Lanier's spots change

A leopard can't change its spots, as the expression goes. But Lake Lanier's spots do - daily, it seems. The nomadic nature of the blueback herring-chasing spotted bass was clearly evident in the shifting nature of the leaderboard from Day 1 to Day 2 in the Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier.

The prime example was Jeff Gustafson of Keewatin, Ontario, who was leading on Thursday with 19 pounds, 2 ounces, and missed the top 35 cut on Friday after falling to 48th place with 5-0.

On the positive side, Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., jumped from 35th place (13-12) to 5th with 16-6 and a two-day total of 32-7.

Interestingly, the overall totals for the 75-man field didn't change much. Day 2 was slightly stingier, as 335 bass were weighed-in compared to 361 on Day 1. It was who caught them that changed.

"These fish move. You've just got to keep an open mind," said Paul Mueller of Naugatuck, Conn., who moved from 7th to 2nd on Day 2 with the second-biggest bag of the day - 18-4.

Mueller started the day working the same pattern that produced a limit weighing 16-11 on Day 1.

"That didn't work out," he said. "These fish move around. You can't be comfortable fishing here. You've got to grind. It's going to be one of those deals where you might have to scrap stuff and go fish fresh."