Lane has just started fishing. Long after Hite caught his first keeper. He's working lily pad edges and pods at the mouth of the St. Johns. This is where he started yesterday and left because he wasn't feeling it. He came back in the afternoon and culled for a ounces. Can't help but wonder if this was one of those magical places on Day 2.
Davy Hite is on the spot he's fished predominantly the past three days - in the St. Johns River, about a half-mile from its confluence with Lake George. Hite caught a keeper on his second cast of the morning. He's working the outside edge of an eel grass line. Photographer James Overstreet and I will be following Hite today.
We are sitting at the lower end of Lake George waiting on Chris Lane. We expect to see him in the next 10 or 15 minutes. We will be able to hear him long before that. We are starting to hear the rumble and roar as the flotilla gets into the lake.
Photo 1: Dave Mercer interviews Keith Combs before take-off this morning. Photo 2: A look at the beautiful sunrise on St. Johns River this morning as take-off begins.
An eagle surprised us today by striking fast to get some lunch.
The century drought Larry Hill won the 1973 Florida Invitational on the St. Johns with 108-2 (three days, 10-bass-limit). The century mark would not be broken again in BASS competition for almost 30 years (Dean Rojas in 2001 on the Kissimmee Chain). Davis leads AOY Three-time Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Mark Davis leads the AOY race after two days on the St. Johns. Davis won the AOY title in 1995, 1998 and 2001. He last led the AOY race early in the 2008 season.
There have been too many bass in the 8-, 9- and 10-pound range caught here over the previous three days for any lead to be safe.
Chris Lane talks with Mark Zona about his Day 3 strategy.
Even with the cushion of a 12-pound lead, Chris Lane plans to work just as hard on the final day, admitting "anything can happen" on a big-fish factory like the St. John's River.