After several hours, Edwin Evers finally has a fish in the boat.
Being a hillbilly from Arkansas, I've got no ground to stand on in criticizing anyone's "yard art." But I've never seen three toilets on a boat dock in the Ozarks, like I've now witnessed on Lake Decatur. Photographer Darren Jacobson has captured this scene in a photo certain to make today's on-the-water gallery: Gerald Swindle throwing a spinnerbait with three porcelain commodes squatted on a boat dock behind him. They "produced" Swindle's biggest bass of the day so far, but it wasn't a keeper.
Evers is pitching and flipping nonstop. He's in a target-rich environment, and there are a few fish biting. He's caught three short fish, swung and missed a few more. But he's confident he's going to catch them today. "I just have that good feeling," he said.
Aaron Martens made a stop to fish a bridge in the back of a small cove. He has caught five fish, but only three have been keepers. Not only does he have to fish against Defoe in today's bracket, there are three local anglers fishing on the same spot from the bank. The three fish may weigh 4-12.
Gerald Swindle said he was going to be "Three-Rod Todd" today, in reference to simplifying his lure choices for Lake Decatur. So far, he's "Three-Bridge Bob." After catching two non-keepers on a spinnerbait at the railroad bridge, he has moved south to the Williams Street bridge. It's mainly been the riprap banks near these bridges that Swindle has concentrated on, after working the Reas Bridge pilings to start the day.
We finally made it to Evers after passing a dozen duck hunters and one crappie angler. We are back in the main river that feeds this lake and it appears to be small river/creek fishing nirvana. Plenty of laydowns, stumps, etc., with an 8- to 12-foot channel.
Gerald Swindle made a move after failing to get a bite on the Reas Bridge pilings. He took a short run back down the lake to the south end of Basin No. 5, where a cool, old concrete arch railroad bridge crosses Decatur Lake. He's working a variety of baits along a riprap bank that's also got a lot of wood cover in the form of logs and various laydowns that have washed on shore. It's a fishy-looking spot, but he's still waiting for his first strike of the day.
The Top 4 anglers from days one and two head out on the water at Lake Decatur.
We are fighting our way back to Evers. Blowing mud, hitting stumps, bouncing off stuff. I have no idea how he got his big boat thru this stuff. I had abandon our Triton and jump into a flatbottom. We almost got stuck. We went by one duck blind and, being neighborly, we asked if he was shooting any birds. He looked Evers' way then back to us and said, "you guys are idiots." There was expletive deleted in there somewhere but we couldn't argue his point.
The long drought period that has plagued Decatur Lake is proving to be both a blessing and a curse to Edwin Evers this morning. He has decided to fish the extreme northern end of the lake, and it’s muddy going. I saw his prop blowing mud 30 feet into the air as he tried to get through an extremely shallow channel – or what used to be a channel before the lake level dropped. He’s fighting his way back in, and it looks like he’ll make it.