Mike Huff started the day in third place, 5 pounds behind leader Lee Livesay. But he's right in the middle of the fight for this title now, after landing a 7-pounder.
"Oh my gosh! Look at the size of that thing!" said Huff as he lifted the big largemouth into the boat. "I'm about to have a heart attack."
The 30-year-old second-year Elite Series angler from Corbin, Ky., is following the pattern he discovered yesterday, when he posted the second-largest weight of the tournament - 19 pounds, 1 ounce - on a day cut short by 2 1/2 hours due to a fog delay. He's about 10 miles below Watts Bar Dam, where the current is ripping, flipping bluff walls and laydowns. His lure of choice is a 3/8ths-ounce Cumberland Pro jig with a Berkley MaxScent Creature Hawg trailer, which has been shortened for a smaller profile.
"When it gets tough back home, we (do this)," Huff said. "They don't want something big."
Five minutes after he put the big bass in the livewell, Huff said, "My heart rate is dangerously high right now."
Mike Huff is dangerously close to winning this tournament, although it's still early. He started this event in 50th place on Day 1, and moved up to 33rd on Day 2 before his big jump yesterday.