Kevin VanDam has a limit, not four fish, as it has been showing on BASSTRAKK. His estimated weight is 11-13. We just got close enough to confirm that with VanDam and his marshal.
That doesn't mean VanDam isn't feeling some pressure right now. He's tried a little of everything to get out of this funk. In the last hour, he's thrown a jerkbait, a Red-Eye Shad and a spinnerbait in addition to flipping one shallow flat.
Now he's moved back up the lake to the point near Fisherman's Landing and he's throwing a jerkbait.
I heard several anglers say yesterday that if the wind would pick up the bite would turn on. Well, they got their wish. It's blowing at about 15 miles per hours now, with gusts of 20. We're sticking with Ike. No bite yet.
That's James Overstreet in the photo with the windblown look.
I just broke out a can of sardines in hot sauce, to add some flavor to my ham-and-swiss sub. Those things can get a bit bland without some, uh, added seasoning.
The problem began when sardine aroma wafted throughout the boat. Both photographer Darren Jacobson and boat driver Mike Elkins started puking over the side like seasick sailors.
Needless to say, I didn't need to offer them a bite of my sandwich. My breath seems to be enough to keep them at the opposite end of the boat from me. The wind picking up has been a blessing.
Bon appetite, you Yankee, non-sardine eaters.
We've moved out to the main lake where we find Bobby Lane. He's pitching to holes in the grass.
This water is really clear. And there's lots of grass. The vegetation just hasn't been a huge player this week.
Out here, the south wind is kicking it. Couple that with tons of boat traffic and we are bobbing around in waves coming from a variety of directions.
Photo by Carlos Vergara
Alton just picked up and is leaving. We quickly asked him how much he had.
He said about 11. That's a little more than what's on BassTrakk. He also said he had one over 3. We watched him catch one about 2 1/2. So he has a couple little ones. But it's our guess he's in the middle of 12 and 13. That could do it.
But I'm also guessing a lot of these guys are sandbagging on their weights a bit.
All of that promises a fun weigh-in.
Kevin VanDam has run a Z pattern down Lake Muskegon since we've been following him. First he left Bear Lake Channel and headed south across the lake to Great Lakes Marina. After jerkbaiting his way through it - to no avail - he ran back across the lake, just west of Bear Lake Channel.
KVD is flipping his way through a shallow flat that is loaded with wood structure. It's only 4 or 5 feet deep here, but he's far from the shoreline.
The wind has really picked up now. It's blowing out of the south-southwest.
VanDam is on the move again.