Steadily, Mueller’s crowd grows. Tharp just made a move, and we’ve picked up some of his boats. More and more are crowding into his spot, unbeknownst to them. However, the crowd is policing itself, telling errant boats to move. Mueller’s picked up a jerkbait and is twitching it along, showing the fish something different. Being a coldwater specialist, Mueller is likely pretty handy with the long, slender twitchbaits.
As soon as I pressed "send" on that last entry, Tharp put on his life vest and moved a short way to a spot we did not see him fish yesterday. It appears to be a flat on the edge of the river channel, the first place these fish would move up after leaving their wintering places.
Edwin Evers picked up and moved about 200 yards, near the back of this creek, and immediately landed a 2-pounder. He caught this one flipping a laydown. He landed a short fish about two casts later. Still looking for that fifth fish.
As what seems to be a long dry spell continues for Tharp, he's gradually losing spectator boats. They're peeling away, one by one. That could make the dry spell more mentally draining. On the other hand, fewer whirring trolling motors might also loosen up the bite. We've speculated that this is his "limit sport." We'll see how long he sticks it out, or whether he'll bail earlier than expected.
Jordan punched up another bass, but this one won't help. It was just short and went back in the water. He said he didn't start fishing shallow yesterday until after noon, but with two caught already this morning, this bite may be good all day.
Jordan Lee entered this Classic with the burden of being considered the College BASS angler with the best chance to do well here. Granted, that's a short list. College BASS qualifiers were added only three years ago. Lee left Day One disappointed - in 40th place with 4 fish weighing 13-7.
Mueller just put his fifth fish in the boat. It looked to be just shy of 2 pounds, giving him a tentative total of roughly 15 pounds. He’s still working the bladed jig. There’s considerable current today, which might turn these fish on. Mueller just now boated another, which culled for maybe a half pound. Apparently he’s got to weed through smaller fish to find one that’ll make up another 30-plus-pound limit.
DeFoe methodically fishes the riprap with a small shallow running crankbait. He's casting parallel and tight to the rocks and slowly grinding the bait over the riprap. And I mean grinding. He pauses frequently to let the crankbait float off snags and he's often snagging the rocks. He makes two passes, catches a short bass and eases under the short, narrow bridge opening. To get under the bridge, he tilted his Minn Kota Talon electric anchors forward on their bracket to get them lower.
Roumbanis pulled into a pocket and tied on a pepper custom swimjig with an optimum double diamond swimbait trailer and is starting to go to work on quality fish.