ZAPATA, Texas — Aaron Martens and Byron Velvick lead five anglers on pace to break the BASS record for total tournament weight, as they plunder Falcon Lake in the Lone Star Shootout presented by Longhorn.
Meanwhile, the lucky co-angler who drew Martens on Day One and Velvick on Day Two has a chance to make history himself. With a two-day total of 57 pounds, 14 ounces, Randall Jackson is carrying a 12-8 lead over second-place Russell Lohman — and with just a 14-12 sack on Day Three would break the co-angler catch record, set last year by Jim White on California's Clear Lake.
"About as good a chance as I'm ever gonna get, isn't it?" said Jackson, of Broken Arrow, Okla.
Jackson has made the most of a draw that literally could not have been better over two days. Not only did he fish with the two strongest anglers in the field thus far, he was able to fish the same patch of water both days, a 200-or-so-yard area that Velvick and Martens have been sharing.
And they're definitely on fish. Velvick said the key point in that stretch is what he believes is an old house foundation — "the little pueblo under water" — that he caught much of his 41-11 from on Day Two.
So far, Jackson has ridden with pros who have caught a combined 83-11 in the two days he has been on their boats. To put that output in perspective, the BASS pro record for a three-day tournament, held by Velvick, is 83-5.
While Jackson's bag dropped to 25-4 on Day Two, Velvick praised him as the "best coach I've ever fished with," talking Velvick through bringing each fish to the boat, and lipping them once there, until Jackson's palm and thumb looked as though he'd played patty-cake with a cheese grater.
His assigned pro for Day Three, Jason Williamson, sits in seventh place, and to Jackson's relief, is "doing about the same thing we were doing, just a little shallower."
Jackson said his Day Three goal is 20 pounds — a seemingly modest benchmark, considering, but one that still would see him break the co-angler record by about 5 pounds.
"If I lose it, it's because I missed 'em," Jackson said. "Because they're in there."
Ron Chapman, the father of BASS Elite Series pro Brent Chapman, was in second after Day One, but fell to 26th after catching only two keepers fishing with Skeet Reese on Day Two.
Still, Lohman and two other anglers sit 12 pounds back of Jackson. Chad Kallina (third place, 45-4) sacked the biggest co-angler bag of Day Two, 28-4, while fishing with Williamson. The most dramatic moment of their day came when Williamson lipped an 8-pounder Kallina was reeling in just as Kallina told him, "just grab that thing," and the bass shook off Kallina's lure.
Like most anglers, Kallina, a two-time co-angler winner out of Garwood, Texas, has been astonished at Falcon's productivity.
"Every time you set the hook, it's like, 'Oh, God, what's this going to be?'" he said.
The big bass of the day was Mike Glover's 10-6 submarine that he caught on a Carolina rig and a River Slung worm, a custom bait from Del Rio, Texas. After only two fish on two bites, his 21-5 sack was "a little bit of redemption," but on Falcon, still not enough to push him into the top 50 cut.