Oklahoman Jay Brainard, who started the day in second place with 32-2, appears to be the only angler fishing boat docks. Most of the final 12 is plying pad stems on shallow flats. Brainard is competing in his first Bassmaster Open. Will fishing the technique less traveled carry him to victory?
Gene Bishop is slowly drifting through a huge flat of pad stems. Other boats are either poled down working specific areas or on the trolling motor covering ground. Bishop is literally letting the wind blow him where it may. Every now and then, he'll bump his trolling motor when his boat starts to drift outside he pad stem line. He's slow rolling a lizard, letting it bump into and pull through the pad stems. This water is pretty muddy so what he's doing is hyper-finesse really.
Rain is starting to fall again. I got the Carhatt camera cover on, though, we should be good 'til somebody gets a bite.
Stephen Browning works further in than most of the boats in this area. Chris Jones and Fred Roumbanis also work nearer to the bank.
Luke Clausen lets one sail. Clausen is a member of the big group fishing along the east shore of Barnett this week. Within sight of Clausen: Chapman, Browning, Roumbanis, Chris Jones and Day 2 leader Gene Bishop.
The biggest challenge with any multi-day tournament is adapting to conditions as they change from hour to hour and day to day. It's what separates the top-tier anglers from the wannabes. The volatile conditions during the Ross Barnett Central Open have kept the anglers on their toes. After tournament leader Gene Bishop weighed 26-1 to nab the lead yesterday, he expressed concern about the wind direction. "If the wind shifts tomorrow, I'm screwed," he said.
Sitting in second place, Jay Brainard starts close to home fishing the docks near take-off where he's caught the majority of his fish this week.