Either the sky is growing darker or I'm dying. Fifty-percent chance on either one of those choices, too. Martens has swung and missed twice in the last 10 minutes.
Roumbanis slides a keeper in over a bright green carpet of duck wart and promptly releases it. The water is protected and calm in here, but there is enough of a breeze to push Roumbanis silently along. He is making long casts and fishing his frog fast with quick, short twitches.
Here's something to keep in mind: BASSTrakk currently has Aaron Martens with 14 pounds, 5 ounces. James Overstreet, who has seen a few bass in his day, doesn't think Martens has a 3-pounder in the boat. In fact, he heard Martens say earlier, "Where are all the 3-pounders?" Overstreet believes Martens now has five bass that are cookie-cutter 2 3/4-pounders. That would put him at 13 3/4 pounds, which isn't that far off BASSTrakk.
We idled for eternity across a very wide, shallow, muddy and choppy Mississippi River in search of Fred Roumbanis. He is proving harder to find than the Lost Sea Scrolls. I'll be dogged. There he is, right where we started looking for him this morning in Stoddard Bay. BASSTrakk has him going on 14 pounds. He's frogging away, just as we expected he would be. The water in this stretch is still clear. Far across the same bay is Todd Faircloth. He wasn't here this morning either.
Minnesotan bass anglers dislike the no-cull rule for fishing waters here, and not just because it cost them a Fantasy Fishing pick in Brandon Palaniuk.
Looks like Tommy Biffle was just able to cull for the first time today. He's fishing a narrow area of the Black River and slowly working a heavily treed shoreline. The bass he just boated looks like it may go about 2 pounds, which probably gave him a few extra ounces to his Day 4 total. That should have him in the 12-pound range, but again, that's just going by eyesight. The weather has held off so far, and we certainly are thankful for that.
In further testament to the efficiency of the Elite Series service crews, Brian Beebe, James Overstreet, a loaf of PB&J sandwiches and I are back on the water. And we didn't have to go far to find Aaron Martens. You could observe him from the Clinton Street bridge. In the brief time Overstreet was away, Martens got his line stretched a couple of times by some big drum, according to other observers, but he hasn't added another bass to the 12- or 13-pound limit he's got.
Randy Howell has three fish total for about 7 pounds. We are working to get BassTrakk updated.
He just had a 2 1/2-pounder jump off half way to the boa, but he's had two bites in the last five minutes.
Randy Howell's BassTrakk has been out of the service area most of the morning. We are trying to get an update from his marshal, but it appears he has no service either. We believe Howell's weight on BassTrakk is incorrect. We will provide another update as soon as possible.