One dollar poorer
Before the weigh-in began, Kelly Jordon and Denny Brauer had a friendly bet on who would have the bigger bag that day. The prize: one dollar.
Jordon brought 19 pounds, 15 ounces to the scales and then watched in disbelief as Brauer turned in 20 pounds even. The one ounce defeat for Jordon was not without a bit of redemption though.
"The thrilling victory for me is that I beat him by 2 ounces for the tournament," Jordon said. "That brightens my day because I chunked yesterday and only had 14 pounds."
Indeed, his light Day Two ultimately cost him a shot at the top-12 cut and he finished the tournament in 20th place.
"The nice thing is I wouldn't have had a chance to win anyway," Jordon said. "Now, I can enjoy my day tomorrow, spend some time with Kerri and maybe go to Napa."
Herren heating up
Matt Herren makes no secret of the fact that he is flipping. Were it not for a few lost fish each day, his name would be getting thrown around with the likes of Eaker and Lowen.
"The fish seem to be biting real funny," Herren said. "I'm having trouble executing and that's costing me because the weights have been going up. They have every day."
The number of 20-pound bags has been a good indicator of that fact. On Day One, 10 crossed the scale. Then 16 anglers weighed in over 20 pounds on Day Two. Finally, on Day Three, with half the number of contestants, 18 bags over 20 pounds were weighed in.
Herren was one of those, bringing in 21 pounds, 12 ounces and locking up a top-12 spot in eighth place. He's sharing a spot with Boyd Duckett (ninth) and the place seems to be getting better and better.
"It's amazing what's moving into that cut," Herren said. "The fish are getting bigger too. Unfortunately, we are losing at night what we gain during the day (water temperature). If it stays warm tonight, I wouldn't be surprised to see 7- and 8-pounders crash the hill. They got their bags packed and they are ready to move in."
A rookie mistake cost Elite Series rookie Cliff Crochet a chance to fish Sunday.
"I missed an 8-pounder today that cost me 30 spots today," Crochet said. "I saw it — I got a picture of the fish. I had him flipping grass. Everything started right. I stuck him and he came out of the mat in front of the boat and jumps."
It wasn't the jump that did Crochet in, but what happened next.
"I worked my way to the back of the boat, trying to keep pressure on him," Crochet said. "I must have moved my rod wrong because when I got to the back, it just came off."
With only four fish on the day, Crochet dropped to 44th place. Add an 8-pounder to his 13 pounds, 12 ounces and he would have been right on the bubble for final-day qualification.
Crochet, who has never fished west of Texas, will at least leave the West Coast with a $10,000 dollar check and valuable points in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. After all, the Classic next year is in his backyard in New Orleans.
Snowden made a big change Friday that helped net him over 21 pounds. He had to make yet another adjustment on Day Three to make the top-12 cut.
"Yesterday I was flipping some rocks mixed in with wood," Snowden said. "Today, I went there and didn't get a bite. I decided to just go throw a swimbait and that's how I caught most of them, including my biggest."
It hit the scales at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, the biggest bass of the day. As for his plans for Sunday, starting in 10th place leaves a lot of room to climb.
"I'll probably throw the swimbait 80 percent of the time tomorrow," Snowden said. "I'll flip a little, because I caught some 5-pounders doing it. Being in 10th place, you have nothing to lose."
"Throw it out there and let it sit. By the time you are done eating a sandwich, 5-pounders will be eating it."
— Kotaro Kiriyama, on fishing a Flick Shake
"I'm fishing isolated rockpiles. Not the big ones with signs on them that say 'Rock.'"
— Mike Iaconelli
"I need to go do some P90X tonight to get my workout."
— Byron Velvick, on getting tired from throwing a swimbait all day
"I know Swindle had a half-price sale with his swimbaits a the hotel."
— Byron Velvick, on the frustrations some competitors had with the big
"I have to put on a hood until I get five fish, because I can't watch."
— Marty Stone, on the amount of fish he's seen Guy Eaker and Bill Lowen
catch near him.
"Does anyone know any highway patrol around here? They have this 55 mph speed limit here in California and I'll give them three swimbaits for every mph faster I can go."
— Marty Stone, on wanting to get home quickly
"Fish are fish. They'll go where they want to go."
— Tour rookie Bradley Roy, on his continued ability to find fish
"It's moments away."
— Boyd Ducket on the closeness to many of Clear Lake's largemouth to the spawn
"If you went in there with a shock boat, it'd probably scare you. That's how many big fish are in there."
— Jared Lintner on the area he's been fishing all week.
"I've been throwing a 9-inch swimbait, but I saw a 12-incher at the store. I think I'm about to go buy it. I'm gonna go swing for the fences."
— Lintner, trailing leader Byron Velvick by almost 13 pounds, on his plans for Sunday
"There are two of them left, and they're on sale, Dad."
— J.C. Lintner, Jared's son, on the above-mentioned swimbaits
"I've got a lot of learning to do."
— Bobby Lane on his talents with a swimbait
"I've always hated the Delta. Passionately. Even when I lived here, I didn't do well on the Delta."
— Byron Velvick on his improved performance on Clear Lake vs. last week's Duel in the Delta
"Tomorrow night, I'll do a seminar on swimbaits, right here (in front of the stage)."