Nothing like a 5-pounder to take the weight off your chest. Alton Jones struck the Heisman Trophy pose after landing his first good bass of the day. He estimated its weight at 5 pounds, and looking through James Overstreet's telephoto lens, it appeared to be every bit of 5. That should give him somewhere between 9 and 10 pounds. But, more importantly, Jones appears now to have some added confidence.
The 2012 Elite Series field launches for Day Four of the St. Johns River Showdown.
Steve Bowman brings you an aerial view of the St. Johns River at the first Elite Series event of the year.
Alton Jones just put his second bass in the livewell, and this one is in the 2-pound range, maybe 2 1/4. But Jones is now 200 yards away from us, so it's difficult to be accurate from here. The bottom line is that the action appears to be picking up, as Jones predicted.
Nine pounds is a healthy margin, but bigger leads have been blown in the Elite Series.
Alton Jones just trolled close by the boat where photographer James Overstreet and I are positioned — with our Power-Pole down. He confirmed that it's just now getting to be prime time, and that his first bass of the day — a 2 1/2-pounder — was foul-hooked and had to be released. But he did express some concern that he's not seeing many "catchable" fish.
Alton Jones finally has a keeper in the boat, but that's all it was - maybe 1 1/2 pounds. However, he doesn't appear to be feeling any panic. "The sun is just now getting right," Jones said. "I really haven't been through the heart of this area yet."
Alton Jones has gone into full stealth mode; his tournament jersey came off at 10:05, in favor of a natural green T-shirt. Jones just used his push-pole for the first time we've seen in two days. In the same place where Jones caught and released a foul-hooked 2-pounder, he stayed set up with his Power-Poles down for another 20 minutes and missed two strikes.
Alton Jones had a 2 1/2 pounder, but close examination of the bass revealed it had been hooked on the outside of the jaw, and therefore, according to the rules, had to be released.