When you're fishing for a Triton/Murcury Lowrance package valued at just under $50,000, it's easy to get caught up in the competition and miss the experience, but the co-anglers in the Pride of Georgia presented by Evan Williams Bourbon were reminded Friday of why they are there.
Mike Frazier, a member of the "Dirty Dozen" who drive the final-day boats across the country and fish the co-angler side, couldn't get a bite on Clarks Hill Lake for most of the morning on Firday, but his partner, Bill Smith, came to his aide.
"I was a nice guy today and gave my partner a bait after I had caught my five," Smith said. "I told him to throw [toward an area] and he caught a four-pounder. He asked if I had any more baits and I told him they were getting expensive."
Frazier caught 11 pounds, 13 ounces by the end of Friday and sits in 10th place with a two-day total of 16-8.
"He had very few [of the bait] of the left," Frazier said. "There in about 20 minutes, we caught about 20 pounds in one spot with that bait."
Fishing out of the back of the boat puts the co-angler at the mercy of pro for style and location for the day.
William Todd, who sits in sixth with 18-10, said he ended up fishing a pattern that he wasn't prepared to fish, but again, his pro came through with the necessary bait.
"All the pros are really good," Todd said. "If they have a lure that's working and they already have a limit, they'll always help you out. He gave me a bait and showed me how to rig it."
Dave Elder (2nd, 20-14) was fishing off the back of Guy Eaker's boat on Day Two and watched Eaker catch over 18 pounds.
"He's a legend and he really taught me a lot today," said Elder, who caught 14-10 along side Eaker. "Part of the reason we come as co-anglers is to learn, and when you get a chance to learn from a guy who has 30 years of experience, it makes it all worth it."
Elder said he took the lead from Eaker and caught all his fish on a spinnerbait.
"We caught seven limits of fish today," Elder said. "He caught five and I caught two. It was a pretty incredible day."
Elder sits two ounces behind leader Joel Etheredge, who led the top-50 cut with 21 pounds. Jon Stringfield squeaked in the bottom of the cut with 9-10. The co-anglers were checking the board at the conclusion of the weigh-in to see who they would be fishing with on Saturday, the last day of the competition.
"You can't make any plans until you see who you're fishing with," said James Lee, who sits in fourth, 1-1 out of the lead. "I hope I get somebody who is jumping points, and I'll see if I can catch a few fish behind them."
Editor's Note: Sunday, April 22nd, ESPNOutdoors.com will be having LIVE Video coverage of the Pride of Georgia, presented by Evan Williams Bourbon throughout the entire day. Check in at 6:15 AM ET for The Launch: LIVE! and see your favorite BASS Anglers take off for the day of competition. Check back at 10:00 AM, Noon, and 2:00 PM ET for Live video updates from the event with Bassmaster TV hosts Mark Zona, Tommy Sanders, and Jerry McKinnis. Elite Series: Hooked Up - the Bassmaster Elite Series Final Day pregame show begins at 3:00 PM ET, followed immediately by the Final Day Bassmaster Elite Series weigh-in and see who wins the $100, 000 prize!