Check out the scenes prior to the final weigh-in at All-Star Week.
Mike Elkins and I had put the boat on the trailer and were headed back to Muskegon. We looked down on the water as we crossed the White Lake bridge in Whitehall, and there was Hank Cherry, fishing a shallow area covered in lily pads next to a city park. He was throwing a frog. So we stopped and had one more visit with him today. "What's the matter, you get tired of catching those smallmouth?," I asked. "Just thought I'd come up here and see if I could catch a big green one," Cherry said.
Keith Combs and Ret. Sgt. David Yager landed a nice lake salmon during the Folds of Honor fishing day sponsored by A.R.E. accessories. Photos by Davis Yager
Our boat driver Mike Elkins has spent a lot of time on White Lake and he's never seen anyone attack it like Hank Cherry is today. He's fishing off Dowies Point, where a 4- or 5-foot deep sand flat runs quite a distance offshore, then drops sharply into 20 feet of water. There's some vegetation on the sandbar. Cherry is positioning his boat in the deep water off the breakline, but close enough that he can hit the edge of the flat. Then he reels a Damiki swimbait off the edge into the depths. He's working a stretch of the breakline that's about 200 yards long.
Hank Cherry's big day is drawing a big crowd, including a kayaker who made his way down to check out the action.
Hank Cherry just set his rod down on the boat deck, took a couple slugs on a soft drink, then reached down to touch his toes and stretch his back. "Man, this is wearing me out," he said. Cherry picked his rod back up and went to work, catching another 2 1/2-pound smallmouth. It weighed exactly 2 1/2 pounds because Cherry put it on the scales. And it didn't help him. Cherry's standards for another keeper are pretty high right now, obviously. He's only got one fish in the livewell weighing less than 3 pounds.
Evers is scrambling. Or at least it looks that way. He just picked up and headed back up the lake. Prior to that he was rushing down the bank, chunking and winding. All he needs to do is trip up on a school like the one Cherry has been on. He could get well quick. That goes for all these guys. We are accustomed to seeing Evers pull off magical things. Come to think of it. We've seen that kind of magic from KVD and Pace as well. Cherry is surely hoping these three don't start jerking rabbits from the hat. But would anybody be surprised if they did?
Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona talk about how to be successful during the Toyota All-Star Week and Evan Williams Bourbon Championship.