Biffle works over one patch of flooded trees for several minutes and plucks three short bass from the branches. As I write this, he boats three more bass. One of them is big enough to measure. It passes muster and Biffle adds it to his box. Two spectator boats are following Biffle and staying well back to stay out of his way. They are also checking in with BASSTrack to see how the other pros are doing.
The weather has finally calmed here in southwest Wisconsin, and the spectator boats are out in force. There currently are 13 boats on Aaron Martens, who continues to patiently work a very small area just off the Mississippi. Everyone is giving the Alabama pro his distance, though.
Biffle has finally ended a long dry stretch with what looks to be a keeper. He measures the bass and tosses it back. Before making the next cast he runs his line through his fingers to check for nicks. Biffle swung and missed two times before catching the short bass. With both instances he immediately dropped his Power-Poles, dug out a fresh soft plastic bait and worked the bass over.
When the rain stops, it's time to put the camera down for a second and grab a Diet Dew!
You meet the nicest people under a bridge. My companions, Lonnie Mesar (driver) and T. J. Maglio (Bassmaster.com photographer), and I just watched 12-year-old Jack Mulholland catch a small bass while his dad's boat was seeking refuge under the same bridge where we've been parked since the rain started. We trolled over to chat with the family. Jeff Mulholland, along with his wife, Robyn, daughter, Danielle, and Jack, drove down from Elgin, Minn., Friday to watch the fishing and the weigh-ins.
This morning's action has been punctuated by bad weather, but Aaron Martens just put a change to that. He hooked into a really big bass a minute ago and it took him a full minute to bring the fish in. He worked both sides of the boat, from front to back, to haul it in. "About 4-6," Martens said after he boated the bass. "That one really fought." Indeed it did. We weren't even sure it was going to be bass until he pulled it from the dark water here on the Mississippi.
There has been a quick break in the rain, so I'll be as snappy as possible. Aaron Martens, our Day 2 leader, is still in a little alcove upriver from the launch. He's working methodically, looks as if maybe he's drop shotting. He hasn't moved much since we first came upon him almost two hours ago. One brave pair of guys in a spectator boat appear to have stayed with him during the just-passed deluge. We'll try to ease up on Aaron and see how this morning's bite is treating him.
The Minnesota-Wisconsin boundary "conflict" that entrapped Palaniuk yesterday presents numerous challenges for the Elite anglers. "It's screwy," said Chris Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion from Guntersville, Ala. He said that during last year's Mississippi River Rumble he gambled on catching 3-pounders on Day 3 in hopes of making the final cut.