Three-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Mark Davis leads the AOY race after three days on the St. Johns. Davis won the AOY title in 1995, 1998 and 2001. He last led the AOY race early in the 2008 season. If he wins AOY this year, he'll be the oldest champion in history at 50. Roland Martin was 45 when he won in 1985.
He's got a decent sack and it's my guess he wants to get closer to the lake and clear of the no wake and idle zones. We are idling now. Lane is about 200 yards in front of us. It doesn't take long before a water patrol agent waves him down. He must have been checking on how he did, because Lane quickly moves on. My heart sank a minute thinking he might be getting a ticket for some unseen violation. Then I remembered the officer from yesterday looking out for Lane.
Paul Elias has arrived at the bank on the St. Johns River which Davy Hite has had to himself all day. Based on BASSTrakk, Elias and several others are probably scrambling now. The more significant change is the weather, a southwest wind is kicking up whiitecaps as it blows into this bank and the cloud cover has returned. Hite caught that last 3-pounder on the bladed jig he has thrown periodically today. He just set the hook on another good-sized fish that came off right as he got it to the boat.
It's a credit to St. Johns that despite the fact Chris Lane has a 16-pound lead he's not convinced he's won yet. Terry Scroggins has repeatedly said "this place has 'em, and has them big." We saw that on Day 2 when Lane catapulted into the lead with a huge sack. The fishing time for most of these guys is an hour or less, so if miracles are going to happen they need to start.
Paul Elias has arrived at the bank on the St. Johns River which Davy Hite has had to himself all day. Based on BASSTrakk, Elias and several others are probably scrambling now.
Davy Hite just added a 3-pounder to his "box of rats." Actually, he's got another non-rat in there too. Hite noted the bass had significantly lighter coloration than those he's caught previously today. It's something we noticed at Lake Seminole last week too. The fish that have been staying in deeper water and just moved shallow to spawn tend to look lighter. "Look how light that fish is," Hite said. "I think it's one that just moved up."
Lane is turning up the heat. He just added a 4-pounder, culling a 2-pounder in the process. That puts him well over 15 for the day. And making it imperative that the chasers start having some truly special catches if they hope to run him down.
Randy never found his big fish, and we are out of time. We leave him tirelessly hunting for her. It's time to get back to Palatka Riverfront and see if Chris Lane punches his ticket to the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.