From our distant vantage point it was hard to tell that Casey Ashley had hooked a bass. He played it and played it and then played it some more, finally corralling it from the driver's seat of his boat. The dozen or so fans congregated on a nearby boat ramp screamed enthusiastically. Through the camera's viewfinder it appeared to be nearly 4 pounds. With the cull, he may have improved his weight by as much as two pounds.
This is remarkable history that B.A.S.S. is doing right now. As I'm blogging about Omori filling his limit, Casey Ashley hooks up live on the broadcast. Ashley boated about a 3-pound class fish and culled a decent one. He has to have over 15 pounds now and that is going to be a strong weight. The only thing Ashley has lacked this week is a giant. The local favorite has seemingly caught a limit of solid cookie-cutters all week.
Mark another one for Rojas. That makes three. This one was about a 1 1/2-pound. "I need 'em bigger, guys," Rojas said. Of course, having just two fish in the well prior to that, he's not complaining.
As we sat watching Casey Ashley, Jacob Wheeler came flying into the adjacent pocket with a head of steam. He shut off the motor, hopped up on the deck, dropped the trolling motor and fired off a cast before the boat was off plane.
Omori just boated his 5th keeper of the day and that gives him about 11-12 pounds according to his cameraman. He is approximately a pound or so behind Casey Ashley, unofficially. Then you have to consider Jacob Powroznik. Powroznik may have as much as 20 pounds or as little as 16. We have received mixed reports about the size of his fish. Updates on Powroznik will funnel in soon.
We've left Tak and headed to Casey Ashley, but suffered a scare as we saw him idling away from his primary spot. Fortunately for us, he was just heading to the other side of his primary pocket. We are anxious to see what the unofficial leader can do. Powroznik is also in this same general part of the lake. We may have to have our heads on a swivel if this becomes a shootout between two of them -- or possibly among all three.
Word on the water is that Jacob Powroznik has more weight than we expected. I sent Robbie Floyd to check out Powroznik after his flurry, and he spoke with him. He asked if Powroznik had 16 to 17 pounds, and he responded with "I have more than that."
Watch as Coby Carden fights to free a big bass from a tree.
Our buddy Jay Kumar, he of the BassBlaster newsletter, has been interviewing every competitor after each day so far, and here are a few interesting things he's found:
Tak just landed bass number four, a chunky 3-pounder. He played it for what seemed like a minute before bringing it over the side. I know he has lots of experience with light line, but it still has to be heart stopping to have a big fish surge on 7 pound test. The last Classic he won power-fishing. There are only a few multiple Classic winners. Would he be the first to win one with power and one with sewing string? It's starting to drizzle now.