We've started the day at Jordan Dam on the Coosa River. This is where Brent Chapman caught his big bag yesterday. We're waiting here for Brent to arrive. In the past 24 hours the water has dropped about 6 feet. The dam is still spilling water, but much less than yesterday.
With the lower water we're starting to wonder if he will be able to make it back here today.
It's 7:01 a.m. and Randy Howell and Edwin Evers just zoomed into the Bouldin Dam Canal. As has been their m.o. the first two days, they're fishing opposite sides of the water. They're fighting the bugs right now, as the humidity is hanging like a wet blanket and the mosquitoes are out in force. Randy hooks up on one of his first casts and lands a 2-pounder.
"I've got to get them fast while they're biting," Howell tells us. Edwin has a fish on, but he lost it and groans loudly. Looks like Edwin just missed another, but he's keeping at it, flipping to some flooded bushes. Howell caught another one, looked like it was about 3 pounds, but it came off as he tried to get into the boat. This is like a fireworks show at 7 a.m.!
Mike Noble and his son Cole have joined us in the Bouldin Dam Canal. Mike was the boat driver for Darren and I the past few days. Cole said his money is on Edwin Evers to win this event.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Jimmy Murphy
Fans and family find a flooded picnic area for a good view of launch.
It's a beautiful morning here at the Cooters Pond takeoff spot. But the Alabama River is lower than it has been the previous two days, and that might present a challenge for leader Brent Chapman.
Chapman said this morning that after studying Internet information, he's not sure he can get to the water where he caught 23 pounds yesterday.
But it's guaranteed he's going to try.
Photographer Darren Jacobson and I got crafty this morning and decided to launch at Gold Star Park in Wetumpka, Ala., which put us only about a 10-minute boat ride to the Bouldin Canal, instead of the 30-minute plus ride we were making each morning from Cooter's Pond in Prattville. We came here hoping to catch the anglers arriving early, when they have been having their best bites. We expect to see Randy Howell and Edwin Evers soon, and more than likely a few more of the guys who made the cut to 50. One very important thing to note. The water looks like it's dropped two or three feet from when we were hereThursday and Friday. Also, there's almost no current running through here. That could be a huge game changer, if our hunches are correct. Of course, we'll have to wait and see what happens when the Elites join us in about 20 minutes. Darren and I are with boat driver Matt Chambliss who is a Pike Road resident, and knows these waters very well. We're looking forward to another good day and hoping that the rain holds off as long as it can. It's supposed to be here by noon. Rain gear on board? Check!
Gary Klein wanted me to send in this photo of a huge spoonbill he caught on Day 1. He estimated it weighed 100 lbs.!
Brent Chapman (left) and Randy Howell are busy testing new lures with sponsor Livingston Lures. They bolted from the weigh in, along with Hank Cherry, and headed across the parking lot to the Embassy Suites swimming pool, which is their testing venue. It looked like several kids had to clear out of the pool, but those kids had the last names Howell and Chapman.