Friday's storylines

Today is a pivotal day for many reasons. The tight gap between the low weights is a key reason why. 

Only five pounds separates the anglers in the 20th-place range with leader Shin Fukae. Fukae is no doubt leveraging his specialty, which is catching offshore bass using drop shot techniques. That is how Fukae won the 2014 Bass Pro Shops Northern Open on Lake Champlain. 

Fishing is tough. Yesterday at the tanks I watched at least 6 bass go from the bump table to the live release boat. They were too short. The real downer was that in some cases, the short fish was all that was in the bag of the angler. Lots of zeros. At least 30 anglers never crossed the scales, either due to a short fish or not catching any at all. More of the same is possible, because the weather is the same as Day 1. 

Even bigger are the factors influencing a qualifying slot in the 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Some here want to win to qualify; others want someone else to win in the hopes they might qualify by default. 

Without going into more detail in this blog I will do that in a feature to be published this afternoon on Be sure and come back and check it out. The feature will be all about the details of who and how will qualify for the Classic from this tournament, and next week at the final Central event on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.