Speaking of limits (which I was), the guys who are the very best at catching numbers of bass in competition won't surprise you much. They're also the guys who regularly win, regularly challenge for AOY and regularly qualify for the Bassmaster Classic. Here are the best five in Elite history at bringing a limit to the scales. The number represents the average number of bass they weigh in on a competition day. 1. Kevin VanDam 4.8818 2. Aaron Martens 4.8729
Casey Ashley and Shaw Grigsby both have really strong spots on Toledo Bend this week, and it's kept them near the top of the leaderboard.
We got a quick word with Brent Chapman before we leave the lake for the day. He confirmed that he's had his confidence restored by catching some bass in the last hour. He's keeping close track of his total weight for the day and says he now has 16 pounds. He also confirmed that he'll soon go back to his previous days' hot spot. "It's good to get around some and be able to catch them," Chapman said. "Out there, I started feeling like I'd forgot how."
KVD has the record for limiting 57 competition days in a row. On the bad side of that stat is Brent Broderick, who once went eight consecutive competition days without catching a 5-bass limit in 2011. The next longest streak of limit futility belongs to Grant Goldbeck, who went seven straight competition days without getting to cull, also in 2011. Only three other anglers have gone as long as six competition days in a row without a limit — Jon Bondy, Boyd Duckett and Jeff Reynolds.
Brent Chapman has moved again, but just barely this time. And the move paid off, just like the last one. He didn't get his boat on plane this time, in moving deeper into a creek arm of Toledo Bend by maybe a couple hundred yards. Chapman quickly caught two bass, one of which helped him cull up by ounces.
Horton just said this is his vitamin spot ... he's only caught one a day here. First day he caught a 6. Second day he caught a 6. Today he caught a 10. "If you are only going to catch one, those are the ones to catch." He pulled up his trolling motor and headed to a new area.
Just chatted with Horton. He clarified the size of that last fish ... Seems I was off a bit. It certainly was not a 6-pounder. "That last one was a 10! Maybe a 9, but I'm pretty sure she'll go 10!" He also has a 7 in the livewell. He guesses his weight at 27 pounds! He dragging plastics around a channel ledge.
Whenever I hear a stat, I also like to hear about the opposite number. So, when I tell you that KVD has the record for consecutive limits at 57, I also wondered about the record for most consecutive days without a limit. You should know that a limit is the norm for Elite Series anglers. It's the standard. Anything less is a serious problem.
Brent Chapman finally had enough of not catching anything, and he did something about it. "I hate to say it, but you should have been here yesterday," Chapman said to some local observers. Ten minutes later, he pulled up his trolling motor and made a move from the spot where he had been catching them one cast after another the last two days. As he idled out, we asked if he was still seeing the fish on his graph. "Not really," Chapman said. "I think they're gone."
We find Tim Horton about the same time a bass finds his bait ... and the fish is big. It jumps, then surges under the boat. He reels it close, drops his rod and hand lines the bass closer. He lips it, and swings aboard what appears to be a 6- to 7-pound fish. If Horton had 22, he likely now has more than 25.