There has been a quick break in the rain, so I'll be as snappy as possible.
Aaron Martens, our Day 2 leader, is still in a little alcove upriver from the launch. He's working methodically, looks as if maybe he's drop shotting. He hasn't moved much since we first came upon him almost two hours ago.
One brave pair of guys in a spectator boat appear to have stayed with him during the just-passed deluge.
We'll try to ease up on Aaron and see how this morning's bite is treating him.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary "conflict" that entrapped Palaniuk yesterday presents numerous challenges for the Elite anglers.
"It's screwy," said Chris Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion from Guntersville, Ala. He said that during last year's Mississippi River Rumble he gambled on catching 3-pounders on Day 3 in hopes of making the final cut.
Since Minnesota regulations require that you keep, not cull, any bass you commit to the livewell, Lane released several bass weighing 2 1/2 pounds or thereabouts. The 3-pounders never bit, and he only weighed two bass.
"That dropped me from the teens into the 40s," he said. "That really hurt me."
The rain and lightning has been pretty bad for the past 15 minutes, but it looks like it's going to clear out soon. We're still situated underneath this interstate bridge, but it appears we'll be able to get back on the anglers soon. It literally was so dark a while ago that we couldn't shoot pictures. As I'm typing, more bad lightning just struck behind us. Kind of scary stuff.
Biffle spends several minutes working over a short stretch of bank cover. Either it looks especially promising to him or he may have caught one their yesterday.
He swings and misses, readjusts his bait and pitches back to the bass. He sets the hook again and hauls aboard keeper number two.
It's another solid bass, 2 1/2 to 3 pounds. Biffle soon adds a keeper to his box and tosses back a wayward pike. Now he' dealing with a dogfish.
Biffle must be frustrated.
Josh Bertrand keeps an eye to the sky as the storm moves overhead.
Photo by Eric Johnston
Casey Ashley makes a cast as the storm clouds roll in.
A wall of rain overtook us from upriver so we decided to seek refuge from the rain and lightning under the I-90 bridge nearby. Tucker and Kennedy are vacating the premises, too, but they're seeking bites, not a place out of the elements.
Kennedy is 43rd and Tucker 48th, so they're hoping to upgrade their Toyota Angler of the Year standings with good limits of fish. Making the final 12 is a very long shot for them.
Biffle works down the bank at warp speed for the pitching tactic. One quick pitch every 10 feet or so to any piece of cover.
He stops and gives an especially inviting overhang several pitches. Nobody home.
It's growing darker by the minute. Rain is beginning to fall. Time to zip up that rain gear.
There's the first lightning strike in awhile. Too close for comfort.