With 15 minutes left in the game, Randy Howell picked up his trolling motor and made a short move below the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers. His first cast appeared to be a game-changer, but he set the hook on a small pike.
We've passed the halfway point in the second hour. In other words, Howell and Walker are in the 4th quarter of the BASS Brawl. Howell's 0.39-pounder is the lone bass catch of the day, but he and Walker have provided a nearly two-hour seminar of bass fishing tactics and tales from the Elite Series tour. They are two of the most personable anglers on the Elite Series, and two that never seem to be in a bad mood, no matter how bad their day on the water went.
Randy Howell has chosen to follow the advice of the UT bass team. He's starting the second-half of the BASS Brawl in the Holston River. He and Walker are working their way up from a railroad bridge where they were briefly in the first hour.
Walker and Howell are in Howell's boat now. Howell just asked the local Univ. of Tennessee guys, "What are we doing wrong?" Their answer: "You're in the wrong river." We'll see shortly if Howell takes their advice and goes back to the Holston River.
Closing in on the end of the first hour in this two-hour battle, it's a low-scoring affair, as in 0-0. Walker has moved again, this time to an island in the French Broad River.
Tommy Sanders and Stephen Browning comment as Randy Howell and David Walker fish in the first B.A.S.S. Brawl on the Tennessee River near Knoxville. The two were monitoring Facebook questions to answer and relay to Howell and Walker. Sanders said the use of the new technology to broadcast live from the water will be a game-changer for bass fishing coverage on B.A.S.S. He said you can expect to see more B.A.S.S. Brawls on Bassmaster.com, and the live look-ins from the water will be a boon to coverage during the Bassmaster Classic.
Knoxville my home town. I grew up in the hills of East Tennessee, though I live in Birmingham, Alabama now, so this little duel between Randy Howell and David Walker has great interest for me. David is representing the state of Tennessee and Randy is representing Alabama. I'm thinking my Tennessee Vols do not have a great chance against the 4th ranked Crimson Tide this Saturday on the football field. The Vols record is 3-4, and they are struggling. So I'm hoping David Walker can have a good day today and perhaps provide a little redemption for us starving Vol fans.
David Walker has hopscotched his way up the Tennessee River. His third stop came at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad rivers. Neither he nor Randy Howell have had a bite yet. But conditions are good. It's interesting to watch the two anglers work through a range of baits. Walker has five rods on his boat deck. Howell brought 10 rods into Walker's boat. They've both employed spinnerbaits, crankbaits and jigs in trying to get a clue as to what the bass want this morning.
With David Walker in control first, he has chosen to move up the Tennessee River from our launch site this morning. There are all three black bass species in the river here, including some big smallmouths. Three members of t he University of Tennessee bass fishing club are here this morning - Will Painter, Jackson Minnich and Jay Emmert. They put two largemouth in their livewell before joining us at the launch ramp. And they report that an 8-pound, 1-ounce smallmouth took big bass in a local tournament recently.
David Walker and Randy Howell are awaiting the coin toss to determine whose boat they'll fish from first this morning. They're on a dock across the Tennessee River from Neyland Stadium, where the Vols will host Alabama on Saturday.