2013 Elite Series Ramada Quest Bull Shoals Lake - Bull Shoals, AR, Apr 19 - 22, 2013

2013 Ramada Quest Live Blog

Following the Big Show

7:00 am CDT, Apr 22, 2013 |

We've been on Terry Scroggins. He's about 2 minutes from the take off. He's his usual jovial self.

 

He's waiting on "Big Red," or in Scroggenese, he's waiting on the sun to start working his magic.

 

In just the last couple minutes he's boated two smallmouth. One kept at 1 1/2 pounds, the other went back in the drink.
 

It's anyone's tourney

6:19 am CDT, Apr 22, 2013 |

This will be an interesting day on several fronts. There's 1-pound separating the top three; 5-pounds separating the top 10 and just 6 between the whole lot of them.

It's pretty much anyone's tourney to take. Casey Scanlon has the lead and the best shot at that. But anyone down the line that catches one of those big females could win.

 

Thing is, if that were going to happen, there is no more likely time than right now.

Thursday's cold front set everything back, since then things have been progressively getting better. It's on the verge of blowing up.

 

That means all these anglers should have a great day of fishing. It also means anything can happen.

 

One of the more telling omissions from this event is the lack of that 6-pounds or better fish. Not a single one has made it to the weigh in, which is unusual.

 

This lake has it's share of lunkers. But since the weather moved in they've been hiding. If they start showing up, it could get exciting real quick.

Swindle running and gunning

2:36 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |

You've got to be in a hurry to get the big motor shut down, take off a life jacket and get to the bow-mounted trolling motor before the boat settles on the water. But that's exactly what Gerald Swindle did in this photo captured by James Overstreet today.

 
About two minutes later, Swindle was reeling in a keeper. About five minutes after that, he went flying out of this area to another spot.
 
That running-and-gunning style appears to be working for him. Swindle moved up in the standings Saturday, and it looks like he's having another good day.

Easy limits/smaller bass

2:32 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |

The combination of relative easy limits and relatively small bass has a rather unexpected effect on a bass tournament. It makes comebacks difficult. 

 

You might look at the standings after today’s weigh-in and see half a dozen guys within just a couple of pounds of the lead. Your instinct might be to think that it’s anyone’s game — that anyone within a few pounds could easily make up the gap and win. 

 

That instinct is wrong. What actually happens is that just about everyone has a limit, but they’re small. The result: There’s not much movement on the leaderboard. 

 

For the anglers hoping to win this one, they need to be in the top three — maybe four — places, and they need to be very close in terms of weight. The leader after three has a big advantage. Don’t kid yourself — it is far, far better to be the hunted (the leader) than the hunter (the challenger) in a bass tournament ... always!

 

Don’t believe me? Only once in three years has an angler not ranked first or second going into the final won the tournament. You have to go back to the 2011 event on West Point Lake to find such a tournament. There, Steve Kennedy was fourth going into the finals and came on to win.

Bull Shoals bass hard to figure

2:21 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |

 

Britt Myers would have put good money against his marshal's estimated weight of a bass Myers caught Saturday, and he would have lost.
 
"I caught one yesterday and my marshal, who fishes here, said it was 4 1/2 pounds," Myers recalled. "I said 3 1/2 all day long. It weighed 4 1/2."
 
BASSTrakk relies on educated estimates when reporting the Elite Series anglers' catches. Some are mored educated about local fisheries than the pros are.
 
"The fish are built different here," Myers said Sunday, after putting two bass on a balance beam, so he could cull the small one. "The bodies are thicker and the heads look smaller."

Bradley Roy has a limit

2:04 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |
By

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Chad Doerr

Prince adds a 3-pounder

2:01 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |
By

Cliff Prince adding a solid 3-pound smallmouth to his five-fish limit. (Photo by marshal Scott Zarinelli)

Snowden fishing open flat

2:01 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |

Brian Snowden is in the middle of a wide bay. B.J., our boat driver, says that this is a major spawning area. Snowden looks to be fishing in 10 to 15 feet of water. He appears to be dragging a Carolina Rig slowly over the bottom.

 

He claims to be doing worse than yesterday with only 11 1/2 pounds. I'm surprised that many of the pros aren't catching heavier bass today. Maybe tomorrow they'll start showing up.

Prince lands largemouth

1:58 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |
By

Cliff Prince catching a nice largemouth. (Picture by Scott Zarinelli)

Tietje struggling today

1:56 pm CDT, Apr 21, 2013 |

After weighing 13-11 and moving up from 30th place Friday to 13th with 26-8, Dennis Tietje said on stage Saturday, "I figured it out, I think."

 
Tietje looked as lost as a bastard cat when we tracked him down Sunday.
 
"I don't have a fish," he said, around noon. "Caught four or five shorts. Missed four or five.
 
"Unbelievable."
 
He did catch a keeper after we'd followed him for awhile, but Tietje is obviously doing some rethinking on Day Three.

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