Gerald Swindle has gone into full run-and-gun mode. After pulling into the Nelson Park Marina area, just north of where Aaron Martens' armada is floating, Swindle fished for maybe 10 minutes, heard a cheer from Martens' crowd signaling a fish-catch, and then ran south of Martens to the Commodore Decatur Yacht Club. He made a few casts there, fired up the big motor again, went another 50 yards south, and dropped his trolling motor in the water again.
It appeared Gerald Swindle had hooked the big bass of the day, after he cast a crankbait along the riprap bank below the Highway 36 bridge. He took a long time landing it, with his rod bent double the whole time. But once Swindle boated what turned out to be a flathead catfish, it was obvious he was just making certain he didn't lose his crankbait. Swindle has started moving often in the last hour. He immediately left the Highway 36 bridge, after tossing back the catfish, and has moved farther south, near the Nelson Park takeoff area.
Martens just made another move closer to the launch area, and caught his fourth fish at about 1 pound. I estimate he's got around 5 1/2 pounds in his livewell.
I just got word that DeFoe estimated the fish he lost this morning as either 5 or 6 pounds. Ouch. With that and four to go with it (he currently has one), DeFoe would be hard to beat. With Aaron Martens’ penchant for always catching fish with finesse baits, that lost fish is probably weighing on his mind.
Aaron Martens makes a move back to the front of the launch site.
When Gerald Swindle pulled up to this culvert on Lake Shore Drive and started catching fish, he attracted a few nonboating observers.
We just saw a classic Evers move. He set the hook in a laydown and apparently the fish wrapped him up. He quickly shed his jacket and shirt and hit the deck. But by the time he got his hands in the water, the fish had pulled off. These fish seem to be swatting at the bait. The last few he's brought to the boat the hooks have been on the outside of the mouth. "I've never seen anything like it," Evers groaned. He's putting fish in the boat but the majority of the bites are winning. He still has three keepers for 6 pounds or more.
Gerald Swindle doesn't know, but he has to feel that Edwin Evers is ahead of him in their matchup on Lake Decatur. Comedian Steven Wright said it best: "The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up."
Other than a small white bass, DeFoe’s been pretty quiet. OK, he actually just fought a 5- or 6-pound drum (or river perch, as my boat driver Joe Cupp calls it), boated it and got his crankbait back. That probably got his heart pumping, though. He's digging through his tacklebox looking for another crankbait, which he’s since tied on and thrown.
Aaron Martens just missed a nice keeper -- looked like a 2-plus. The fish got wrapped around underwater structure and the line was cut.