At 9 a.m., Brett Hite has probably sealed the deal on winning this tournament. But there are plenty of incentives for the other 11 guys. Angler of the Year points and money is on the line with every place in the Top 12. And Aaron Martens has to feel like a winner already. He made a miraculous comeback in the AOY race last year, after finishing in the mid-80s at the season opening event. No one else had ever overcome such a poor start in a race that demands consistency.
Brett Hite is on fire, landing a limit of five fish before 9 a.m. ET. His latest catch was a good-looking 5-pounder. The angler from Phoenix, Ariz., showed a lot of emotion, hollering and holding the fish in the air.
Elite anglers face a shortened day on Lake Seminole for the final day of the season opener.
See the Top 12 take-off on the final day of the Dick Cepek Tires Bassmaster Elite at Lake Seminole presented by Hardee's.
Brett Hite just landed fish number 4. We're estimating that gives him 12 or 13 pounds in the livewell. The wind is stronger today than we've seen all week, with 15 to 20 mile an hour gusts. This is the widest part of the lake, giving that old wind plenty of space to build up a head of steam.
There are several anglers bunched near the confluence of Spring Creek and Flint River, and they are having to deal with a different set of weather conditions than they've seen in previous days. Today the wind is blowing hard from the southeast, right into this area. Thursdayit blew hard out of the northwest. Saturday was calm most of the day.
This morning Brett Hite returned to the spot where he did most of his damage on day 3. We're near the Jim Woodruff Dam and Brett is fishing about 10 yards off a wooded bank. He's throwing what appears to be a chatter bait or a bladed bait of some kind. Brett just landed keeper number three, which appears to be a 2 and a half pounder. That gives him 10 or 11 pounds in the livewell. At this rate Brett Hite is going to be hard to catch.
Back on his open water spot. He has two keepers so far. No size to them.
James Overstreet and I are following the leader Brett Hite today. He's fishing near the dam. Hite has started day 4 about like he ended day 3-- and that is catching big bass. He has already reeled in two big fish. We're estimating them to be about four pounds each. Brett is clearly fired up, pumping his fist and hollering with each fish. Three boats with early morning spectators have responded with cheers and claps.
Davis has his limit. He looks to have boated two more in the 3 pound range. He is a good distance away from me off the Flint river. We don't want it get to close and disrupt his water.