RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. — After Day Three of the Toyota Trucks Diamond Drive on Lake Dardanelle was canceled due to gusting winds and hazardous lake conditions, anglers were left wondering how the rain and cold temperatures would affect their fish.
At the final day weigh-in, it seemed that the fears of a shut-down bite were realized, as those anglers that had areas influenced by current and water level found everything cold and muddy.
2008 Bassmaster Classic champion Alton Jones was fishing the back of Piney Bay and had a hard time generating bites when the conditions turned off the fish.
"It got really muddy, like chocolate milk," Jones said. "Last night they dropped the water out. The pad stems I was fishing dried up and while I intersected five keepers today, I only boated three of them."
Greg Vinson, an Elite Series rookie, also found his hotspot near Spadra Creek suffering at the mercy of dropping water temperatures.
"That is such a shallow area, it was at least 10 degrees cooler this morning compared to the last day we fished there," Vinson said. "I don't think the fish left, but they were harder to catch and I ended up having to move to a backup area."
The backup area produced only 4 pounds, 10 ounces for Vinson and he finished the tournament in 11th place.
Jim Murray Jr. also found his water too shallow and too cold to be productive, but his adjustments paid off in the form of 14 pounds, 6 ounces and launched him to fourth place, the best finish of his Elite Series career.