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

Russ Lane with third keeper

8:05 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Russ Lane prepares to swing his third keeper on board!

Cliff Prince reels in his second fish

7:45 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Photo by Rick Wilhelm

Keith Poche boats a 3-pound largemouth

7:39 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Prince's Day 3 begins

7:37 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Cliff Prince is sitting in 12th place as the sun rises on Okeechobee.

Clouse starts out the day

7:33 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

Gary Clouse kicks off Day 3 in fifth place.

Another clear, calm day on the Big O

7:13 am EST, Dec 7, 2013

This mosquito was filled with Steve Wright's blood when it got smashed on a paper towel. Photo: Steve Wright

 

The final day of the Bassmaster Wild Card presented by Star Tron dawned just like the previous two — clear skies, calm winds and a blood-sucking herd of mosquitoes.

 

Shaye Baker, who leads this tournament by almost six pounds, said he finally got some sleep last night. There were no mosquitoes in the back of his truck, so he got a solid six hours of shut-eye. He's rested and ready.

 

"I think 17 pounds will give me a shot to win," Baker said. "Twenty would do it, and 25 would put it away."

 

The original 49-angler field has been cut to the Top 12, but there are some local tournaments going on today, so the fishing pressure won't slack off.

 

"I think it will hurt everybody evenly," Baker said, "so I'm not really worried about that."

Off the water

12:51 pm EST, Dec 6, 2013
James Overstreet and I are off the water, preparing for what will be an interesting weigh-in. The 49-angler field will be cut to the top 12 today. But this event is all about first place and the wild card entry into the Bassmaster Classic.
 
In other words, there will probably be some guys that make the 12-cut who have little or no chance of catching the leaders after today. Shaye Baker has already made certain of that with the 16 or 17 pounds he caught before we left him. That would give him a two-day total of over 45 pounds.
 
But five other anglers had 20-plus pounds yesterday, so they'll probably still be in the hunt. And it's Lake Okeechobee, so someone else could bust a 30-pound sack today and move into the thick of it.
 
We'll see, beginning at 3 p.m.

Weedy problems

11:50 am EST, Dec 6, 2013
| By Ken Duke

One recurring lament in the weigh-in line yesterday was that the state is spraying hyacinths and other vegetation on Okeechobee right now. It's a necessary process if certain potentially devastating weeds are going to be kept under control, but if you've found good bass in a spot that suddenly gets sprayed, you'll need to be looking for new water almost immediately. The herbicides are fast-acting and start killing the vegetation right away. In a day (sometimes less), the bass will evacuate those areas and find other vegetation to use as their home. Jeff Holland (competing here this week) wrote a great story on this for Bassmaster.com. I hope you'll check it out.

Something fast to go along with pitching and punching

11:11 am EST, Dec 6, 2013
| By Ken Duke

Just about everyone is flippin', pitching and punching here this week, but most have another technique they're using too, to cover a little water and fish a little faster between their flips, pitches and punches. For some, that technique is buzzing a Zoom Horny Toad or Gambler Cane Toad. For others it's swimming a Zoom Speed Worm or Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper through the sparse grass. Everyone seems to be doing about the same thing … just in slightly different places.

Baker culls again

10:45 am EST, Dec 6, 2013
Shaye Baker just pulled three pounds of bass and five pounds of water hyacinths into the boat. The bass helped him cull up another pound or so.
 
Jesse Tecoronte, fishing nearby, says he's got about 16 pounds today. Baker thinks he's got about 16 or 17 pounds now.

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