In one way, this tournament has been a microcosm of Brandon Palaniuk's season. He started in 72nd place after sacking "only" 15-15 on Day 1. And he enters today in third place, 3-4 behind leader Kevin VanDam.
In Palaniuk's second tournament this year, at Florida's Lake Okeechobee, he finished 105th. When the daily Angler of the Year points were totaled based on yesterday's standings here, Palaniuk was No. 1, with 621 points, followed by Casey Ashley (616) and Kevin VanDam (604).
That could change somewhat when the points become official, based on today's final standings. Whatever the results, it has been a remarkable run for Palaniuk. This marks his fifth Top 12 finish. Other than Okeechobee, Palaniuk's worst finish is 18th at Mississippi's Ross Barnett Reservoir.
"I'm still pissed about Okeechobee," Palaniuk said Saturday. "I'm going to be pissed about Okeechobee all the way until the final day at Mille Lacs (site of the season-ending AOY Championship) or for the rest of my life - one of those two. There's no other way to put it."