If your favorite Elite angler doesn't rank in the top 60 in the AOY race, it doesn't look like he'll be fishing in next year's Bassmaster Classic ... unless he can win a tournament this season. Anyone that far back has too much ground to make up and too many other anglers to leapfrog to get into the top 36 or 37 and earn a Classic berth.
Robinson went to make a cast and his jig flew off. He went to retie and now hasn't made a cast in 5 minutes. Not really sure what's going on, but I'm guessing he's retying everything on his deck. These Toledo bend stick-ups are hell on line.
As soon as Mark Zona departs the boat, Brent Chapman hauls in a 5-pounder.
Robinson just made a move. He rocketed about 5 miles farther north. He is now fishing just off the main channel. He's again targeting the 12- to 15-foot range, dragging a jig.
Most of the armada observing Brent Chapman has been courteous. But when Chapman recently moved 100 yards to the west side of this standing timber section, another boater drove right next to where Chapman had left a marker buoy, punched a GPS waypoint, then sped off. That was followed by another boater who trolled over to the marker buoy and started fishing. Chapman moved back near the buoy, and the fisherman promptly pulled up his trolling motor and left.
At 9 a.m. (CST) we will kick off our War Room coverage of this event. Part of the lineup includes an initial recap of the event's action at 9 a.m., followed by an interview with Todd Faircloth, one of those anglers many expected to be fishing today but who got bit by the Toledo Bend bug. After that, every hour at the top of the hour, we will be interviewing anglers and following those up with videos from on the water and reports of catches as they come in throughout the day until 2 p.m.
Although Brent Chapman has never won an Elite Series tournament, he has been in this position before — leading after the second and third days of an Elite event. It happened in the 2007 season finale on the Kissimmee Chain. Chapman grabbed the lead from former Elite Series pro Bill Smith on Day 2 and still had it by the end of Day Three. Unfortunately for Chapman, he couldn't finish it off.
So how often do Day Three leaders go on to seal the deal and win Elite Series tournaments? Almost 64 percent of the time. There have been 61 previous Elite Series events, and the third-day leader went on to win 39 of them. The angler in second place going into the finals has won 18 percent of the time. That means the Top 2 win more than 80 percent of all Elite Series events. Only three times has the eventual winner been in fifth place or worse going into Sunday.
Quick update on catches: Cliff Pace has one fish for 3.5 total of 61-1 (in the lead by 3 ounces) Brent Chapman has one fish for about 1 pound with a total of 60-14 (2nd place, but could be closer to a tie) Marty Robinson has one fish for 2 pounds with a total of 60-9. (3rd) Timmy Horton has one for 2 pounds with a total of 59-1. (4th)
I just completed a semi-call around to the Marshals watching our anglers today. Many of them are out of cell service.. None of the ones we reached gave us any indication that the fish were biting this morning.. We have Timmy Horton and Marty Robinson with 2-pounders, Chapman with a 1 1/2-pound keeper and the others with either a zero or unreachable.. We will keep trying as the day progresses.