Elam’s last gasp 9-pounder

What James Elam did in the last 15 minutes yesterday gives hope to every angler who made today’s Top 50 – hope that will carry through to every one of the 12 anglers who make the cut for Championship Sunday, as well.

On his last cast Friday, Elam caught a 9-pound, 2-ounce bass. It gave him 15 pounds, 3 ounces for the day and almost vaulted him into the Top 50 cut after starting the day 96th place with 5-6. Elam finished 57th, less than a pound out of the cut.

“I left 15 minutes at the end of the day to do one more thing,” Elam said. “I’d already fished it two or three times. I just wanted to end on it.”

Elam caught the 9-2 on a Molix Sidus 145, a 14.5-centimeter (5.7-inch) green pumpkin soft plastic stickbait on a Carolina rig. (Interestingly, Cliff Pace’s 10-pound, 5-ounce big bass of the tournament so far was also caught on a Carolina rig.)

That bass illustrates the intriguing quality of Lake Travis: No matter how late in the day or how poorly it has previously gone, there’s always hope. Elite Series anglers how weighed in 10-, 9- and a couple of 8-pounders in the first two days.