Well, we tried to leave. But Randy is making things interesting. Randy just caught a "bonus" fish. A good one, 4 pounder. "That's what the Senko will do for you. That ol' Senko is a baaaad dude." Randy says it's a good time of day and he's going to show us the 10 pounder he's chasing. I'm starting to believe him. Says he's trying to be like Mark Davis. Sitting real still and just spotting beds, and fishing very, very slow.
Photographer Darren Jacobson gets a visit from some pelicans on the water today on the St. Johns River:
Randy says he sees a big one. He drops to his knees, twitching the rod. He swings and misses. Unfortunately one that he thought was a large female turned out to be a gar. He catches another small one. He still sees something in this area that tells him a big one is a cast away. He's heading back to check on the big female he missed right when we arrived. We are going to head back to Dean Rojas before our time on the water comes to a close.
Lane just caught another chunker allowing him to cull one of his dinks. Because of the shallow area we can't close enough to verify weights. But we feel like he's moved into the 11-pound neighborhood. That's conservative. Either way, with each pound he's putting more pressure on those guys who need to catch 25 or more to catch him. No sooner typed and he catches one over 3. He may have right by the 12-pound neighborhood and into the 13-pound range. We will verify weights later.
Davy Hite only has four fish in the boat and hasn't made up any ground today on leader Chris Lane. But he's not about to abandon his primary area. "These fish turn on and off," Hite said. "In 10 minutes yesterday, I caught an 8-pounder and culled a 2-pounder and caught another that weighed about 4. The worst thing I could do would be running around out there when the fish turn on.
If Chris Lane holds on to win, it will be his second Elite win (and second in three events) and sixth career BASS win. Only 15 anglers have ever won more than six B.A.S.S. events.
Randy Howell just found another small fish but he is dialed in on a specific spot, walking back and forth along his Triton like a madman. He pauses on his trolling motor bracket, twitching his rod trying to entice the big bite. He's throwing a Texas-rigged worm but right now the big bass doesn't seem to care.
Still a small limit. He's looking for a big one that will eat. He's seen a couple but having a tough time persuading them to come aboard. Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Stephen Carlisle
Lane's not here long and he hooks up. He spurts out a "big fish" but it soon changes to one pushing 3. That helps him cull a pound or more. On his next cast, he hooks up with another keeper. But it's no help. Lane still sings out "good move, good move." He's not even close to where the giant was yesterday.
Randy caught another male. Still looking for that big female. He tells us he spent his morning up the Otklawaha River trying something new. Took him 20 minutes to run up to the dam but he didn't find anything. "It was dead there." Randy just got here and saw the big female. We're going to stay on him a little while and see if he gets her.