Dean Rojas told me last night that he planned to fish new water today, and he's holding to that. The area that produced both of today's fish was new, and he has hit two areas since leaving there that are also new. "These fish haven't seen a bait," he said a few minutes ago. "I don't think anybody's been in here." Now he's fishing a long point just outside the "new" cove with boat docks.
Steve Bowman's stat of the day: The Day 2 leader has made fewer casts than any Day 2 leader in Classic history. That's unofficial but seems pretty likely. On a per-cast basis, Tak is mopping up. He just set on a fish, but it came off after a few seconds. Back to the slow drag.
"We've hit what, ten spots it?" Ike asked referring to the amount of brushpiles and waypoints we've hit. "It's mental at this point. I know I can pull up to the right one and hit two or three fish and they choke it. It's just a matter of sticking with it."
Mark Zona is in our boat. Tommy Sanders is in our boat. That's Edwin Evers, in our boat. Bob Rutherford, our boat driver, as we sit on Mike Iaconelli, watching him, has pulled up the Classic live feed. It's amazing that we just saw that Casey Ashley made a big upgrade. It's been said in this gallery that Ike needs to do the same if he hopes to have any chance.
Many of the anglers in the Classic field have been saying all week that Lake Hartwell has a 25-pound bag to give, and some believed today might be the day to make it happen.
Ike is still searching for big bites, something he'll do for the rest of the day. "2 and 2 1/2- pounders won't win this for me, but I know this deep deal has the fish to win this - if it works, and I think it will." He's dragging a Missile Football Head Jig and a drop shot around brush.
He made one cast with his yo zuri crank before skipping a jig under a dock. He says, "It's time to catch a big one!" Update by Bassmaster Marshal David Findley
Casey Ashley just caught a 2 1/2 to 3 pound fish and culled significantly. It looked to be about a pound and a half cull for him. His cameraman hasn't updated it yet, but it would unofficially give him 14 pounds, give or take a couple ounces. He was already unofficially leading, so he now has a 3 1/2 pound lead over Jacob Powroznik, who has 16 pounds right now.