Mass exodus as the other boats realize that the leaders are fishing in this area. A great show of sportsmanship as these other teams don't want to encroach on the team with the lead. There's no written rule saying that other anglers can't fish in the same areas as the leaders, but it's something that's frowned upon by most. An unwritten rule if you will that questions the integrity of other anglers. Impressive to see three teams pick up the trolling motor and bow out at this level of competition, some of which did very well yesterday. These anglers aren't giving up, however, just moving on to other water.
And they’re off! After a 35-minute delay, the teams are on Lake Chatuge and fishing. A lot of what was reported yesterday was an afternoon bite, so it’s unlikely that losing that little bit of time hurt anyone. The topwater bite that a lot of teams were banking on yesterday was nearly nonexistent, and wasn’t a factor in come weigh-in time.
Day Two of the Carhartt Bassmaster College Championship is under a fog delay due to the blanket that's currently surrounding the take-off and immediate area. It's burning off rather quickly, though, so tournament director Hank Weldon doesn't expect the delay to last much longer.
We just caught up with Auburn's Jordan Lee and Shane Powell. They guess they're sitting on 10 pounds or so, which seems to be pretty fair, based on our limited intel. Chandler Ray told me that Jordan's motor blew two days ago and mama Lee drove brother Matt's boat up from Alabama. Matt is in his Carhartt-wrapped Triton/Mercury. That's family love right there, folks.
Young Harris' Peeler and Rutherford just added a 3-pounder to their livewell, giving them between 12 and 13 pounds. Chandler Ray says that the fishing is tough because the pair is targeting brushpiles, something they rarely do, except when it's tough.
We've pulled up on the local favorites, Young Harris College's Matthew Peeler and Brad Rutherford. They've got five fish for 10 or so pounds. The duo is so well known that there's a group of locals following them, watching. They're working main-lake points and other offshore structure. Two of their fish are good, but the other three are reported to be babies. My boat driver says that if the team makes it to the All-Star week Classic Bracket competition, Peeler may have to sit it out because he's got a "real job" and getting a week off for this event was a chore.
UNC Charlotte's Shane Lehew and Eric Self are bouncing all over the eastern arm of Chatuge and currently have two fish for about 3 pounds. They're throwing a perennial north Georgia favorite, a Fish Head Spin.
Western Illinois' Jackson Grabeel and Joseph Reilly just caught three fish in two casts. Two were hung on the same Sebile Magic Swimmer, then a few casts later another keeper ate a drop shot. They're milking a small offshore spot and keeping a close eye on their electronics. They guess they've got roughly 8 pounds in the livewell at the moment.