We just rolled up on Cliff Pace, who is fishing in an area five minutes north of the landing, casting into a shallow flat. He's throwing a Carolina rig. Just had a strong bite, but lost it. Cliff tells us he has 13 pounds in the livewell. He happens to be fishing across the river from Aaron Martens, who is surrounded by five spectator boats.
Looks like Kota Kiriyama's prediction was right on. The sun decided to show itself a bit and the fish just turned on. Big Show has culled at least one and caught three or four that didn't help, but the big move came from Cliff Prince. In the last 20 minutes, Prince not only finished his limit, but he also culled almost everything in his livewell and figures he's right around 14 pounds now.
We found Davy Hite fishing under a railroad trestle. In fact, a train rolled a few feet above his head shortly after we pulled up. Didn't seem to bother Hite a bit. I wonder if the fish hear the train or feel the vibration? Dennis Tietje tells me they are accustomed to it, and that it may even rile the fish up a bit. Hite says he has about 12 pounds so far.
Pros are working hard to fight the bass out of the grass on the Mississippi River.
Matt Greenblatt says that if this was a pike tourney, he'd be winning it.
We trolled into huge expanse of matted vegetation at the north end of Stoddard and found Cliff Prince, Kotaro Kiriyama and Terry Scroggins each fishing different sections of the mat. Prince has four, but they are all small and he thinks the two days prior have really taken their toll on the fish population as he really hasn't gotten the bites he got yesterday as he sacked more than 16 pounds. Kiriyama, who we watched land his third keeper, thinks it is more the overcast conditions than anything else that is hurting the bite.
Chris Lane said he's beginning to regret not keeping some of those smaller fish this morning.
Aaron Martens continues to catch fish, just nothing that will help him at this point. He landed one that looked close, but putting it on a balance beam proved it wasn't an upgrade. Photographer James Overstreet and I are leaving the water for the day. Neither of us will be surprised if Martens doesn't go back to his starting point for the day and add at least another pound or two.
According to his Marshal, Ron Twardowski, Todd Faircloth has culled up to 14 pounds. He is now leading this event on Day 3.
It seems like the bite has been a little slow for some. As we made our way back downriver, we ran into several anglers who either haven't filled their limits yet or they are fishing the Minnesota side and waiting for the right bites. Here's what they had to say: Matt Greenblatt has just one keeper. He said he thinks that "something's changed," and he couldn't get any where he's been catching them in the morning.