Davis just added what looked to be a 3-pounder. That should put him over the 12-pound mark, possibly close to 13. I'm sure he's feeling good about it. The overcast skies could be working for him. He's still mixing in those 14- and 15-inchers, but about every third fish, he culls.
Aaron Martens just caught his third keeper of the day and it weighs about 2 pounds, which happens to be his first smallmouth for this week.
Kevin is moving about every 15 minutes. His strategy appears to be to fish the point first and then work his way down the bank into the cove. Then he'll pull up the trolling motor and blast off to the next point. He's alternating between a jerk bait and a crank bait.
Mark Davis just finished his limit with the best fish he's caught in two days. This one was 4 1/2 pounds, he said. It's the first time in two days we've seen him hit the deck and lip a fish. He barked, "back in the hunt boys, back in the hunt." While typing this, he caught another keeper, culling another 1/2 pound. He has more than 11 pounds now, a spot it took him all day to get to yesterday.
Mark Davis is doing one of the more neat techniques we've seen in a couple seasons. He's taken what is basically the Biffle-O swivel head and put a Strike King Rage Menace on it. The Menace's action is tighter and more subtle than what is typically thrown on that swivel head. He's basically throwing it like a spinnerbait, slow rolling it in fairly shallow water, 5 to 10 feet of water. He said it has replaced the crankbait for him because it allows him to slow roll, pause and even fish it like a jig.
Mike McClelland is having no trouble catching bass this morning, but landing a keeper is another story. He is catching 'em on almost every cast with a 4 1/2-inch swimbait near a boat dock in the Kimberling City area, but he has a total of two keepers out of the seven he's put in the boat. Make that eight. He just caught another one. A school of bass is apparently following a ball of shad.
We're hearing lots of exited chatter between Kevin VanDam and his ESPN2 cameraman. And with good reason. This is his first top 12 in two years (March 2012 at Okeechobee) and his first big bass of the day since June 2012 (Toledo Bend). Thanks to Ken Duke for those numbers. KVD ended Day 3 in 3rd place. He's got chance at a victory. Most great athletes are great closers. It's going to be fun to see if Kevin can close the deal today.
Davis has added his third keeper, this one with a little more weight to it but not much more. Probably in the 2 1/2 pound range. He's still catching or getting on almost cast. And as soon as that's typed he catches his fourth. This one a line burner, just making the 15-inch minimum. That should give him four that is scaring the heck out of 7 pounds.