Wednesday's practice day will provide some clues about who is likely to win this year's GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.
David Kilgore is catching 'em on practice day.
Each year around Bassmaster Classic time, we get the question, "Why isn't the Classic live on TV?" over and over again. It is because unlike the Olympics or a baseball game or a football game, all which traditionally air live, the Bassmaster Classic takes place over tens of thousands of acres — not in a contained arena, on a diamond or across a 100-yard patch of grass.
Overstreet and I headed for a classic community hole and there were three boats there --- none of them in the tournament. We headed another mile up lake and found Hank Cherry working a piece of structure that Overstreet said he's seen Brent Chapman fishing before, especially when current is moving later in the year.
Our boat driver Jim Leary took us up Alred's, which he says can be excellent. A number of bags in the high 20s are regularly caught here in local derbies, and he bagged 30 pounds here flipping in August. Terry Scroggins is in here checking out the numerous humps. He has another area where he can get "25 pounds up lake" and is here looking for the big ones.
Brent Chapman just drove up, saw Howell, and circled back to talk. "Is there some tournament going on here this weekend?" They're sharing detailed information. That's rare at this level, especially with so much on the line. There are very few partnerships like that on tour, especially among two such accomplished pros.
We've stayed in the same general area, which seems to be a major thoroughfare. Patrick Bone finally left after scouring his spot for an extended period of time and Randy Howell moved in nearby. As befits the cold temps, even though many of them are chunking and winding, they're doing it s-l-o-w-l-y.
Brandon Palaniuk is the first angler we come up to in Alred's. He's slinging a trap near one of the islands, which is hosting a gaggle of coots. Palaniuk closes in on the island Covered in lay downs and within a moment of flipping lands a fish from the branches. "I thought there was a fish, then I got hung ... Then there was a fish." He tosses the 2- to 3- pounder back and continues working the island.