Mike Hicks has been staying in nearby Hopewell during the tournament, but last night he went home and stayed in his own bed. He's hoping that home cooking and home state knowledge will pay off, and said that he doesn't care what the weather does. "Weather doesn't matter," he said. "The fish are going to bite when the tide gets right."
The 2011 winner Kelly Pratt got exactly the weather he wanted, still and clear. He believes the sunshine will position the bass predictably. He may seem unflappable and unemotional, but he said he was very excited when he first looked outside this morning and saw a sky full of stars.
Tournament leader Randy Howell said he slept well last night -- no tossing and turning over possible outcomes -- but would have liked a few more Z's. "By the time I got everything ready it was 10:30 [p.m.]," he said. "I was going to get up at 4, but I was awake at 20 until 4." His upcoming drive to Wisconsin may prove grueling, but it'll be a lot easier if the trophy is beside him.
Check out what the anglers reeled in from James River!
The Alabama pro is trailed by a quartet of tidal water experts!
Photographer Seigo Saito sent in his favorites from James River -- and he's off to shoot the big ones at the weigh-in!
Opens angler Art Ferguson shows off a hefty James River bass.
Opens angler Art Ferguson says the James River bass are starting to bite.
We found Randy Howell right by the dam where he was fishing yesterday.