Has Cliff Pace collected his trophy yet? If not, it may be just a formality.
Palaniuk's first spot is less than a 10-minute run from the boat ramp. We didn't even have time to get cold. As we pulled up on him, Palaniuk was landing his first bass, a nice 2- to 2 1/4-pounder that he caught with a plastic bait on a spinning rod.
It’s going to be incredibly important for Cliff Pace to put a couple bass in the livewell early today. As he mentioned yesterday, he’s running a patience pattern, getting only 7 bites a day. That’s all well and good when expectations are low, but if things are going slowly again today, he’ll be fighting the “I’m letting the Classic slip away” feeling all day.
I caught up with leader Cliff Pace and second-place angler Brandon Palaniuk shortly before takeoff this morning. Neither seemed anything other than themselves, which is saying a lot considering what's on the line today. Pressure has a way of winding you tight. Pace is a stoic guy, and that wasn't any different this morning. He did admit that he felt a little pressure, especially given that he's fishing for a few big bites. Palaniuk was laid back as usual, and didn't seem intimidated by the 7-pound deficit he needs to make up.
First time Classic qualifier Josh Wagy said that with the water warming up and the wind expected to blow, his expectation is that the best bites will be shallower today.
Tracy Adams said the gap between him and leader Cliff Pace makes it unlikely that he'll take the Classic trophy home to North Carolina. Accordingly, his goal is to move up "as far as I can go."
A Japanese media crew asked Mike Iaconelli to hold the Classic trophy for a photo op.
Mike McClelland has caught all of his fish this week on a SPRO McStick 110 jerkbait in the following colors -- Midnight Blue, Ghost Norman Flake and Gray Ghost.