T.J., the ace photographer on our blogging team, is frustrated. It's three hours into our day and he's yet to get a decent fish catch photo. We just missed our chance when Vinson caught a good keeper as we approached him, but we were still out of lens range. We watched him fish for several minutes and then decided to look for greener grassbeds. Just as we got out of range again, Vinson caught another keeper, although it wasn't big enough to cull anything.
After a long idle, we've worked our way into a shallow, grassy pool bordered with riprap and spoil banks. Many of the top anglers are patrolling the rocks in search of largemouth. On our right is Yusuke Miyazaki, in fifth with an estimated 39 pounds or so. Dead ahead is Kelly Jordon, 48th with 24-3, according to BassTrakk. Kelly just missed a strike.
A hundred yards past Jordon, Brandon Card, last year's Rookie of the Year, and Cliff Pace, the reigning Bassmaster Classic champ, are on opposite sides of the low riprap wall. Those two are chatting about something, although the conversation is likely to be lopsided. "Game Face Pace" doesn't say much during competition, usually. Card, who's in third with 41-2 at this moment, just boated a fish, but it wasn't heavy enough to help him.
After crawling his boat over a couple of submerged logs, Pace left the premises and is heading upriver.