LUCAS, KY --- Storms are on the way to Barren River Lake.
As competitors blasted off under overcast skies, with just a hint of the sun in the east, they knew that their time on the water would be limited by weather for Day Three of the Southern Divisional presented by Yamaha and Skeeter. Because of approaching bad weather, the weigh-in was moved up to 12:15 p.m. (local CT) from 2 p.m.
Rain chance today is 100 percent, with the first round of storms predicted to move in by late morning and the worst coming in early afternoon. Winds are expected to gust up to 29 miles per hour.
Still, winds were light at 6 a.m., air temperature was nearly 15 degrees warmer than on previous mornings, and competitors from seven states were hopeful that they could experience a fast and furious bite ahead of the front.
"They were really catching them before the last storms (Monday night and early Tuesday)," Tournament Manager Jon Stewart told the weigh-in crowd on Thursday afternoon. "That could happen again."
Anthony Roy, Kentucky B.A.S.S. Federation Nation president, agreed. "We could see even more of those bags like those two we saw today," he said.
South Carolina's Jeff Green and Florida's Bob Grosso brought in the tournament's first two 20-pound sacks on Thursday, as 11 anglers bagged limits on a mostly sunny day, when the water level finally began to stabilize. By contrast, just four managed limits on Wednesday, as the water raised nearly 4 feet and bass spread out into newly flooded shoreline cover.
Green, who checked in with 20-3, wasn't as optimistic as some about fishing in front of the storm. "It will be hit or miss," said the angler who also brought in big bass of Day Two at 7-5.
But Kentucky's Rick Craft was hopeful. "It will be a better bite tomorrow," he said during Thursday weigh-in. "I figured 'em out this afternoon."
Jamie Horton, who leads the Alabama team, isn't as worried about the bite as he is about boating the biters. Of the 6-pounder that he caught on Day Two, he said, "I was fortunate to get it out of there. You're going to lose some fish back in those sticks."
Although most anglers aren't talking, Horton did reveal that he caught his big bass on a jig, and general consensus among those who know Barren River Lake is that most are throwing jigs and soft plastics into the brush.