Wow! That was quick. Jared Lintner has loaded the boat early this morning. He already as a 15-plus-pounds limit and is the unofficial leader as of 7:15 a.m. It is way too early and he would certainly need to have the biggest bag of the tournament to win this thing, but he is trying. He started the day 7 pounds, 5 ounces behind Greg Hackney.
Brandon Palaniuk has been watching several bass on his Humminbird 360, and one of them decided it wanted a bite of his Berkley Twitchtail Minnow. It turned out to be a 3-pound smallie. He's about a half mile north of where Zaldain and Faircloth are at, and he's fishing a rockpile on the edge of a dropoff. He said yesterday that there was bait stacked from 10 feet deep down to 40, but they're not here today. The bass are still there, though. "I think when they're on that rock, they're just hanging out," he said.
As Jacob Powroznik made a short move with four fish weighing around 5 pounds, we moved on to Matt Herren, who is about 200 yards away from Powroznik.
In a span of 10 minutes, we've seen two big 4-pounders by Zaldain, and finally Faircloth answers with his own, probably around the same weight. There's a reason these guys are fishing on Sunday, they've figured something out in this cove.
I photographed takeoff and then got to Jacob Powroznik. As I approached him, he was catching his first keeper. I have been covering him for 10 minutes now, and he has four fish in the livewell. He is finesse fishing.
Dave Mercer interviews tournament leader Greg Hackney before takeoff on Championship Sunday.