Almost all the boats observing Martens have left. The family conversing with him from their nearby dock has gone inside, and the bass aren't biting either. The day has definitely come to a lull for Aaron Martens. "I don't know where all the 2 1/2-pounders I threw back yesterday went," he said. "Nothing I've caught today had any hook marks in them. There's a ton of bait (flipping the surface) in here, but nothing is chasing them."
While most of the Top 49 are fishing backwaters, grassbeds and clean water, river rats like Stephen Browning march to a different tune. We found him cranking main channel riprap, and his rod quickly loaded up with a heavy fish. His smile turned to a frown, though, as he realized it was a drum. He says he's caught quite a few, but he only has one in the livewell because he is fishing the Minnesota side of the river where culling isn't legal.
Kevin VanDam has now made the first cut (and earned a prize money check) in 18 straight tournaments. He had an earlier streak of 16 in a row (2008-'10). No one else has ever made the Top 50 in more than 15 consecutive Elite Series events.
Nate Wellman just rolled into the area Chris Lane is fishing. Chris moved away from the area where he caught his 3-pounder, saying he wanted to let the fish "calm down" and was planning to come back to that spot in 30 minutes or so. About that time, Nate started moving toward the same spot. We watched Chris put his trolling motor on high and skedaddle back to his spot before Nate could get there. We heard Chris say something, and at that point Nate stopped his boat.
Kyle Fox's collapse on Day 2 was unprecedented in Elite Series history. He fell from first place all the way to 83rd. The previous worst fall for a Day 1 leader happened in 2006 on the Potomac River. Kevin Langill went from first to 50th on Day 2. Fox becomes the first Day 1 leader to fall completely out of the cut on the second day.
Greg Hackney had to take a detour this morning after a pike decided it wanted to eat instead of the bass. Hackney's trailer hook was buried deep between his thumb and finger.
From Gerald Swindle snipping the foot off a doll to Gary Klein showing off his torn-up hands, we bring photos from inside the Mississippi River Rumble.
Todd Faircloth, yesterday's leader, has a limit that weighs around 13 pounds so far this morning.
Dean Rojas' Marshal, Sport Smith, sent us in this photo of Rojas with a catch. Rojas has about 9 pounds on the day so far.
We found Ike! And it wasn't hard to do as the ever-popular angler has a flotilla of spectators in his wake. He's fishing a large grass flat in the Stoddard area and is throwing a frog over the matted vegetation. He's got three right now, but he said they didn't have much size to them. Weights are tight enough, though, that a big day today and he'll be fishing tomorrow.