Watching Russ Lane, he's the first angler that's doing something a little different. He has a spinning rod out and is occasionally casting to deeper rock points with a shaky head. He's almost dead sticking the bait after the cast. My boat driver says there are a lot of smallmouth in this section of the river. Perhaps he's targeting the brown fish with this tactic. Most I've talked to say the eventual winner will no doubt weigh in both species of bass.
After roughly an hour of searching for Kevin VanDam we located him back in some of the calmer pockets covering water and looking for a big bite. I, in my infinite wisdom, decide the shots I was able to get from the boat were not interesting enough to do this beautiful lake justice. So my boat driver and I sneak around the corner and nose our way up to the bank so I could exit the boat and shoot Kevin from above on some of the surrounding cliffs.
Randy Allen seems to have shaken off the frustration of having a late start this morning. We made a short move and he quickly swung in keeper No. 2. Update by Marshall Daniel Elias
Fred Roumbanis is atop the leaderboard at 9 a.m. with 17-8. Clifford Pirch has jumped into second place with 15-7. The rest of the top 10 is as follows: Edwin Evers, 14-14; John Murray, 14-14; Kevin VanDam, 14-8; Mike Kernan, 13-0; Brandan Palaniuk, 12-7; Zell Rowland, 12-6; David Mullins, 11-12; and Greg Vinson, 11-11. All have a limit except for Rowland who has four fish.
We battled 2-footers in the river heading south until we found Russ Lane. He says he has four fish for around 11 pounds. He's switching between a jerkbait and flipping plastics around the reeds. Our boat driver is guessing there are 4-footers on the main lake now.
With another good keeper a minute ago, Cliff Pirch now has a five-fish limit that should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 pounds.