Palaniuk didn't stay long in yesterday's big fish spot. Now he's farther back in Horse Creek, fishing a bank with a little more incline. He wasn't here five minutes before hooking -- and losing -- what would've been his sixth fish today. He grunted in exasperation but quickly composed himself and went back to fishing. He has been cheerful and talkative all day, and that was the first sign of frustration we've seen out of him.
With the exception of the upper, more riverine section of Grand, we've now seen the enitrety the lake. Ike ran down to the big dam, made a few casts to a large dock with a man chain smoking while his dog sat at his feet, then turned around and ran into the cove just south of what's called Dripping Springs. We're idling Meador's Mercury ProXS and are barely keeping up with Ike as he speed-trolls down tehbank tossing a crankbait as fast as he can. He's definitely in a frantic seach for two kickers to get rid of two rats in his livewell
Hank Cherry has moved to the top of the BASSTrakk standings. From what we know of Brandon Palaniuk’s catch, we don’t think Cherry is actually in the lead, but I wanted to be the first one to use that headline. Cherry started today almost 12 pounds behind Cliff Pace. Twelve pounds is a decent day’s worth of bass in this tournament.
We’ve come to a point in this tournament that we have been waiting for all week. Speculation and guessing are done. What could be or might be, limit or no limit – no longer important. It’s about putting fish in the boat. It’s no longer about whether Pace will fill his limit. Palaniuk is in the driver’s seat because he has the most weight.
We just followed Pace back across the lake where he pulled in less than a hundred yards behind KVD. That's confidence, although if he doesn't care for spectator boats it's an odd choice because he just doubled his problem.
Brandon Palaniuk has moved to a new spot, the place that gave up his heaviest fish yesterday. It's the gravelly point in Horse Creek. Water temperature is 45.8 degrees. A big difference from yesterday: No wind blowing on the point.
I’m going to take you inside Cliff Pace’s head at the top of every hour from now until it’s time for him to check in. This is just pure guessing/editorializing, in case that isn’t clear, we don’t have the technology to actually get inside his head … yet. At this point, I really thought he’d be celebrating in his head, but this is getting serious. My last bass was four hours ago, but that still doesn’t mean it’s time to panic. Right? What could I do to go catch a 10-pound limit?
Cliff just hooked up and swung what many of us thought could be the Classic winning fish into the boat. Unfortunately it was a drum. After the drum, he hooked up almost immediately. When he went to swing this fish it broke his line. Probably another drum, but it was on the other side of the boat so we couldn't tell for sure from this distance.
For the first time this week, we ran down the lake at full speed and didn't have to wear multiple layers of face and head protection.
Don't get too excited, Ike fans. It wasn't much of an upgrade, but it did help. Since Iaconelli has been accused of being a chronic big-eyer of bass, a more accurate estimate of his weight may be in the high 11-pound or low 12-pound range. His cull came from a a marnia as he was flipping a jig in and around parked boats. He set the hook, and the fish came flying at him, across a cable and into his boat. He's heading toward the mouth of Ketchum now, but is cranking his way out rather than idling. We've still got a contingency of just less than 30 boats with us.