Aaron Martens had his limit at 7:50 this morning, and he just threw back another fish. It didn't take a side-by-side comparison for him to determine that this one could go back in the water immediately. Martens needs to cull four of the five fish he has in his livewell in order to have a decent bag today, but he has that one kicker fish already. One 4-pounder has made all the difference this week.
Bobby Lane has now limited on 37 straight competition days. Only 10 streaks have been longer. The best, of course, was Kevin VanDam's 57 straight in 2008-'09. Bobby Lane already has the second longest streak at 47. He started his Elite career with it. The fishing's been easier than ever in 2012. Through yesterday, 29 Elite Series anglers have limited every day they've competed this year. That number should fall a little, but maybe not a lot. The fishing on Lake Michigan and Oneida is strong, and most of these guys will limit at both venues.
We finally caught up with Dean Rojas, fishing behind one of the man-made islands at the bottom of Pool 8. He was fishing a current seam and, believe it or not, he wasn't throwing his namesake frog. Instead, he was working what looked like a black-and-blue jig, swimming it through hard cover. We got there just in time, though, because in short order he hooked up with what looked like a 3- or 4-pounder that he flipped into the boat. I asked him how many he has, and he held up three fingers.
Chris Lane said this morning he was not going to keep anything less than 3 pounds. Well, we just heard a big "POW" from his boat and, sure enough, he has a keeper, at least 3 pounds. He's back to casting into openings in the grass, Power-Pole down.
Cliff Pace is Carolina rigging a point near the mouth of the canal where Aaron Martens is fishing. We have seen him catch about four short fish, but one went in the box. Spectators that arrived here sooner say he has four 2-pounders. Pace left briefly, asking the Martens' armada to stay off the point, buf motored back after 10 minutes on a nearby point after several boats began getting close to being on top of his spot.
Kevin VanDam quietly passed another milestone on Thursday. He became the first angler to weigh in more than 1,000 bass in Elite Series competition. No one else is close. Skeet Reese is second with 935, and Todd Faircloth is third with 905.
We saw Dean Rojas run by a couple minutes ago. He is sitting in eighth with 29-15. He set down at what looked like about a mile south of where Faircloth is sitting in another of the limitless grassbeds on the bottom of Pool 8. Faircloth has culled one more time since my last post, but it looked like he gained only ounces. We're off heading south to try and find the Godfather of Frogging.
I just got a text from Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. He tells me that Greg Hackney is back at the ramp with a hook in his hand. That makes the third or fourth of those we've had since Bull Shoals. Going to check the damage.
Things have been quite slow in this little cut for the past 45 minutes. Again, Aaron Martens is a bit concerned that the baitfish movement is being impeded by the number of spectator boats. Now comes another 2-pound keeper. So four fish and 11 pounds. Zona will soon be sharing some interesting videos with Aaron.
The "crowd" erupted with a cheer just now, after Aaron Martens landed his fourth bass of the day. Martens has been chatting regularly with the three men and three women who are observing him from their house, which sits at the mouth of the little inlet where Martens has been all morning. This one was another 2-pounder, like the first one he caught this morning, and gives him about 11 pounds for the day.