Are your favorite anglers qualified to fish in next month's Toyota Trucks All-Star Week? If not, you should vote them in! All-Star Week takes the Top 8 pros in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings, which includes Brent Chapman, Ott DeFoe, Terry Scroggins, Todd Faircloth, Randy Howell, Matt Herren, Kevin VanDam and Edwin Evers. But it's missing some other big names, notably Chris Lane, Skeet Reese, Mike Iaconelli and Ish Monroe, among others. Voters get to elect four anglers to compete in All-Star.
Howell gave me a little more insight into that 4-pounder he caught a few minutes ago. As mentioned, he was about to change locations, and he was in the midst of stowing his trolling motor. He had about 10 feet of line out when he stopped cranking. As the lure -- a Strike King Series 5 -- hovered in the water, that big fish decided to eat. The old stop-and-go pattern.
For those of you who don't live up north, Tim Hortons is a Canadian based restaurant chain that also has locations in some northern states. Not to be confused with Elite Series angler Tim Horton, who is from Alabama. I wrote earlier about how my Tim Hortons coffee cup flew out of the cup holder, rolled around the boat deck, and didn't spill. Here's what the cup looks like below. Happily the coffee is now in my belly. Unfortunately it will need to exit my body soon and that little activity will take some skill in these rolling waves.
Want to participate in the easiest contest ever? Hop on Twitter and tweet with hashtag #bassmaster anytime before 2 p.m. ET today. You can tweet it as many times as you like. A random Twitterer will be chosen at 2 to win a Bassmaster prize pack, and the winner's name will be announced on stage by Dave Mercer right before the weigh-in.
If Boyd Duckett wins the Ramada Championship today, it will be due to his efficiency in solving the smallmouth vs. largemouth quandary every angler faces at Oneida Lake. "Smallmouth are your lock," Duckett said. "I'm in second place [Saturday] because of the smallmouth. If I win, it will be because of the largemouth. I got two [largemouth] bites Friday and zero [Saturday]. But that one [largemouth] bite [Sunday] will win it for me."
Scott Rook just pulled in his fourth keeper. We're a respectful distance away, but we're estimating 9 pounds total. I'm impressed that he can keep his balance on the heaving boat deck. He's running the trolling motor, casting and reeling adroitly, all while riding up and down like a rodeo cowboy.
Ask Aaron Martens, Chris Zaldain or Brandon Card your questions!
Randy Howell is still twitching, jerking and popping away, but the fish aren't interested in whatever he's showing them. He makes frequent visits to his rod locker, stowing one stick and pulling out another. He still has only that one good bass in his livewell, but every time he passes us, he is smiling.
Did I mention that it's rough out here? Randy Howell keeps chasing flocks of birds and schools of bass, and every run means James Overstreet and I get drenched in spray. "I've got three rainsuits in the truck," Overstreet said just after taking a shower in Oneida Lake water. His hoodie isn't much protection. Bobbing on the front deck, trying to hold his long lens steady, he said, "I feel like Capt. Nemo on the bow of a ship in a freakin' hurricane."
Boyd Duckett didn't qualify for the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, after winning it in 2007 at Alabama's Lay Lake and qualifying the next four years. Standing on the sideline in Shreveport this year wasn't pleasant. He never wants to be in that position again. And the way he has been fishing all week, this morning included, Duckett is clearly a man on a mission.