Even though Mark Davis has sacked more than 20 pounds of smallmouth bass for three straight days, there's no guarantee that he will catch his limit today. One of the illusions of bass tournament weigh-ins is that any Elite pro that brings a heavy sack to the scales culled through a slew of bass.
Often, exactly the opposite is true, which is the case with Davis on Erie. He, obviously, has found some giant size smallies. But, he isn't on a big school of them.
When we watched Davis yesterday, he caught two bass right off. Then he fished for 2 hours without a nibble before catching two more in a 10 minute span. When we left him at 11:30 he had just finished a limit that would go maybe17 pounds.
He caught only two more bass thereafter. Both were big enough to cull his smaller fish and boost his weight above 20 pounds.
When you consider that Davis has an 80 mile run to get to his fishing spot and an 80 mile run over rough water to get back, he does not have a world of fishing time. It is conceivable that he could fish the same spot that produced his monster bass the first three days and not catch a limit.
There are no guarantees in bass fishing.
It's 30 minutes before launch and Shaye Baker is breaking out his box of GoPros.
Day 4 of the Plano Championship Chase is going to be especially exciting. We have a tight race, and several guys who will make or break an invite to the Classic based on how they do on Sunday. Most of the leaders will be making long runs into Canadian waters, and out of cell service range. That means some of our coverage may be delayed a bit-- including the blog updates and BassTrakk. That's the price we pay when we hold tournaments in some of the best, and most remote, fisheries in the world. Know that we'll get you the news as quickly as possible.
Good luck to all 12 finalists. And fans, thank you!
Can you spot B.A.S.S. writer Don Barone? Hint: He has the best seat in the house.
J Todd Tucker swings a solid bass into the boat. From his Marshal.
Derek Remitz with a nice Lake Erie 3 pounder. Sent from his Marshal.
Photo 1: Beanbags are flying.
Photo 2: Cliff Pirch and James Niggemeyer are hanging out.
Photo 3: Free t-shirts for the fans.
Photo 4: Evan Williams is also here. I think it's time to take a break from blogging and investigate.
Caption: Chris Noffsinger with an 8-pounds-plus smallmouth.
Chris Noffsinger of Traverse City, Mich., was the boat driver for Steve Bowman and I today. As the photo above shows, Noffsinger knows a bit about catching smallmouth bass in The Great Lakes. He operates a guide service in his hometown and competes in tournaments, including this year's B.A.S.S. Northern Opens.
Noffsinger is certain his big smallmouth weighed over 8 pounds, but it wasn't weighed. There wasn't time. Four years ago this month, Noffsinger and two clients were fishing in Grand Traverse Bay. He was demonstrating how to fish a drop-shot for suspended smallmouth when he hooked this one. By the time he got it to the boat and a photo was shot, one of his clients was hooked up. So the monster smallie went back in the lake, while Noffsinger helped his client. The action would continue like that for awhile.
"We caught 53 fish in five hours, including a 7-8, a 6-8 and a 6-4 (plus the monster)," Noffsinger said.
So Noffsinger observed Aaron Martens today with an experienced eye and more than casual interest.
"It's all about the spot on the spot," Noffsinger said of Martens' methods. "Sometimes it's the spot on the spot on the spot. There's a lot of real estate out here. You've got to really know the key areas and know your electronics. He was dialed-in. I was impressed."
Yusuke Miyazaki holds up two fish, both over 3 pounds. Photos by his Marshal, George Stoneroad.
Matt Reed and Josh Bertrand are fishing right next to each other.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Ben Felton