The fishing has been so good at the Elite tournaments this year that 29 anglers have caught a five bass limit every day they've competed. And with Lake Michigan and Oneida left on the schedule, it looks like most of them will continue that streak. It's pretty rare for even one angler to limit every day for an entire season. Only six have done it before — Jeff Kriet (2007), Todd Faircloth (2008), Tim Horton (2008), Bobby Lane (2008), Michael Iaconelli (2010) and Peter Thliveros (2010).
We're now watching Rick Clunn. He's fishing up against the bank on the main channel, just north of Stoddard, methodically moving down the bank. Two trains have gone by no more than 20 feet from him. The water is rising, and we have cloud cover, coming off a high-pressure situation. Dennis Tietje says this may play into the hands of the guys who are flipping.
The change in locations paid off pretty quickly for Aaron Martens. He just landed a 2 3/4-pounder that allowed him to cull one that was just under 2 pounds. He thinks he's got 14 pounds now, so we had his weight underestimated earlier. Martens has one that's close to 5 pounds in the livewell, and his smallest one now is 2 1/4 pounds. He's feeling pretty good all of a sudden. And he will undoubtedly go back to his main spot again today after resting it for awhile.
After finishing this tournament in 92nd place, I think we can unofficially declare David Walker's Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year hopes dead for 2012. He'll leave the river about 14th in the AOY standings with two tournaments left to go, and that's just too far back to make a run at it.
The two big bass caught yesterday (tied at 5 pounds, 3 ounces) by Terry Butcher and Todd Faircloth were the largest ever weighed in at a B.A.S.S. event on this stretch of the Mississippi River. Lunkers are not part of the mix here, and that makes it tough to make a big jump up in the standings.
Matt Herren has three smallies and one largemouth in the livewell, going for about 11 pounds.
Aaron Martens was hoping to put the hammer to the fish that he backed off at 9 a.m. yesterday, but the fish aren't cooperating. He's still seeing some bass there on his sonar, but not like they were yesterday. And the ones still there aren't biting like they were yesterday. So Martens has made a short move back toward the launch site. I could swim to my hotel room from here. He caught one short fish upon arrival. He's still holding about 12 pounds in his livewell.
We're back on the water and it didn't take us long to find someone as we came across Davy Hite fishing a railroad bridge about 5 minutes from the takeoff point. He's throwing a swimbait and counting it down before slowly swimming it around the concrete pilings. He's got a limit but wouldn't say how much it weighs.
Terry Butcher makes an upgrade as he flips a solid bass into the boat.
Take the time to do what you love, with those you love.