The Shimano Live Release Boat is ready backstage to receive today's catch from Table Rock.
Skeet Reese is on the board with a 2.5 pounder. Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Tyson Hofsomm
Mark Davis is leading the AOY race for the first time since 2008 (also after three events). That year he finished 12th. If he can go on to win, he'll become the oldest AOY in history (50) and just the third angler to win four or more AOY titles. Roland Martin has nine, and Kevin VanDam has seven. Martin is the oldest angler ever to win AOY; he was 45 when he won his last title in 1985.
I've spent the last hour or so in the boat with Mark Davis. As most time spent with Davis in a boat, it was eye opening. We've watched Davis catch 45 fish today. And virtually all of them have been keepers. They've just been the same size. That makes it hard to build weight, but Davis knows if he keeps wading through them, he'll catch that better fish that will give him a good sack. The majority of those fish have come much shallower than you would expect. And I'm pretty certain he's the only one doing what he's doing.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshall Richard Kiblinger
Chris Lane talks strategy while he fishes Day 3 of A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake.
A little earlier Mark Davis made a comment about the "bluebird blues." It's a beautiful day now, not a cloud in the sky and around 50 degrees. But that clear sky can mean the bite slows down. "The high pressure system and cold night drives the fish down to the 2nd water column," said our driver Steve Isley. "The fish will feed heavily on the pre-frontal condition. With higher pressure conditions their mood isn't as good and they're harder to catch."
Mark Davis is the first Elite angler to post three consecutive Top 3 finishes and appears well on his way to a fourth. Skeet Reese posted five straight Top 5 finishes in 2010. Reese and Aaron Martens share the record for consecutive appearances in the finals (Top 12) with six.
If you don't believe that anyone in today's Top 50 field has a chance to win this tournament, check out Bill Lowen's numbers on BASSTrakk. It shows him with 19 1/2 pounds today, which has him in third place currently. Lowen sweated making the cut yesterday before finishing in 41st place with a two-day total of 25-8.