Steve Kennedy just now missed a strike on a buzz toad, which he's skittering across the pads and mats here on the west side of George. He instantly anchored and began saturating the vicinity of the strike with a soft plastic flipping bait. No second chances here. We're anchored in what used to be polite distance from the competitors. Now, several have moved toward us, almost encircling our boat.
Chris Lane just finished his limit with a solid 2-pounder. He has about 14 and change at the moment. Another big fish and he could really start pulling away or at least force some others to sack 30. This is the place to do it, obviously.
At 10:45 a.m., Randy Howell made the decision to leave the west bank of Lake George and go across the lake to the east bank. He is near where Paul Elias and Mark Davis are fishing. Howell caught his fourth keeper moments after he got on the trolling motor. It was another small male. On his next cast he caught the female, about a 4 1/2 pounder. This is one of those decisions that tournament anglers often talk about, and it appears to be a good one.
Lane just put number four in the boat. This one in the 2-pound range. He now has about 12 pounds or more.
The area that Davis, Elias and others are fishing is seeing a great deal of local anglers now. Alton Jones is north of the pack although he will see visitors as well very soon. Jones has his Power-Poles down and is spending a great deal of time on a small area near the grass.
Lane just boated his third keeper. It's just a keeper, but goes in the well. He has at least 10 pounds and change.
Slow going, so we cross Lake George in time to see Keith Combs swing in a keeper, his fourth, with no big ones. There's a persistent wind out of the southwest. Cliff Prince says this kind of wind will blow the water out of the main river, causing a good general drop in the Lake George level. Keith slowly works this area, not seeing bed fish in this dirtier water, but getting results.
Kenyon Hill in his smartly wrapped Smith & Wesson Triton just trolled slowly past our anchored blogger boat, casting ahead and downwind with a Zoom Speed Worm. That's a great presentation in Florida's waters, especially around eelgrass beds. One of the predecessors to the Speed Worm was the old Paddle Tail worm, and it's been deadly for decades. These worms have oversize paddle-shaped tails that wag and vibrate on a fast retrieve.
On Day 2, Greg Hackney caught a 10-10 bass that tied Bernie Schultz for biggest bass of the Elite Series in 2014. It was also the largest St. Johns bass in Elite history. In 2012, Hackney's 10-9 from the St. Johns took big bass honors for the entire season.
Lane has been patiently waiting for a bite. He mentioned to his cameraman maybe they all bit yesterday. A few minutes later he loses one. He was obviously disgusted. It was starting to feel like a painful day, when he set the hook again. After a monumental battle that had the fish circle his boat, almost get in the trolling motor of the camera boat, Lane hauls in what looks like an 8-pounder. Lane went ballistic with excitement. That should give him about 9 pounds and change. And maybe things are getting ready to bust open.