Throwing a swimbait finally paid off for Bobby Lane.
He whacked a monster bass that tipped the scales at 11 pounds, 1 ounce and his 24-13 bag moved him into seventh place. The big fish came early and set the tone for the second-heaviest stringer of the tournament.
"It was freezing out there in the morning and I wasn't wearing enough layers," Lane said. "All I could think about was how cold I was. I bombed that big 9-inch swimbait out there about five or six times and I had a few bumps. On my 10th cast, that big one ate it."
A big fish always makes for a nerve-wracking fight, but Lane managed to subdue the fish relatively quickly.
"She jumped right under the boat," Lane said. "Then I grabbed her and put her in the livewell and didn't look at her again."
Lane's Marshal also benefited from the catch, since Lane promised a swimbait if the fish was over 11 pounds.
"I can handle that," Lane said. "If I could give a bunch of swimbaits for an 11-pounder every tournament, I would."
Kennedy goes corking
This story from Kennedy was so bizarre, it's best heard from his own mouth. It starts, predictably, with a swimbait.
"I threw out there today with a big 9-inch swimbait," Kennedy said. "All of a sudden, about 10 feet away, I see a cork heading toward my bait."
Turns out a 2-pound bass had eaten a minnow, or whatever had been rigged on the other side of the cork, and then gotten free and had been swimming around the lake. Turns out the hook in its mouth didn't ruin his appetite.
"It actually came up and bit my bait," Kennedy said. "I actually should have snagged him to help get that hook out of his mouth, but I didn't think about it at the time."
Shaw Grigsby was the last man in the top 47 cut by two ounces. If not for a decision he made late in the day Friday, he would be singing a different tune.
"At 11:30, I didn't have a fish in the boat," Grigsby said. "I was sweating and moaning, but I just slowed down and was able to put a limit together. I was spinning out of control yesterday and today, so I just had to fish really brutally slow."
His limit on Day Two weighed 17 pounds, 10 ounces, and he jumped up into the cut to fish another day.
"The cool thing about that is you have nowhere to go but up," Grigsby said. "Tomorrow is a free-for-all and I can pick up a swimbait and throw it all day. If I zero tomorrow, I still finish 47th. You would much rather be leading the tournament, but 47th is a great position to be in. I'm actually going to have a lot of fun tomorrow."
Cold Lakeport nights
The temperature dropped into the low 30s on Clear Lake after Day One, which brought the water temperature down significantly in some backwater areas. Matt Herren noticed a definite change in the water and the fish.
"My primary area got cold and it got a lot of pressure," Herren said. "I think that pulled them out to where Guy (Eaker) and Tommy (Biffle) are."
Both Biffle and Eaker broke the 20-pound mark and Herren thought he would have came close if he had executed properly.
"I lost a pair of 5-pounders that kept me from having another 20-pound day," Herren said. "Fortunately, my backup spot had more fish than I thought. The area has some quality males in there. If some females swim through there, it's a done deal."
Herren still broke 18 pounds and sits in eighth place with 40 pounds, 3 ounces.
"They were throwing 3-pounders back like candy and I'm like, toss one my way, brother."
— Marty Stone, on watching Bill Lowen and Guy Eaker catching fish after fish
"I want to weigh them all, that would be handy."
— Kenyon Hill, to Trip Weldon after one of his bass tried to escape from the weigh-in bag
"I nicknamed him antenna this morning. Then this afternoon, I got to joking with him and cut some cattails and we had antennae to match."
— Tommy Biffle, after riding around with his Marshal Phil's spiky hair all day
"I heaved it and heaved it and finally got a big one to eat it."
— Bobby Lane, after catching a 11-pound, 1-ounce bass on a big swimbait
"I'll see you in Virginia."
— Mark Davis, after hearing he had just moved into the 47th place cut position with several anglers left to weigh in