Combs culls with a 4 1/2-pounder

Keith Combs is in the process of completing a solid season on the Elite Series - again. The Huntington, Texas, pro uncharacteristically finished 43rd in the AOY standings last year and missed qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic. But he came into this year's AOY Championship ranked 12th and he's having a good week at St. Clair.

Combs was 19th with 18-4 yesterday. He had 18 pounds at 11:45 today, which included this 4 1/2-pound smallmouth.

Since qualifying for the Elite Series in 2011, Combs has proven to be one of the best anglers on the circuit. He finished second to Gerald Swindle in the 2016 AOY race. Combs was 9th in 2017. His Elite Series victories include the remarkable 2013 tournament at Falcon Lake, when he totaled 111 pounds, 5 ounces, and the 2017 AOY Championship at Mille Lacs, when he had 72-5 over three days.

While Combs doesn't have much at stake this week, he does realize the significance of winning this tournament, saying, "It's important. I still have people letting me know how they saw me catching 'em on that big jig at Mille Lacs."