Lane is back near where he started. He left here this morning because he wasn't "feeling" it. Be interesting to see if the feeling is here. Meanwhile I feel like Don Barone thinking about song lyrics using that word.
We are in the river making our way back, stopping occasionally and hitting a point or patch of pads every mile or so. Recreational boat traffic has picked up and there's a constant stream of boats passing behind. On our last stop I noticed the water patrol had a couple of boats pulled over for exceeding the 30-mph limit. We've been minding our Ps and Qs, so I was a little surprised when an officer boated up to us. We were about 100 yards from Lane. He wanted to know if we were with him.
Lane fished through an area, catching three, culling a few ounces. But more importantly losing two. He saw neither but said both felt like heavy fish. He's getting ready to move again, headed upriver in the direction of Lake George.
Chris Lane's 8-15 lead after two days is the fourth biggest in Elite history. Of the leads that were bigger, only Greg Gutierrez's 10-15 buffer after two days on Clear Lake in 2007 did not hold up. The biggest Elite lead after three days was 12-15 by Brandon Palaniuk at Bull Shoals in 2011; he went on to win.
We sneaked in on Davy Hite (5th with 57-8) just in time to see him haul back in response to a strike. He missed -- or the fish did -- and his momentum caused Hite to dance halfway to the stern. Only his agility kept him from going overboard. The fish that caused the near-mishap must have stayed put, for Hite went right back to pitching toward the bed.
Get up-close with the Elite Series pros as they bring in their best catches on the St. Johns River.
The southwest wind blowing into the eastern shore of Lake George has sent not only Randy Howell, but Mark Davis as well to the west. They're about 100 yards apart, but a mile or so north of where Howell caught all his fish the previous two days. Randy Howell has always been one of my favorite guys on this tour. After that boat ride back and forth across the whitecaps, I may reconsider. Seriously, Howell isn't happy with the water clarity here either. He's going to fish this spot quickly.
This fish allowed Jones to cull again putting him over 20 pounds today. Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Glynn Webber
Lane just boated another 3-pound class fish. My count he has two 3s, two 2s and an 8 plus. Add the plus and a few extra ounces, I'm saying he's in the 19-pound neighborhood. That may be enough to keep his lead, but we are certain Lane is hungry for the 30-pound neighborhood. Meanwhile, everyone has virtually cleared out, leaving Seigo and me as the only neighborhood watch.