Matt "needle" Herren is fishing somewhere on Toledo "haystack" Bend. He's not in San Miguel. Yusuke Miyazaki is fishing here, though. He has one in the livewell and says the striper bite is great! We heard that Herren might have gone farther north, so we are heading that way.
We've left Ott and moved to Brent Chapman just as he is boating his fifth keeper fish for 14-15 total. He's throwing a jig in about 30 feet of depth. He's understandably upbeat about his whole situation, beginning with his Open win to start the season - qualifying for the Classic and freeing him up to be as aggressive as he wants.
I mentioned earlier how important timing will be in this event. On a lake where summertime patterns play a part, that is always a consideration. From anecdotal evidence from our anglers, it seems the bite picks up later in the day, so being at the right spot at the right time is something they are all fighting to do.
We believe Brent Chapman now has four bass in the boat; he added a 3-pounder about 8 a.m. A catch like that is encouraging — and that's always important — but in order to match the 25-pound, 8-ounce bag Chapman had yesterday, there's not much leeway for a 3-pounder at the end of the day. The sun has cleared the clouds now. Chapman is so methodically working this area, I'd doubt that any amount of sunshine will blow his cool.
Matt Herren has disappeared. He said this morning he'd be fishing in San Miguel. We have been driving the area for an hour, no Herren. We are heading to the Texas side now. This is a big pond!
We just listed the six anglers who have finished in the money at all five Elite tournaments this year. What about the anglers who have bombed — missing every cut and not earning a penny in prize money so far this year? Well, there are seven of them. Here are the names and their AOY ranks: Kevin Short (#74) Byron Velvick (#88) Michael Simonton (#94) Dave Smith (#95) Jared Miller (#96) Bernie Schultz (#97) Chad Griffin (#99)
In our last Elite Series event on Lake Douglas we saw the tone of the tournament set with a technique - strolling or long-lining. It's not necessarily new, at least for these anglers. But it was introduced to a lot of anglers/fans who had never heard of it before. This event may not produce any of those revelations. Instead this seems more of a locale type of event. Who is on what school and where they are finding them, either in brushpiles or drops.
The AOY standings are one way to gauge the success of the Elite anglers this season. Another is to take a look at who's making cuts and earning checks. These are the six Elite anglers who have finished in the money at all five tournaments this year and where they rank in the AOY standings: Ott DeFoe (#2) David Walker (#3) Brandon Card (#5) Kevin VanDam (#13) Bill Lowen (#17) J Todd Tucker (#29)
Ott DeFoe continues to fish this small area - a place where locals have the brushpiles marked and named. Zona says Ott believes the winning fish are swimming here and he's seeing a lot of them on the screen. We are too — big pods of twenty or more moving around. Dennis Tietje says that the baitfish will show up in big numbers soon enough and that's when the real opportunities begin. Ott catches another now, so he has two fish for about 3 1/2 pounds. Jeff Kriet has now moved into this area also.
Brent Chapman tossed out a marker buoy about 15 minutes ago, which appeared to be a sign that he'd located the big school of bass in this offshore spot where he's been camped for the past two days. About 10 minutes later, Chapman said, "That's the kind we need," as he swung what appeared to be a 4 1/2-pounder in the boat. Five minutes later, Chapman threw out another marker buoy. He appears to be getting dialed in.