Tharp moved again, to another flat just off the river channel. We can't tell if this is part of his plan or if he's in scramble mode. This is the type of spot I'd assumed would be unfishable due to boat traffic, but spectator traffic is far from overwhelming.
Jordan Lee just put his second and third bass in the livewell. Another 3 and a 4, both caught up shallow.
Paul Mueller lands a fish that would cull him up a half pound.
Steadily, Mueller’s crowd grows. Tharp just made a move, and we’ve picked up some of his boats. More and more are crowding into his spot, unbeknownst to them. However, the crowd is policing itself, telling errant boats to move. Mueller’s picked up a jerkbait and is twitching it along, showing the fish something different. Being a coldwater specialist, Mueller is likely pretty handy with the long, slender twitchbaits.
As soon as I pressed "send" on that last entry, Tharp put on his life vest and moved a short way to a spot we did not see him fish yesterday. It appears to be a flat on the edge of the river channel, the first place these fish would move up after leaving their wintering places.
Edwin Evers picked up and moved about 200 yards, near the back of this creek, and immediately landed a 2-pounder. He caught this one flipping a laydown. He landed a short fish about two casts later. Still looking for that fifth fish.
As what seems to be a long dry spell continues for Tharp, he's gradually losing spectator boats. They're peeling away, one by one. That could make the dry spell more mentally draining. On the other hand, fewer whirring trolling motors might also loosen up the bite.
We've speculated that this is his "limit sport." We'll see how long he sticks it out, or whether he'll bail earlier than expected.
Jordan punched up another bass, but this one won't help. It was just short and went back in the water. He said he didn't start fishing shallow yesterday until after noon, but with two caught already this morning, this bite may be good all day.
Jordan Lee entered this Classic with the burden of being considered the College BASS angler with the best chance to do well here. Granted, that's a short list. College BASS qualifiers were added only three years ago.
Lee left Day One disappointed - in 40th place with 4 fish weighing 13-7.
But knowing the lake as well as the Auburn, Ala., native does fueled his 21-11 comeback Saturday and moved him up to 14th place. Lee knows what a late-winter warm rain can do to the bass in Guntersville. So he put four flipping sticks on the deck Saturday and went to the bank.
"I was catching 'em in a foot of water," Lee said.
His catches included Saturday's big bass of 8 pounds, 8 ounces. And, naturally, Lee is back punching shallow grass again today.