We stayed on Aaron Martens for the better part of half hour, but the sky has gone black and there is some really bad lightning in the area. We've sought refuge under an interstate bridge about a quarter mile from where he was fishing.
The first words out of everyone's mouth at the launch this morning weren't "good morning," but something like, "do you believe that?"
They are referring of course to Brandon Palaniuk's plight.
Right now I'm watching one of the anglers I talked to earlier, Steve Kennedy of Auburn, Ala. He said he had stopped to fish Palaniuk's point yesterday but skipped it when he saw Palaniuk fishing it.
"I thought it was in Wisconsin," Kennedy said. "It's on the west side of the channel."
With the former front runner out of competition, Kennedy is fishing it now. He just fought a 2 1/4-pounder to the boat -- and lost it. "That hurt!" he exclaimed.
At the tip of the point 50 yards farther upstream, J Todd Tucker just boated a big fish. It must not have been a bass, though, because he summarily tossed it back.
Photo by Austin Hopfensperger
The delayed start yesterday cost every Elite pro serious fishing time. It was especially costly to those who locked threw to another pool.
We are still looking for Biffle. The wet stuff has stopped, but more rain is coming.
Ace photographer James Overstreet and I have just motored up river from the Clinton Street Launch. We are following Aaron Martens, who is in first place in this tournament. There are seven spectator boats following Aaron Martens, not including ours. He's attracting a crowd this morning.The weather has been threatening all morning, but it's let up right now. We have seen a few lightning strikes in the sky, not too distant from where we are. It's6:40 a.m., but very dark out.
We'll stay on Aaron and see if his good luck continues into Day 3 of the Mississippi River Rumble.
For the second consequtive morning my wakeup call at the hotel was thunder and lightning. However, a lull in the storm allowed the Elite pros to take off on time.
I'm sharing a boat again with photographer Darren Jacobson and boat driver Brandon Meisner. The talk at the ramp this morning is about the disqualification of Brandon Palaniuk. What a heartbreaker. I'm sure that his rule violation was inadvertent.
We're on the water now looking for Tommy Biffle who is high on the leaderboard. So far he has eluded us.
Shaw Grigsby is ready to roll on Day Three. No banana curse on this boat.
Photo by Bill Heller.