James Overstreet and I are off the water, after the short boat ride back to Morristown. Driving back to Waddington beats the heck out of boating back today. It's an unpleasant combo of white caps and boat wakes. Jonathon VanDam caught a fish just before we left that was amazingly like the other 4-pounders already in his livewell. He needs a Hail Mary, provided Palaniuk gets back on time.
Aaron Martens' passion for the highest finish never fades. Under the strong southwest wind, he changed to the jerkbait, and on the first cast, he caught a 4-8. This fish sparked Martens' fuel!
The War Room team discusses what the best lures have been this week on the river.
Palaniuk made it back down to the promised land in an hour and 50 minutes this morning. As of 12:20 when Palaniuk started heading back, he had exactly 2 hours and 40 minutes to make it back for check-in. But that doesn't provide the cushion it appears to. This morning saw flat calm conditions, the best all week. On the way back today, Palaniuk has to dip and dart through an endless sea of watercraft manned by half the population of Canada and New York. A normal weekend here sees a lot of boat traffic.
Cliff Pirch, Kevin Hawk and Ott DeFoe have all had BASSTrakk issues since early this morning. Hopefully their BASSTrakks aren't at the bottom of the lake. We haven't been able to get in touch with their marshals to find out.
Kennedy, in 12th place, and Murray, in 6th, attempt to move up the leaderboard on the final day of the Evan Williams Bourbon Showdown.
Bowman and I just caught up with Gerald Swindle. We could tell it was him from a distance by the bowed legs. He's sporting the lime green socks, those stood out as well. "This wind is killing me brother," said the G-man, fighting to control his boat. "It's wearing me out." When asked what his weight was he said, "I don't even know. But I just caught a 4.4-pounder." Swindle is throwing a jerk bait, reeling it in quickly, and moving often.
JVD had to take some extra time while making his latest cull. He knew this 4-pounder would help him. The problem came when he was trying to discern the smallest fish in his livewell After that cull. Now he's got five cookie-cutter 4-pounders. "I think I've got over 20 pounds now," VanDam said. "Somewhere around that." All his fish have have been caught drop shotting a Strike King Dream Shot — green pumpkin with blue flake — in about 25 feet of water.
Palaniuk finally catches a better fish on a jerkbait. It leaps high into the air before he gets a handle on it. After boating the fish, he gets out his balance beam and takes several minutes to figure out whether the fish is big enough to cull one in the box. He tosses one fish back into the water. I can't tell if it is the one he just caught. Palaniuk takes a moment to weigh one of his bass. Yeager and I ease over to Palaniuk's boat to pick up Seigo. "I think I have about 22 pounds," Palaniuk says.
We brought Kennedy's kids out to say they watched their old man fish a Bassmaster derby. He caught a 3-12 in front of them!