I’ve been a big fan of the Bassmaster blogs since they started. They make me feel like I have a ringside seat to the action. Nobody covers a tournament like B.A.S.S. A downside for me is that I can’t stop reading the blogs, even when I should be writing to meet a deadline. My computer screen bounces between whatever article I should be working on and Bassmaster.com.
You don't have to go far in Mountain Creek to find a Southern Open finalist. Andy Montgomery is doing some running and gunning from dock to dock, where we've seen him throw a buzzbait some, but he's mostly fishing a jig. Montgomery said he burned 34 gallons of gas yesterday, which is a lot for this lake.
Your Lake Norman reporting crew today - the pair of Moores (Ronnie and Ron) and me - will be bouncing around all day. We left Hank Cherry a few minutes ago. He has only one small keeper, but he's confident he will start sacking 'em after the sun gets further up in the sky. We're now following Andy Montgomery, who confirmed our earlier report that he has four fish, but he said they weigh only about 6 1/2 pounds. Montgomery started the day only 8 ounces out of first place.
Ron Farrow from Rock Hill, S.C., is undoubtedly the most interesting story among today's 12 finalists at the Southern Open on Lake Norman. This is his first-ever B.A.S.S. tournament. Farrow admitted being "overwhelmed" on Day 1, when he caught 3 bass weighing 5-6, which put him in 100th place out of 146 pros. But Farrow caught the biggest bag of the tournament Friday - 16 pounds, 10 ounces - to jump all the way up to 10th place with 22-0.
There's a lot of bass fishing talent in this one little dock-filled pocket in Hagar Creek. Leader David Williams and Elite Series angler Hank Cherry are working docks on opposite sides of the pocket. They both live in Maiden, N.C., which is just a few miles from Lake Norman. Williams just now moved on. We're going to follow Cherry for a while. He was convinced he'd found a potential tournament-winning pattern during the final two hours of Day 2.
A flock of teal buzzed by as we motored across Lake Norman this morning. With the sunrise behind them, a positive ID wasn't possible, but undoubtedly they were bluewings, a sure sign of an autumn cold front.
The Opens pros begin the final day of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open #3 presented by Allstate.
B.A.S.S. writer Craig Lamb captures the early moments of the Southern Open #3 final day launch.
For the third day in a row, there's a weather change in the air at Lake Norman. The conditions at the 7 a.m. start are predicted to stay the same all day long: 59 degrees, clear skies, 8- to 10-mph wind out of the northwest, and gusting higher. That wind may pick up a bit and shift more to the north during the day. But the temperature is predicted to be the same - all day long - before this cold front plunges temps into the 30s tonight.
The Lake Norman code may have been cracked Friday, at least by the 12 finalists in the Bass Pro Shops Southern Open sponsored by Allstate.