Randy Heaven, Mid-Oklahoma Bassmaster volunteer, hands another bag of fish to the BASS staff on the Shimano Live Release Boat.
Trevor Yates, 2013 Junior Bassmaster National Champion, helps with the bag line at the Bass Pro Shops Open on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Trevor's dad, Todd Yates, helps anglers with their bags of bass.
Looks like we dodged a bullet with the weather. To our south is a steady stream of heavy rain moving across western Arkansas.
We started up north without any luck. No boats led us back south down the Arkansas River. And we kept going. And going. Looks like a lot of boats locked through, just like last year’s winner Chris Jones.
Who did not is Tommy Biffle. He’s got four keepers in the livewell. That’s of no surprise and to be expected. The other given is the technique. He’s flipping and pitching along a gnarly stretch of isolated lay downs lodged on sandbars adjacent to the channel.
His co-angler will get a great experience today. This morning I met him on the elevator with his mom. He’s 16-year-old Dillion Smith, fishing his first ever B.A.S.S. event. It was special for me because I remember my first experience too. I was his age. I hope he does better than I did.
Video: "Fletcher Shryock - Impossible is Nothing"
West Michigan pro Ben Nielsen is hoping to catch more fish like this one in today's finals of the Bassmaster Northern Open on Lake St. Clair. Photo by co-angler Ed Dyer
We’ve left Joe Balog. Fate unknown. Meanwhile, fourth-place angler Ben Nielsen is not a happy camper. He’s got a smallmouth in the livewell. But around him is a charter boat, and the clients are dunking live bait in the lake. And they are catching fish too.
That’s how it goes in this game, of course.
Lots of unknowns developing out here. Such as Fletcher Shryock. Yesterday said he’s going for broke on Lake Erie. The wind has spun the compass dial from the southwest to the northwest. He told me that northeast is best. It’s indeed a new day on Lake Erie when compared to the weather from the previous days. And then we have the rest of the bunch. Many stayed here in Lake St. Clair.
Needless to say, the final weigh-in could be interesting at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Auburn Hills.
Georgia pro Wil Hardy found out that giant catfish like this one will also bite an umbrella rig on Lake St. Clair. Photo by co-angler Ed Dyer