Cliff Pirch, Kevin Hawk and Ott DeFoe have all had BASSTrakk issues since early this morning. Hopefully their BASSTrakks aren't at the bottom of the lake. We haven't been able to get in touch with their marshals to find out.
Kennedy, in 12th place, and Murray, in 6th, attempt to move up the leaderboard on the final day of the Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown.
Bowman and I just caught up with Gerald Swindle. We could tell it was him from a distance by the bowed legs. He's sporting the lime green socks, those stood out as well. "This wind is killing me brother," said the G-man, fighting to control his boat. "It's wearing me out." When asked what his weight was he said, "I don't even know. But I just caught a 4.4-pounder." Swindle is throwing a jerk bait, reeling it in quickly, and moving often.
JVD had to take some extra time while making his latest cull. He knew this 4-pounder would help him. The problem came when he was trying to discern the smallest fish in his livewell After that cull. Now he's got five cookie-cutter 4-pounders. "I think I've got over 20 pounds now," VanDam said. "Somewhere around that." All his fish have have been caught drop shotting a Strike King Dream Shot — green pumpkin with blue flake — in about 25 feet of water.
Palaniuk finally catches a better fish on a jerkbait. It leaps high into the air before he gets a handle on it. After boating the fish, he gets out his balance beam and takes several minutes to figure out whether the fish is big enough to cull one in the box. He tosses one fish back into the water. I can't tell if it is the one he just caught. Palaniuk takes a moment to weigh one of his bass. Yeager and I ease over to Palaniuk's boat to pick up Seigo. "I think I have about 22 pounds," Palaniuk says.
We brought Kennedy's kids out to say they watched their old man fish a Bassmaster derby. He caught a 3-12 in front of them!
If BASSTrakk is right, then Aaron Martens has moved up a few places in the standings today and will pick up a few AOY points because of it. If he moves from seventh to fourth at the St. Lawrence, he'll pick up three more AOY points going into the finale on Lake St. Clair. That's not a lot, but every point matters, especially if things get tight in Michigan.
Palaniuk finally hooks one on the jerkbait and lands it. Back into the water it goes. A few hundred yards behind Palaniuk two local anglers are fishing. They land what appears to be a big bass. They are up in shallower water than Palaniuk is fishing. He doesn't see them, or he just doesn't care and is set on doing his own thing.
If you hang around enough tournament weigh-ins, you hear a lot of talk about how much weight the leader will need to have on the final day to put things away — to all but guarantee (there are no true guarantees) victory. Here at the St. Lawrence River, it would be easy to say that Palaniuk needs 25 pounds to guarantee victory here, since a lot of locals seem to think that a 25-pound limit is attainable.
Brandon Palaniuk tells how he found the spot that's produced for him so well this week.