We just watched Reese working on a bed for 30 minutes. He switched baits several times, was up and down several times digging out different baits and rods. He fished standing up. He fished squatting down. He swung and missed a half dozen times. He let out a hoot when the bass nearly bit but didn't. He uttered things at the bass that were not for the ears of the spectator boats clustered too closely about him.
It's Day Four, and one of these 12 anglers is taking home the trophy.
We've been watching Hank Cherry demonstrate the fine art of skipping a lure under boat docks. James Overstreet, who has a lot more experience watching Elite Series anglers than I do, thinks Cherry ranks among the best he's seen. There's not much air space under some of these floating docks, but Cherry can skip a jig from the front to the back of every dock he targets.
Biffle is on the move again. He left Potato Creek, ran downriver through a flotilla of debris. Then ran into three backwater lakes all the way to the back, made a 180-degree turn and then back out. He was obviously looking for cleaner water. We've now pulled into a sizable area where the water is as clean as I've seen it all day. He's in the back with his flipping stick in hand. It's obvious he realizes that he's letting this one slip away.
James Overstreet is the male version of the old saying, "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." "Mama" was mad at me after he got hungry this morning, then discovered I'd bought him an egg salad sandwich instead of a tuna salad sandwich in the convenience store, where we stopped to gas up on the way to the takeoff. Egg salad, tuna salad — what's the difference when you're rolling the dice on food poisoning like that?
What you're looking at is a RiverPro jet boat made for navigating shallow water. Owner Danny LaVoie of Snake Creek, GA says it can run in about 3 inches of water. It has no prop, instead pushing air out the back much like a jet ski. It has an Optimax 200 inboard engine. In the photo the engine compartment is open. High speed is about 50 miles an hour. The hull is made of thick aluminum, with a coating.
Biffle has taken up residence in Potato Creek. Most of the morning he's been chunking and winding a spinnerbait with an occasional buzzbait or jig mixed in.
Biffle has given up on the muddy water and is now down river a few miles in a backwater lake. The clarity here is much better and the water temp is 63. Where it was dirty and cold up river, this is more stained. The water conditions are much better, we will see if the fishing is better.
I've abandoned Faircloth and have found Reese in Perch Creek, known locally as Highland, which is the name of the marina here. Of course, now that I've left Faircloth he's probably smashing them. Reese has spent some time in Perch Creek every day. Right now he's fishing slowly down the bank working what looks to be a sinking worm. He had his Power-Poles down for a few minutes but didn't stay there long.