As we were follwing Christie across the mouth of Johnson Hollow, Cliff Pace intersected him and idled down into the hollow. He's targeting the same kind of cover, shallow rocky banks with an assortment of cover like stumps, laydowns and the like. We're going to stick with Pace for the time being. He just hooked a drum, but hasn't yet hit his stride today.
Bobby Lane boats his third keeper.
Photo: Kevin Trummel
KVD has moved a few hundred yards and brought his flotilla with him. The spot looks similar, but it has a little bit more wind pushing against it. Maybe that will help him generate bites.
Jason Christie got cold water thrown in his face yesterday. He did it to himself.
Christie was attempting to land an estimated 4 1/2-pounder that barely had one hook of a treble in its lip. He briefly touched the fish before it came unhooked. It would have allowed him to cull a 2-pounder from his livewell, so Christie (18-12) literally touched 20 pounds Friday.
The lesson: "When you lose a big one, and it's 22 degrees, don't slap the water," Christie said.
KVD hasn't changed lures, but he's changing retrieve speeds and cadences on seemingly every cast. He's trying desperately to get these fish fired up. They seem to bite early and late, but then there's a lull.
After a cold run down the lake, we went into Horse Creek to find Iaconelli. That's the area where he did most of his damage Friday morning. But apparently he's fishing a different area today. We saw Mark Davis, David Walker, Pete Gluszek and Matt Lee in there. We moved across the lake to the mouth of Big Hollow, where Jason Christie is fishing vertical banks again. Christie has 31 spectator boats, a decline from yesterday. But it's still early. I'm betting he'll pick up a few more as the day progresses.
For someone who is in 9th place with 17-15, Mike McClelland had a miserable Day One. Until mid-morning, he could make only one cast between de-icings of his rod and reel.
"It was pretty frustrating," McClelland said. "From 10:30 on, I could make two or three casts. It was that way until the afternoon, then it wasn't a problem anymore."
McClelland tried rods with over-size guides and ones with micro guides.
"I had rods built specifically with bigger guides," he said. "But the ice forms bigger in those. I think the micro guides are better because you can wash the ice off in the water quicker."
The level-wind on baitcast reels ices over, too.
"I've actually checked into making heated rods and reels," McClelland said.
The hot, new items for ICAST 2013?
Despite freezing temperatures once again, Jason Christie's army is out in force. It'll only grow larger as the day wears on, barring some sort of meltdown by the Oklahoma pro. But, that's unlikely given his track record on Grand. Moments ago he laid into a keeper-size drum (if there is such a thing), but seeing his rod bowed was enough to elicit cheers from the crowd. He's working along a retaining wall in the mouth of Big Hollow at the moment. My boat driver, Steve Meador, says there's a long trough that runs the length of the entrance, and he's working the perimeter with an old Smithwick Rogue. Jeremy Starks was idling inside Big Hollow as we pulled up on Christie.
Hank Cherry is fishing just a few hundred yards from KVD. We never saw him yesterday, but we were told he was nearby. None of this is meant to imply that either is infringing on the other, just that the best in the world are all likely to find the same sweet spots.
We just pulled up on KVD, right where we found him yesterday. It's much calmer, much sunnier, but his navy has grown to well over 30 boats. We're told that he's already boated three bass -- you snooze, you lose.