If nothing else, Brandon Palaniuk can say that he was unofficially leading Day Three of the 43rd Bassmaster Classic. So there’s that.
If you’re talking about winning this thing, I think Palaniuk is going to need at least 22 pounds to have a shot. That means he can only really afford to weigh-in one (maybe two) of his three pounders. I’m thinking something along the lines of 7, 5, 4, 3, 3.
Having an early limit is certainly nice – and it means he’s on to something good (Trey Reid explains what he’s doing here) – but three of his bass in his livewell can’t hit the scales tonight if he’s going to have a shot at winning.
Pace just caught a fish but it didn't even merit a quick measuring. Back in the lake. Stuck on the same weight. Tough to get a read on what's going through his head.
Iaconelli has moved across the lake and is now tossing a tiny Rapala Shad Rap to a shallow bank on the main lake. It's very similar to what Hank Cherry and Kevin VanDam were targeting the last two days. The Shad Rap just got inhaled by a 2- or 3-pounder, we couldn’t tell. Ike chased it around his Basscat then let out a holler once he got his hands on it. His flotilla erupted into cheering as well. He's alternating between the Shad Rap and a jerkbait, which he's moving rapidly. The wind is blowing right into this bank, which has been a factor in many anglers getting bit.
Pace temporarily gave us the slip, largely because we got mixed up in the whirlpool of Ike and Christie's overlapping spectator hordes. By the time we caught up with him he was on the move again, down and across the lake. He's definitely burning more gas than anyone else we've watched all week.
Jason Christie was hoping for strong winds today - the stronger, the better.
"Some of the best days I've ever had out here jerk-bait fishing where when you had to wear rubber boots because the waves were breaking over the boat," said Christie, 39, but the Grand Lake veteran of this Classic field. "It could blow 40 (mph) and it wouldn't bother me a bit."
That's not happening, and it's not going to happen today, according to the latest forecast, which shows the wind topping at just less than 15 mph around noon and holding steady from the SSE the rest of the tournament day.
Even if that forecast changes, Christie is disappointed in today's weather. Grove, Okla., reported 5 mph winds from the east at 9 a.m.
"We need wind at 7 o'clock," Christie said Saturday. "We need wind in the morning or it's not going to help that much."
Palaniuk moved to his second area, another shallow flat near the mouth of Carey Bay, and promptly put his fifth fish in the boat. It's a 3-pounder, which makes a roughly 14-pound limit at 9:15 a.m.
This one took the Wiggle Wart, too. Palaniuk hung the bait on a rock two casts in a row.
The second time, he shook it loose, and the fish smacked it. He said this fish took the bait a lot deeper than the previous three Wiggle Wart fis
If gas prices spike in the Tulsa area, blame the Bassmaster Classic. We're in Horse Creek, which is pretty small, but somehow we've managd to cram 50 boats in here, including a police bay boat and a 40-foot cabin cruiser which was blaring '90s rap tunes not too long ago. There's been a nonstop line of boats running full tilt south from us, and we can't see the end of the line. There are some fossil fuels being burnt this weekend. The boat traffic problem is one that compounds itself. If there's a giant cluster of boats, it attracts more boats. It's like a big stinky pile of garbage; you get flies, more flies, and then even more flies, then coons and other critters. As I've typed this, 23 more boats have peeled off the string heading south and are now watching Ike. It's a zoo.
Brandon Palaniuk abruptly turned around his boat a few seconds ago when he saw a flock of gulls swarming the water at one end of the stretch he's fishing.
"There's only one reason they're there, and that's to eat," he said. "And I don't think there are any bread crumbs in the water."
Saltwater tactics work in freshwater too, but this time the mv didn't result in any fish.
We got sidetracked for a moment, but eventually relocated Pace. He's back in a creek, past a bridge with lettering that read "Welcome to Arkansa." Previously he fished flatter banks but now he's working bluff wall ends.