live Blog

River perch steals DeFoe's crankbait

11:47 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Other than a small white bass, DeFoe’s been pretty quiet. OK, he actually just fought a 5- or 6-pound drum (or river perch, as my boat driver Joe Cupp calls it), boated it and got his crankbait back. That probably got his heart pumping, though. He's digging through his tacklebox looking for another crankbait, which he’s since tied on and thrown.

Martens misses a keeper

11:42 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Aaron Martens just missed a nice keeper -- looked like a 2-plus.  The fish got wrapped around underwater structure and the line was cut.

Evers catching in howling wind

11:29 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

I can only imagine what it must be like on the main lake. The wind is howling. We are mostly protected. But even then it's hard to keep our flatbottom in place.
Evers just caught another short fish. This one he let have it for a long time, and then didn't pile drive him. He's switched to a medium-heavy rod and trying to adjust for the missed fish. It will be interesting to see if it works.
As soon as I type that he gingerly sets the hook and boats a 3-pounder. It could be on.

Two in the boat, but no limit

11:15 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Although Evers has two in the boat, he should have had a limit by now. In the last few minutes he's missed a couple more. He's not totally flustered at the moment but the missed bites do bring out a little angst each time. He needs to start getting a hook into a few of them. From experience, this kind of fishing gets better as the day progresses.


Evers is so far back up this creek/river, he's lost all his spectators from this morning. That's a good thing. But in the last few minutes he has gained a couple of spectators. Two young boys are watching, having made it up the creek paddling a canoe. If Evers gets this type of area to himself, with only a couple of paddles churning the water, he could do some damage. He's just got to start getting a hook into some of these missed fish.

Swindle speaks

11:13 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Gerald Swindle has been unusually quiet this morning, while trying to coax a keeper-size bass from Lake Decatur. Swindle is well-known for being the bass angling equivalent of those old E.F. Hutton television commercials: When Gerald Swindle speaks, everybody listens.
We just heard the roar of a motorcycle in the distance, and Swindle couldn't help but comment.
"There goes an organ-donor," he said. "Somebody's just waiting for a car to pull out in front of him."
Swindle's simply biding his time right now.
"They've bit late for me every day this week, so I ain't in no hurry," he said. "I've got nowhere to go but the weigh-in, and that's a couple of hours away."
More than one angler in today's Final 4 predicted that everyone would catch a five-bass limit today at Lake Decatur. If that does prove to be true, the fish are going to have to flip on the biting switch some time today. It appears to be off now.

DeFoe gets a keeper

11:08 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Ott DeFoe just boated his first keeper, which he estimates at 2 1/4 pounds. It came off a riprap bank and ate a chartreuse-and-black crankbait. Scratching out a limit is definitely proving more difficult than he imagined. However, DeFoe can grind it out with the best of them.

Martens on the move

11:04 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Aaron Martens made a move to the other side of the lake where you almost do not feel any wind. A big change to where he was fishing before that had a strong wind. He's still got three fish.

Not what Ott had planned

11:00 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

This day can’t be going as Ott DeFoe had planned. He’s sticking to his pattern of flipping a small black-and-blue jig to visible cover and tossing a small crankbait. He just landed his first fish of the day, but it was short. Like 10 inches short. It was around a dock and ate a spinnerbait. With Martens catching fish, Ott needs to find his stride, which he usually does. He doesn’t seen rattled, which would be understandable after losing a big fish early on. He’s methodically working his way through the muddy water of Lake Decatur.

Swindle reels in a rag, still struggling

10:58 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Gerald Swindle just landed the first thing that would have met the 14-inch minimum length limit on Lake Decatur, but it was an inanimate object - a long black piece of cloth, in other words, a rag.
Swindle has continued to work the various boat docks along the west bank of Basin No. 3, across the lake from the Decatur Country Club.
Fishing conditions are not good: Swindle's got two dogs barking practically in his face from a boat dock.
But after the rally he had from despair yesterday on Lake Shelbyville, Swindle has proven he's capable of maintaining his focus, no matter what the conditions.

Martens attracts onlookers

10:40 am CDT, Sep 22, 2012

Aaron Martens attracts local onlookers while fishing for a lunker to add to his livewell.