Coming out of practice, Steve Kennedy had located both sight fish and swimbait fish. He chose to target the swimbait fish first, but struggled because the cold nights had pushed them down.
"The whole thing was humiliating," Swindle said. "I had the trolling motor on high and the boat was swinging around while I was fishing a dock on my tip toes from the front of the boat, looking for fish. The boat hit the dock and I did a front flip, X-Games style off the front deck into the water."
VanDam was running a defined pattern in different areas, primarily focusing on smallmouth bass. He mixed in sight fishing — a technique used by many in the top tier of the field — along with a number of blind casts.
Smith Mountain Lake, will be home to the fourth Elite Series event of the 2009 season. The lake spans a little over 20,000 surface acres with more than 500 miles of shoreline, most of it characterized by coves, docks and boathouses.
In this photo gallery, you'll find weigh-in images from Day One of the 2009 Elite Series Blue Ridge Brawl on Smith Mountain Lake, near Moneta, Virginia.
In this photo gallery you will see images of the 2008 elite series Citrus Slam on the Kissimmee chain of lakes in Florida.
In this photo gallery you will see the anglers make last minute preparations before the take off. The first group of anglers makes their way onto Lake Wheeler for the start of the Evan Williams Bourban Dixie Duel.
In this photo gallery, you'll find weigh-in images from Day Two of the 2009 Elite Series Diamond Drive on Lake Dardanelle, near Russelville, Arkansas.
In this photo gallery, you'll find images of the anglers as they prepare to launch on Day Three of the 2009 Elite Series Battle on the Border on Lake Amistad, near Del Rio, Texas.
The biggest prize is now out of reach. Your expectations for the Bassmaster Classic were not even close to fulfilled. You are disappointed. You are more disappointed the more you think about it. It is very difficult to pull back and look at the big picture. Once you get to that point, you can see how lucky you really are.