GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Gusty winds of more than 30 mph caused havoc for some and happiness for others on Day Three of the Synergy Bassmasters Elite tournament at Lake Guntersville.
Mark Davis secured the fourth spot in the final 12 with 15-9, the smallest total among the finalists. He said he was fighting the wind all day to keep his boat still.
"It was awful," Davis said of the wind. "You couldn't hold your boat out there and with waves two- and three-feet high beating you around, it made it tough. You'd reach down to cull and it'd blow you 50 feet from your spot."
Kevin VanDam found the conditions challenging, but stayed in contention by ending the day in fifth.
"The wind actually helped things," VanDam said. "In a lot of cases you used the wind to position for the fish and in some spots in generated current. If it would have been slick and still, I would have had a hard time."
For Japan's Morizo Shimizu, the windy weather produced a "good day" as he bolted up the standings to eighth.
"It effected my fishing," he said. "I prefer little winds and today was too much for me. It took me five casts to get my first fish, but it wasn't like the other day when I caught 60."
Paul Elias' genuine smile got a little wider when he found out he qualified for the championship round in 11th place, even though he was rocked around by the wind.
"It was real bad out there all day," Elias said. "It blew down the chute and rocked me back and forth. It didn't take me long to get a limit, but after that they quit biting."
Terry Butcher, Marty Stone, Tommy Biffle, Ish Monroe and Bill Lowen, who didn't make the final cut, all had a varying opinions on the weather conditions.
"I was hoping for wind today and when I came back to my spot later in the day, the fish were on fire, so I needed the wind," Butcher said.
"If you're not used to positioning your boat on days like this, you can't do it, but it probably helped today to fire up some fish in places," Stone said.
"I was fishing in protected areas from the wind, so it did not effect me at all," Biffle said.
"Basically, I tucked back in behind an island where they were schooling, but soon realized the wind was going to keep blowing from the northeast. I was stuck with what I had," Monroe said.
'My main areas were flooded up and I was catching them through the grass, but you have to have clear water with a swim-jig and that's what killed me today," Lowen added.