Aaron Martens must be very comfortable. He's sitting in a congested little inlet, with houses on one side, and he appears to be organizing his tackle. We think he's protecting his hot fishing spot, perhaps from other anglers, or from the locals. In some locations, the locals will watch where the pros fish, then come back later in the day and fish the same spot.
I'm sure it sounds like a broken record at this point, but the amount of fishable water in this river is unbelievable. Unlike a lot of rivers where the fish are just grouped up on certain types of cover, in La Crosse, if it's in the water, it probably holds a fish. While we were making our way out of the endless backwater in the Stoddard area, we ran into Randy Howell. He was working a grassline quickly with a frog and thinks he has about 13 pounds.
Aaron Martens, of Leeds, Ala., was in fourth place this morning as Day Three of the Mississippi River Rumble kicked off. Let's see how his day on the water is working out.
We just rolled up on Cliff Pace, who is fishing in an area five minutes north of the landing, casting into a shallow flat. He's throwing a Carolina rig. Just had a strong bite, but lost it. Cliff tells us he has 13 pounds in the livewell. He happens to be fishing across the river from Aaron Martens, who is surrounded by five spectator boats.
Looks like Kota Kiriyama's prediction was right on. The sun decided to show itself a bit and the fish just turned on. Big Show has culled at least one and caught three or four that didn't help, but the big move came from Cliff Prince. In the last 20 minutes, Prince not only finished his limit, but he also culled almost everything in his livewell and figures he's right around 14 pounds now.
We found Davy Hite fishing under a railroad trestle. In fact, a train rolled a few feet above his head shortly after we pulled up. Didn't seem to bother Hite a bit. I wonder if the fish hear the train or feel the vibration? Dennis Tietje tells me they are accustomed to it, and that it may even rile the fish up a bit. Hite says he has about 12 pounds so far.
Pros are working hard to fight the bass out of the grass on the Mississippi River.
Matt Greenblatt says that if this was a pike tourney, he'd be winning it.
We trolled into huge expanse of matted vegetation at the north end of Stoddard and found Cliff Prince, Kotaro Kiriyama and Terry Scroggins each fishing different sections of the mat. Prince has four, but they are all small and he thinks the two days prior have really taken their toll on the fish population as he really hasn't gotten the bites he got yesterday as he sacked more than 16 pounds. Kiriyama, who we watched land his third keeper, thinks it is more the overcast conditions than anything else that is hurting the bite.
Chris Lane said he's beginning to regret not keeping some of those smaller fish this morning.