James Overstreet continues to give me periodic updates from Aaron Martens, who hasn't caught another keeper lately. I'm standing on dry ground, what little there is in La Crosse after the soaking rains all week, and it's in the B.A.S.S. media trailer. Brian Beebe is attempting to get his boat repaired, and all three of us should be united with a loaf of PB&J sandwiches in Beebe's boat shortly.
There's a narrow band of clearer water around the rocky point that Card Is fishing. That band is getting narrower by the minute as the wind is pushing muddy water toward it. Card boats a smallmouth that had him culling. He likely has more than 12 pounds now. He confirms that he is throwing a swim jig. Card catches two more keeper smallies on consecutive casts, but neither is big enough to cull. "My frog area is trashed with mud," he says.
Pirch adds 2 pounds. Now he has a limit! Photo submitted by Bassmaster Marshal Alex Ebertowski
We followed Card out to a rocky point that he is fishing with some type of cast-and-wind bait, maybe a swimming jig. Card tells us he just caught his fifth bass, a small keeper. Then he sets the hook on a better fish, promptly boats it and puts his Power-Poles down, so he can cull while staying put. Card says he has over 11 pounds in the box. He culls a bass and hooks another one on his first cast. It allows him to upgrade by a few ounces.
Cliff Pirch has four. His Marshal, Alex Ebertowski, estimates he has 8 3/4 pounds in the livewell.
Sorry boys, but you're going to get shelled again. It looks like about an hour. Get 'em while you can. Last year it was the mayflies, this year it's the rain. We sure hope this doesn't hurt our chance for you coming back next year.
Howell is through the locks and is fishing in Iowa.
Just a hunch, but it seems as if Tommy Biffle is getting a bit antsy. After boating three solid fish within the first hour of the day, he picked up and moved about a half mile down river. Once there, he caught one fish, but just like the last few he hooked, it was undersized. Back into the dark water of the Mississippi it went. After working that new area for about 15 minutes, he has returned to pretty much the same spot where he began the day.
We ran south out of Stoddard Bay, where the water was much clearer and more fishable. We continued to the main river which is muddy. The Mississippi is wide down here with expansive shallow flats. We're idling across one now to reach Brandon Card. He is still a few hundred yards away, fishing a large grass field.
Bobby Lane is taking a time out to re-tie both pitchin rods with fresh hooks.