Well it happened. This tournament, from a coverage stand point, presents the perfect storm. We have guys stacked up in the top 12 with only a few pounds separating the field. We put cameras with the top 8 anglers and, of course, Jason Christie comes from 11th all the way to first place unofficially according to BassTrakk with only a few hours left.
Cliff Prince has moved into the back end of Yocum Cove, near where he started this morning. He's solo now; we haven't seen Cliff Pace in awhile. With a southeast breeze blowing directly in here, while not as strong as it was yesterday, it does set up the same formula for fish moving shallow like Steve Kennedy witnessed Sunday.
Cliff Prince is enjoying the breeze filling his sails — and his livewell. He just caught his fifth fish — another smallmouth — giving him about 9 1/2 to 10 pounds. "We've got five," Prince said. "Now it's time to go to work "
Just six pounds separated first from 12th place coming into the final round at Bull Shoals, making it one of the closest Elite events in history. And since six pounds is about the weight of a tournament big bass here, all 12 anglers have at least a puncher’s chance of pulling out the win. If BASSTrakk is accurate, Jason Christie is leading the tournament right now. He was 11th going into the finals, and if he wins it will be the biggest Day 4 comeback in Elite Series history — by a wide, wide, wide margin.
As soon as a southeast breeze started rippling the water, Cliff Prince set the hook on his third keeper of the day. It came after a long lull, in which there wasn't a breeze stirring. After measuring that smallmouth to make sure it was 15 inches long, Prince made a cast and hooked another smallmouth. This one was a 2-pounder. A third cast and a third fish, but this one was short.
Scroggins just made his biggest move of the morning. Up to now, we've been hop, skip and jumping from point to point. This time we ran about 10 miles up the Theodosia arm. He's on the deck casting his Shaky Head. The water temperature up here is 58 degrees. It's starting to warm up above the water as well.
Terry Scroggins with a small upgrade 2 1/4 spot. Pic by Bassmaster Marshal Tim Dail.
Greg Vinson’s fall from first place after Day 2 to 23rd after Day 3 was the biggest fall by a Day 2 leader in Elite history. The previous record was held by Rick Morris, who led after Day 2 on Lake Murray in 2008, but fell to 18th on Day 3. Vinson and Morris are the only Day 2 leaders in Elite history to fall completely outside the cut to the top 12 anglers.
Cliff Prince has made a short move, closer to the mouth of Yocum Cove, where James Overstreet and I saw him catch several fish yesterday. Cliff Pace is still in sight, but no longer just a cast away. Pace caught a short fish 15 minutes ago, but the totals remain the same: Pace 3, Prince 2, nothing big. The sun is starting to warm this area, where there's barely a ripple on the water. Water surface temperature is 52.2 degrees. We'll keep an eye on that.