2012 Elite Series TroKar Quest Bull Shoals Lake - Bull Shoals, AR, Apr 19 - 22, 2012

2012 TroKar Quest Live Blog

Poche catching two at a time

9:09 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Keith Poche holds up his 5-pounder that he hopes will help him climb. (Ross Whitney photo)


Hoping to climb from 22nd into the top 12, Keith Poche has landed two doubles, Marshal Ross Whitney reports.


While four two-pounders came on two casts of his crankbait, it was a solo 5-pounder that should help him gain ground. Poche has already put a limit in the livewell, and they are estimated at 13 pounds. With the 5, he has plenty of room, and time, to upgrade.


His two-day total of 30-11 was a little more than two pounds back of 12th-place Edwin Evers, so a good day could have Poche fish on Sunday.


Expect some moves on moving day.

Palaniuk has a limit

9:03 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Just five minutes later, a big score -- a 5-pounder that's barely hooked and jumping.  It's in the boat and he's now at four fish with a total between 12 and 13 pounds. Five more minutes and number five is in -- 3 pounds for a limit that's 15 to 16 pounds.  Zona texts me that a change in cast angles has been the key to this flurry.

Brandon moves to a creek

8:57 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Brandon finds the going slow then moves out to almost the center of this creek and instantly bangs out a two pounder then a three. Maybe he's found the old bridge, as he seems to be staying on the roadbed that you can clearly pick up on either side bank. Zona says the graph is lit up and Brandon thinks he's got them fired up a little.

Bountiful Bull Shoals

8:52 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Bull Shoals is producing a lot of fish catches. The lake has been amazing in that regard. Anglers come off the weigh-in stage talking about the huge numbers of fish they caught.


Jeff Kriet said yesterday he had a poor day in regards to Day One. That poor day was 27 keepers, which compares to 70 keepers on Day One.


That's some really good fishing  We have a text system working with the Marshals that seems to be working well at the moment. Every few seconds actually we get a text from one of the 50 Marshals that are out on the water.


In a few minutes the War Room will start with Dave Mercer telling us how the tourney has gone the last two days and then we will switch to the room where all the texts are coming in and the leader board is building.


With so many catches, it will be a lot of activity. Come see us after 9 a.m.

Herren's Hideout

8:35 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Photographer James Overstreet and I just caught up with Matt Herren, who is in second place  behind leader Brandon Palaniuk. We've crossed the Missouri-Arkansas line a couple of times after putting our boat  in at the Diamond City public use area.


Herrin has one keeper-size fish in the boat.


"I'm a little worried," Herren said. "That was a pretty hard front that came in last night."


It was 38 degrees at takeoff time. The fog is still thick over the lake here, which is why it took us awhile to find  Herren, who made it this far up the lake surprisingly quickly.


Herren said the water surface temperature here dropped four degrees overnight, from 68 degrees to 64.


Herren has this place all to himself.


"I haven't seen another boat all week," he said.

Fletcher Shryock has it figured out

8:27 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

No more bites since the first fish for Brandon Palaniuk, but Fletcher Shryock thinks he's got his lineup narrowed down.  I am reminded that at lunch with Steve Bowman and Ryan Watkins on Tuesday, Ryan said that Palaniuk told him he thought he was on something and he was doing something no one else was doing.


Our first reaction was "how would you know that no one else was doing something similar on a lake that sprawls like this one?" Still, word gets around remarkably well, like a jungle telegraph. More on that later.


Meanwhile Zona says Brandon is seeing more fish suspended over deep water, which he hasn't been seeing before. Fletcher points out that the water is definitely colder here than at points farther down the lake. That could explain the definite pre-spawner look of his fish so far.  The water looks somewhat dirtier here, too.

Palaniuk lands first fish

7:53 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Brandon Palaniuk has his first fish, a 3 pounder on a crankbait.  Zona says he's still trying to locate the school, but that solid fish means he could be getting close. Lots of bait on the graph.

Smoke signals

7:50 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Because there is absolutely no service for BASSTrakk we are relying on a system of text messages and smoke signals to get as much info as we can.


Currently it's working pretty well. Soon we will have a standings sheet so we can watch how these guys move up and down.


For early morning catches we have: 


Mark Menendez with four fish for about 7 3/4 pounds;

Britt Myers has a 5-pounder,

Randy Howell has a 4-pounder,

Dustin Wilks has two that weigh about 4 3/4-pounds,

Boyd Ducket has two that weigh around 3 3/4 pounds,

Terry Butcher has two that weigh about 4-pounds,

Brent Chapman has a 2 1/2 pound smallmouth,


And the info keeps rolling in.

Brandon Palaniuk is cranking deep

7:42 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

We are at the west end of the lake and 30 miles from the takeoff where we find Brandon Palaniuk in the fog, cranking deep, 150 yards offshore. He says there is a roadbed and some rockpiles he's trying to hit.  He's been here 15 minutes and no bites yet.  Zona is in the boat shooting videos.


I'm riding with Fletcher Shryock and we are waiting for it to happen.


Temps:  57 degrees water, 40 degrees air. The fog is lifting.

Bull Shoals challenges

7:40 am CDT, Apr 21, 2012

Day Three of the Trokar Quest is well under way and so are its challenges.


Just about every venue the Elite Series goes to has areas where cell service is sketchy. A lot of people like it that way. They go to the lake they want to get away from the phones and the hubbub of the world.


But in order for us to produce a good look at what is taking place in these events we need to be able to have some sort of way of keeping in touch with anglers. Bull Shoals doesn't give us many options.


The Ozarks are about as remote as you can get from cell towers. You've seen those commercials where the big cell carriers tell you they have 96 percent coverage? They are mostly full of it. But the four percent they don't have blankets Bull Shoals.


Still, we are making every effort to get as much info as possible. I'll tell you more about that as the day progresses.


Meanwhile, we do have reports of catches taking place.


Randy Howell has a 4-pounder in his livewell, which shoots him up the standings into the top 10. Dustin Wilks has a couple of keepers for about 4 1/2 pounds total. And Boyd Duckett has a 2 3/4 pounds on two fish.


More later, so stay tuned.