I caught up with leader Cliff Pace and second-place angler Brandon Palaniuk shortly before takeoff this morning. Neither seemed anything other than themselves, which is saying a lot considering what's on the line today. Pressure has a way of winding you tight.
Pace is a stoic guy, and that wasn't any different this morning. He did admit that he felt a little pressure, especially given that he's fishing for a few big bites.
Palaniuk was laid back as usual, and didn't seem intimidated by the 7-pound deficit he needs to make up.
First time Classic qualifier Josh Wagy said that with the water warming up and the wind expected to blow, his expectation is that the best bites will be shallower today.
Tracy Adams said the gap between him and leader Cliff Pace makes it unlikely that he'll take the Classic trophy home to North Carolina. Accordingly, his goal is to move up "as far as I can go."
His two primary tools this week have been a Shad Rap and a brown jig with a green pumpkin trailer.
A Japanese media crew asked Mike Iaconelli to hold the Classic trophy for a photo op. He refused, stating that "It's bad luck to touch it." Reconsidering somewhat, he pressed his face up to the statuette: "But I like to smell it."
Mike McClelland has caught all of his fish this week on a SPRO McStick 110 jerkbait in the following colors -- Midnight Blue, Ghost Norman Flake and Gray Ghost. With today's expected stronger winds he'll mix in Old Glory, which has more flash.
It’s downright warm this morning at a toasty 30 degrees. The warming weather and wind has created some buzz about what might be possible today. We’ll see.
Here’s what you may have missed from last night’s weigh-in:
- Miss the weigh-in? You can watch it here.
Maine's Jonathan Carter, had a couple of big bites yesterday that struck short and pulled off on the hookset. He's saved one spot all week that he hopes can produce a few more.
Is Cliff Pace beatable? "Absolutely," Carter said. "You have to go in with the mindset that he's beatable, but it's going to be super-tough."
Hank Cherry plans to throw a jerkbait until he has 15 or 16 pounds in the livewell, "then put it up and get out my jig rod."
"I'll go fish the shallowest docks I can find," he explained. "I have about 50 of 'em and I'm going to flip every one of them."
Bob Dunn came all the way from Monterrey, California to cheer on the Classic anglers this week. He's also been giving his Mastercard a workout-- $350 yesterday and he's going back for more. Dunn's home lake is Naciemento and he believes Cliff Pace has this tournament wrapped up.