While idling out in Taylor Bayou waiting for Shaw Grigsby to arrive in his Triton/Mercury, James Overstreet and I saw a patch of blue sky to the north and the surrounding clouds were lit up by the sun's rise. "Maybe the sun rises in the north down here," Overstreet said, as only he can say it. And here comes Shaw.
The spot where Chris Lane has been catching the majority of his fish is blocked this morning by water hyacinths that accumulated in the swift water overnight. Somewhere in that mangled mess is a barrier designed to keep the invasive plants out of the canal. That's why they're piled up the way they are. He should still be able to access the area. It'll just require a little gardening first.
Aaron Martens also had the idea to start close to the takeoff site. According to B.A.S.S. photographer Seigo Saito, he already has two in the boat. Guess his gamble paid off, where Lane's did not. Looks like he's throwing a spinnerbait. We were supposed to go north into the wilds with Hackney, but we'll stay with the guy in second place for now.
Despite our boat ramp being complete underwater, we've launched the boat and we hear tournament leader Chris Lane is headed our way. We're going to find him now.
Our put-in spot below the Highway 73 bridge on Taylor Bayou looks considerably different than it did yesterday. You could walk on dry ground to the two wooden docks located on either side of a concrete ramp. Today you have to wade to the docks, the ramp has disappeared and free floating water hyacinth, which can be seen littered from bank to bank, has piled up in a heap along the docks.
Aaron Martens and Chris Lane started close to the ramp today and Martens has already boated two keepers. He has about 3 pounds right now so he has just about a 1 pound lead on Chris Lane right now. We will see if he heads down to Taylor Bayou or if he finds enough fish right near the launch area to be successful.
As expected, the Sabine River is in pretty bad shape after the floods that drenched the region Saturday. Somewhere in this picture is the boat ramp where we launched our B.A.S.S. media boat Saturday. It's completely submerged now, and the wooden walkways we used to access the boat once it was launched are inaccessible without waders or swim trunks.
It seems like it's always something. We did have a short delay. But now everyone is on their way. But from our perspective, what's worse is Chris Lane and Aaron Martens are in the middle of deciding whether to make their run or not. Lane has stopped somewhere close to take off and may not even head this way. Same for Martens.
The leader is within sight of take-off. Chris Lane decided not to hit up the spot he's been at the whole tournament, and instead to try something that worked for him towards the end of the day. He's headed out now, he says he's headed 40 miles, so he's going back to Taylor Bayou