Snyder and I retrieve Jacobson from Zaldain's boat. I learn that Zaldain was not culling when he caught his last bass. It was only No. 3. My bad.
And, he's not catching his bass on a shaky head as I had speculated. He's fishing a Strike King Shim-E-Stick rigged Texas style on a Gamakasu hook with 8-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon line.
We're back in the creek were we started. Snyder mentions that the water has more color than yesterday. He looks to be right. It is a dark, drizzly, chilly day.
Jacobson gets in Zaldain's boat to shoot some closeup photos. Zaldain moves to another bank. Snyder tells me this bank is steep and rocky under the many overhanging branches.
Zaldain promptly hooks and lands a 2-pound bass on a shaky head worm. Jacobson catches all the action. To my amazement, Zaldain pulls out his balance beam and culls. This guy is steamrollin'.
He was in 11th place yesterday. I'd say Zaldain is a lock for the top 12.
We leave the creek where Reese, Dove and Zaldain are fishing. There are fewer pros there now than there were yesterday afternoon. More of them may show up later.
"Palaniuk will be in here this afternoon," Reese said as we were leaving.
We boat to a bridge that some of the pros were fishing yesterday. No one is home, but we can see a roostertail heading our way. It's Fletcher Shryock.
He pulls up to the riprap on one side of the bridge and works it over with a crankbait.
"It's a different day," he says. "I'm flying by the seat of my pants."
He swipes and misses. We leave him ti search for more pros. We might check on him later. He was in 21st place after yesterday's weigh-in. He's well within range of the top 12.
Shryock is a fellow Buckeye. I'm not pulling for him.
Kevin Short lands his first keeper. It's small, 12 inches and 1 pound, but at least he's in the books!
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Ryan Norton
We've been running around the lower end of the lake looking for Aaron Martens, which is harder than it sounds.
The rainy, dark conditions, combined with the myriad of small creeks and coves, allow this lake to swallow up anglers.
We finally saw the tell-tale signs of two Power Poles sticking up and made our way to the boat.
From a distance I could see an "Advance" wrap that Davy Hite has on his boat. We shut down and quietly snuck up on him, hoping to not spook his fish. He was bundled up in a rain suit and casting away. After several minutes we were close enough to ask "Davy, how many do you have?"
The reply was shocking: "I ain't Davy."
A little flabbergasted, I said, "Well, that's Davy's boat."
"Used to be," came the reply. "I bought it from him last year."
What are the chances?
I asked the guy why he picked today to fish in the rain. He said, "The morons in my club decided to fish against the big boys."
To that point, the club angler had a 5-pound spot in his well.
We're off to find an Elite.
Kevin Short is fishing back in a little cove. An area where he caught fish yesterday. No bites yet today. It's raining fairly steady now, not a lot of wind, air temp 57, water temp 66. Kevin says the water temp has been dropping all week, which is hurting the fishing.
"The fish aren't on top, not on the bottom, just hanging out in the middle not doing much."
He's switching baits fairly regularly and throwing a crankbait at the moment.
Casey Ashley just put his second keeper spotted bass in the boat. It was bigger than the first one.
It's raining pretty steadily now and the wind is picking up, making it difficult to keep an umbrella over this iPad. I hope we've got good insurance on this thing.