Ask, and you shall receive.
After not seeing many boaters for the better part of an hour, we've happened upon Brandon Palaniuk. He's fishing near the launch.
Brandon is fishing on the western side of the Mississippi. He's throwing a moving bait and has two spectator boats with him. We're going to try to get a bit closer and find out how he's doing today.
We've been all along the 12-mile stretch between Stoddard Bay and the launch and honestly, we haven't seen many anglers. At least any that are set up in one space, anyway.
We did see Todd Faircloth, the reigning champ in this event. He was set up in an area that was thick with vegetation, not far from where he won this tournament last year.
We'll keep hunting to see who we can find.
Less than half a mile across Stoddard Bay we found Steve Kennedy, Rick Morris and Greg Vinson. They are fishing along a roadside levee on the Wisconsin side of the river.
The trio is working methodically along the bank, but no keepers since we got here. A huge locomotive just rumbled by, disrupting the silence.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Chad Haabala
Slow start for Edwin Evers. A few bites but short strikes on a topwater haven't yielded any keepers. In his first stop he commented, "I never would have believed I would have made it this far around this pond without catching 15 pounds." An intrusion of carp and a cool morning may be to blame. Either way we're on the move.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Steven Tolly.
Bill Lowen reports he has a limit, but he's not sure how much it weighs. From the look of things, the majority of fish we're seeing are in the two-pound range, at least at this spot.
FYI, this is the same general area where Todd Faircloth won this event last year.
We moved about a half mile down Stoddard Bay and found Bill Lowen, Bradley Roy and Takahiro Omori. They are fishing on the Minnesota side of the river around some rock structures that are just off the Mississippi River main channel. Tak is throwing a frog, which a lot of anglers said would be key to winning this event. Lowen is flipping.
It's been a mixture of topwaters, small jigs and flipping that we can see so far.
No action since we've been here, but we'll stick around for a bit. There a few other boats within eye shot, so we'll try to sneak up on them too.
Change that-- Tak just went to a blade bait, it seems, and he just boated what appeared to be a two and a half pounder. Lowen followed with a fish about the same weight.