Casey Ashley just put his second keeper spotted bass in the boat. It was bigger than the first one. It's raining pretty steadily now and the wind is picking up, making it difficult to keep an umbrella over this iPad. I hope we've got good insurance on this thing.
Farther up the creek we find Skeet Reese fishing where we saw him working on a bedding bass yesterday. He's retrieving a popper over the spot repeatedly with hard, splashy twitches. After a few dozen casts, he moves down the bank still fishing the popper. Then he drops Power Poles on another bed and works it over with several different baits. He pulls up his Power Poles. "I give up," he says, refering to the bedding bass. He shouts to Kurt Dove who is fishing the other side of the narrow creek.
Casey Ashley has been starting on one spot and catching a quick limit of spotted bass before spending the rest of the day hunting bigger largemouths. His plan worked perfectly yesterday, when he found a 6-6 kicker, the big bass of the day. Ashley has already caught six or seven spotted bass this morning, but he just put his first 12-incher in the livewell.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Ryan Norton
Kevin Short drew the short straw today and got me as his Marshal. That's me in the foreground and him in the background. At the last minute Jon Stewart asked me to fill in for a missing Marshal. I'm thrilled to do it. It gives me an opportunity to watch a great angler up close. And I'll be sending in BASSTrakk data on Kevin and sending in Marshal photos as well. These are both tools I helped set up. So it's exciting to use them first hand.
We've launched in a creek where we saw several of the pros fishing yesterday. I said I was going to give up the goods today, but I'm not going to mention this creek until tomorrow. It's a small enough that a flotilla of spectator boats could shut down the bass. Chris Zaldain is fishing direectly across the creek from the ramp where we launched. He's off to a fast start with a 2 1/2-pounder in the box. He started the day in the 11th place.
Jacobson and I are following John Snyder, our boat driver, to a ramp that's closer to where many of the leaders are fishing. I'm good with that. It's in the mid 50s, it's raining and the rain is likely to stay with us all day. The forecast calls for a 70% chance of rain this morning which will increase to 100% just in time for the weigh-in.
Photographer Daren Jacobson and I are back at the bridge near the official launching site for the West Point Elite Series event. He wants to take more overhead photos of the pros passing under us as they head out for the third day of competition. The top 12 for tomorrow, the final day, is far from being decided. The weights are light and tight and one good kicker bass in a limit could vault an angler several places higher in the standings.