Pete has moved again into the back of another creek throwing his popper. He said he will make one more run back upriver to where he started this morning.
We just watched Reese working on a bed for 30 minutes. He switched baits several times, was up and down several times digging out different baits and rods. He fished standing up. He fished squatting down. He swung and missed a half dozen times.
He let out a hoot when the bass nearly bit but didn't. He uttered things at the bass that were not for the ears of the spectator boats clustered too closely about him.
Snyder and I jockeyed the boat for the best camera angle without getting too close. Finally, Reese's bright yellow rod bows deeply when be sets the hook. The crowd cheers as he grips the bass and hauls it aboard. The bass looks to be pushing 4 pounds.
Loud cheering makes me look up and grab my camera. I find Reese in my lens as he rips in a 5-pounder. His scream echoes throughout the creek along with the crowd noise.
We've been watching Hank Cherry demonstrate the fine art of skipping a lure under boat docks. James Overstreet, who has a lot more experience watching Elite Series anglers than I do, thinks Cherry ranks among the best he's seen.
There's not much air space under some of these floating docks, but Cherry can skip a jig from the front to the back of every dock he targets.
While the technique has been top-rank, the results have been nada. Cherry seems to be as relaxed as anyone can be in this situation, but you know he's feeling pressure.
It's one thing to need a big one to top off a limit. But Cherry has the big one, and can't find anymore keepers.
Biffle is on the move again. He left Potato Creek, ran downriver through a flotilla of debris. Then ran into three backwater lakes all the way to the back, made a 180-degree turn and then back out.
He was obviously looking for cleaner water. We've now pulled into a sizable area where the water is as clean as I've seen it all day.
He's in the back with his flipping stick in hand. It's obvious he realizes that he's letting this one slip away.
I doubt he's looked at BASSTrakk, but he's only two solid bites away from being back on top.
James Overstreet is the male version of the old saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
"Mama" was mad at me after he got hungry this morning, then discovered I'd bought him an egg salad sandwich instead of a tuna salad sandwich in the convenience store, where we stopped to gas up on the way to the takeoff.
Egg salad, tuna salad — what's the difference when you're rolling the dice on food poisoning like that?
"Egg salad!" Overstreet said. "I HATE that s*#t."
Luckily for me, Overstreet had some buddies around to remedy a bad situation. When I was blogging under the 109 bridge yesterday, Overstreet met some guys who were following the pros in the downpour — Jerry Thomas, Todd Culpepper and his 13-year-old son, Cal, and Cal's friend, Evan Burton, 14.
I had a big Cuban sandwich that I was getting ready to split, so Overstreet would quit complaining, when Culpepper offered him a homemade chicken salad sandwich.
"Mama" is happy again, thank goodness.
In the top photo, Cal Culpepper hands James Overstreet a sandwich, with Todd Culpepper's approval.
In the second photo, from left, are Evan Burton, Jerry Thomas, Cal Culpepper and Todd Culpepper. They have been following the Elite Series pros through rain or shine the last two days.
What you're looking at is a RiverPro jet boat made for navigating shallow water. Owner Danny LaVoie of Snake Creek, GA says it can run in about 3 inches of water. It has no prop, instead pushing air out the back much like a jet ski. It has an Optimax 200 inboard engine. In the photo the engine compartment is open. High speed is about 50 miles an hour. The hull is made of thick aluminum, with a coating.
We're sitting with Danny and his buddies in Potato Creek. It is shallow with lots of underwater timber. Perfect for a shallow water boat.
Biffle has taken up residence in Potato Creek. Most of the morning he's been chunking and winding a spinnerbait with an occasional buzzbait or jig mixed in.
But now he's settled down in his trademark flipping stance. He's working a bank meticulously plying every piece of cover. Still no bites. But at least he looks comfortable.
Biffle has given up on the muddy water and is now down river a few miles in a backwater lake.
The clarity here is much better and the water temp is 63. Where it was dirty and cold up river, this is more stained. The water conditions are much better, we will see if the fishing is better.
I've abandoned Faircloth and have found Reese in Perch Creek, known locally as Highland, which is the name of the marina here. Of course, now that I've left Faircloth he's probably smashing them.
Reese has spent some time in Perch Creek every day. Right now he's fishing slowly down the bank working what looks to be a sinking worm. He had his Power-Poles down for a few minutes but didn't stay there long.
Six spectator boats are around him. Youngsters are jumping into the water from a dock across the narrow creek. Hard to the believe given the cold morning and the miserable weather yesterday. The kids are splashing and screaming and having a big time. They are too far from Reese to hinder his fishing.