Howell is through the locks and is fishing in Iowa.
Just a hunch, but it seems as if Tommy Biffle is getting a bit antsy. After boating three solid fish within the first hour of the day, he picked up and moved about a half mile down river. Once there, he caught one fish, but just like the last few he hooked, it was undersized. Back into the dark water of the Mississippi it went. After working that new area for about 15 minutes, he has returned to pretty much the same spot where he began the day.
We ran south out of Stoddard Bay, where the water was much clearer and more fishable. We continued to the main river which is muddy. The Mississippi is wide down here with expansive shallow flats. We're idling across one now to reach Brandon Card. He is still a few hundred yards away, fishing a large grass field.
Bobby Lane is taking a time out to re-tie both pitchin rods with fresh hooks.
We're sticking on Tommy Biffle, for obvious reason. He entered the day second in this event, and boated three keepers before we really got settled. The past hour has been tough on the Oklahoma pro, however. He's set the hook numerous times in the past hour, but hasn't brought a fish into the boat. Biffle remains undeterred, though, and is methodically working a small grass point just off the main river channel near the Goose Point area.
Howell just spoke with the lock master. The lock is open. Howell immediately heads for it.
Aaron Martens cranked up the big motor and made a move about 10 minutes ago. Remember that earlier shout-out to our boat driver Brian Beebe? Uh, not so much now. His outboard wouldn't start when we tried to follow Martens. So Overstreet did what he always does - looks out for No. 1 - and jumped in another boat. He just called me to report that Martens caught three fish pretty quickly in his new spot, but a 2 1/2-pound smallmouth is the biggest and the others were small keepers.
"I missed a big one here yesterday," Howell says, pointing ahead of his boat. He is working a frog over a narrow stretch of grass along a riprap jetty. He swings and misses, reels in quickly and follows up with a Senko. The bass doesn't respond. The same thing happens a little farther down. Howell has dropped his Power-Poles so he can work on the bass. "That was a good blow-up," he says. Power-Poles are up. Howell is moving again.
The pros were in good spirits during launch this morning at La Crosse.