Randall Tharp makes his first Championship Sunday as an Elite Rookie.
Watch Cliff Crochet as he makes his way to Championship Sunday.
Casey Ashley returns to the spot we found him at more than an hour ago. Offshore, he is targeting some humps in 10 feet of water slow-rolling a crankbait. He probably doesn't realize that if he gets one good bite he's in the driver's seat. He has to notice the new spectators though. Four boats surround him when there where none earlier. Jared Lintner heads south past Casey. Last I heard Jared is struggling with two fish. Head over to BASSTrakk and see if I'm wrong.
That blog post I wrote around 10:00 about Dean Rojas not panicking? A half-hour later it was so wrong it wasn't funny, especially for James Overstreet and me. Rojas signaled he was going to make a long run. But we had no idea he was going all the way north to Cypress Bend. After he passed Housen Creek, we had no choice but to turn around and go back near the dam where we launched. The wind is up, so we took a 360-degree beating. We ain't happy, but Rojas might be more so.
Just as we were updating you about Jared Lintner's struggle, he boats a 3-pound fish. He now has two in the boat that are around the 7-pound region. Stay tuned to see if his bite starts to pick up. He is one of the few anglers in the top 12 that are trying to fill their limit. He has plenty of room to add onto his total.
Just to confirm the BASSTrakk entry earlier--Jared Lintner does only have one fish in the boat as of now. Watching the map, he has moved multiple times, but never going far from his original starting spot.
Mark Davis is the hottest angler on the planet. He's just qualified for his fifth consecutive Elite finals (one short of the record held jointly by Skeet Reese and Aaron Martens) and has a shot at a fifth consecutive top three finish (already an Elite record, but it would set a B.A.S.S. record). Currently, Davis shares the record of four consecutive top three finishes with Roland Martin. The B.A.S.S. record for consecutive top five finishes is 14 by Martin (1971-73).
We are idling behind Casey Ashley as he navigates the stumps. He pulled his trolling motor as if he was going to make a run but instead is puttering away from the main channel. I get to hear war stories from my boat driver Randy. He has 4 Purple Hearts and a pound of shrapnel in his leg. He served our country many times over, spending 14 months recovering from a broken neck after his vehicle was fired upon in Iraq. As impressive as watching anglers like Ashley work, meeting people like Randy is even better.
Randall Tharp is still struggling. We made a small move further into Lowe's Creek to the north-side shore. Like most other competitors, he's had a few locals fishing his spots in the same manner, but he's not bothered by it. "I'm just looking for a few big bites, ya know what I mean?" he asked rhetorically.