2013 Bassmaster Classic Wild Card presented by Star Tron
Lake Okeechobee - Okeechobee, FL, Dec 5 - 7, 2013

Bassmaster Wild Card presented by Star Tron Live Blog

Baker back to Horse Island

9:46 am EST, Dec 7, 2013
Shaye Baker has left Harney Pond and moved back to the Horse Island area. Chad Morgenthaler, who entered the day in second place, is also here. Jesse Tacoronte, who was third yesterday, will probably be here at some point.
 
Baker is punching the hyacinth mats scattered among the lily pads with a 2 1/4-ounce weight and a Bitter's Bug on a 4/0 VMC heavy duty flipping hook.
 
Just about everyone in the top 12 is doing something similar. 
 
"I've got three flipping rods on the deck and that's all I'm going to be doing today," Tacoronte said this morning.
 
He's using 1- or 2-ounce weights, depending on the thickness of the mats, and primarily a Reaction Innovations Beaver. But he's also using a Gambler Cricket and a Flipper's Bait & Tackle custom made tube.
 
Morgenthaler said this morning that he's relying on a 2-ounce tungsten weight and a Missile Baits D-Bomb in either June bug or love bug colors.

A fighting chance

9:20 am EST, Dec 7, 2013
| By Ken Duke

There are 12 anglers left at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic Wild Card presented by Star Tron at Lake Okeechobee, but they're far from equal when it comes to their chances of winning. Shaye Baker's lead is nearly 6 pounds — far from insurmountable, but a pretty solid margin.

 

I figure you need to be within 10 pounds of Baker's 48-14 to have a legitimate chance of catching him today. Any further back and you have two problems — making up the gap and leapfrogging the contenders between you and the lead. Going into the final round of Elite events, no angler has ever made up a margin greater than the weight of a daily big bass — at least not in Elite competition.

 

Of course, this isn't an Elite event, so don't try telling Arnie Lane he can't eclipse the 13-9 lead Baker has over him. Arnie's going to do all he can to make that leap … and he has the experience on Okeechobee to do it, too.

Baker has four now

9:16 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Charles Alley

 

Shaye Baker has four bass in the boat now, but three of them he hopes to cull before the day is over. Baker is pitching at anything sticking out of the water. His last fish came off a single pencil reed poking a foot above the surface.
James Overstreet and I are getting a little jumpy as there is some serious duck hunting taking place on Lake Okeechobee this morning - some of the shooting isn't all that far from our boat.

Prince pulls a 3-pounder out of the thick stuff

9:11 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Rick Wilhelm

3.25-pounder for Poche

9:07 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Donnie VanDyke

Baker has a 3-pounder

8:30 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photos by Charles Alley

 

We just caught up with Shaye Baker, who has a 3-pounder in the boat. He caught it from a hyacinth mat near Horse Island, where several of the leaders have fished this week and will probably all end up there later today.

 

But Baker has moved to the Harney Pond area, his other main spot during the last two days. The 9-1 he caught on Day 1 came from here. Baker is pitching a jig to isolated patches of pencil reeds in this area. He's using a 3/4th-ounce Medlock jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer — both in black-and-blue.

 

He just landed bass No. 2 today. It weighs about 2 pounds.

Poche has third fish

8:29 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Donnie VanDyke

Sam Griffin on Lake Okeechobee

8:24 am EST, Dec 7, 2013
| By Ken Duke
 

Russ Lane has a limit

8:17 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Russ Lane brings his fifth fish to the boat.

Clouse boats another one

8:08 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Harry Holstein

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