As Parker said previously, the afternoon bite has been very tough. Roberts agrees. Parker has had most of his action early, period. He's chasing schooling fish now, which has worked for Preuett, so maybe he can find those two kicker fish he needs.
Zach Parker is moving a lot. He's not scrambling yet, but he's covering more water. "If, when you pull up and they're there, you can catch one or two pretty quickly," he said. "You've got to cover a lot of water, hit a spot then go if they aren't there." He's hitting another brush pile he and Roberts planted.
Parker's bite has slowed down a bit, but he just upgraded by a few ounces. He's got two fish that need to go, and a kicker to go with them if he wants to catch up to Preuett, who is sitting on roughly 14 pounds. Parker is looking at 8 1/2 or 9 pounds.
"It's gets tough on me in the afternoon," he said. He just made another move to a brushpile that he and Roberts planted. "This is a floater," he said, referencing the foam blocks that hold it upright.
Over the last hour, Preuett has put on a show. He's caught two in the 3-1/2-to-4-pound range to cull up to about 13-1/2 lbs. Definitely putting the pressure on Parker who has a limit for about 9 pounds I'm hearing. These fish have been schooling the last 4 days in this same area. On the final day of the national championship, Preuett and partner Jackson Blackett caught 2 of their better fish here. Since the bracket began, Preuett has relied heavily on this area, tweaking different baits until he can figure out exactly what they'll bite. He's finally dialed in.
Zach Parker boated No. 5 from a hump in front of the Ridges Resort and Marina. It's 25 feet on top surrounded by 40 to 50 feet of water around it. There are brushpiles littered across the top of the hump. At least he's got this spot to himself.
Now Parker is culling. He just landed a 2-pounder and tossed back a 14-incher, so he's looking at roughly 8 pounds.
Photo by Robert Rutherford.
Zach Parker just made a move to a brushpile that he and Roberts found in practice, but when he for here it was occupied by a Bass Tracker with two local gentleman. As Parker made his first cast, one of the guys was fighting what turned out to be a 2 1/2 pounder. "They already caught five from it," Parker said. The duo just landed another 2-pounder and they it in the well. Such are the perils of public water.
Preuett has two that will go 2-1/2 pounds each.
Parker is on a veritable tear. He just landed fish Nos. three and four, with the latter weighing 2 1/2 pounds. That gives him four fish for roughly 5 1/2 pounds.
Zach Parker is on the board. On his second cast, he dragged a 1-pound spot from his magical first spot. This place is remarkable. I've got Roberts' partner Matt Roberts with me today, and he said that he believes the spot is replenishing is because there's a major creek channel that swings nearby. Fish seem to be using it as a stopoff point in deeper water. He's sitting in 40 or so feet casting to a few boat-sized brushpiles. He's throwing a Robo Worm on a drop shot rig in the prism shad color. He's now for two in the boat for roughly two pounds.