Brandon Palaniuk was considered one of the pre-tournament favorites at the St. Lawrence River based on his win in 2013 and a 19th-place finish in 2015. Then he finished in 72nd place on Day 1, which he called "by far, my worst day ever here."
However, he remained optimistic.
"I told my marshal that I feel like if I can catch 24 pounds the next three days, I've still got a shot," Palaniuk said.
Then he went out and had his had his best day ever on the St. Lawrence River - 25 pounds even, the big bag of the tournament. Combined with his 15-15 on Day 1, Palaniuk's two-day total is now 40-15, which has him in 9th place. Most importantly, it has his daily average just over 20 pounds, which is what everyone thinks it's going to take to win here.
Palaniuk begins the Day 3 only 2-14 behind leader Kevin VanDam. If he were to rally from 72nd place and win this tournament, it would be the most remarkable feat in Palaniuk's already remarkable Elite Series career.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Rick Moore