Yes, it feels like we’ve been here before. It was only two years ago, Feb. 10, 2019, when everything was setting up for the final day of an Elite Series tournament on the St. Johns River just like it is today. Even some of the anglers are the same. Patrick Walters, the Day 3 leader, was in second place behind Chris Johnston two years ago, and Mark Menendez, 10th after Day 3 this year, was in third place. From the wide gap of three-day weights in the top 10 to the cloudy, rainy weather, there’s an air of déjà vu in Palatka this morning.
The difference is that the gap between first place and 10th place this year is only 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Two years ago, it was 17 pounds, 3 ounces. And we all remember what happened. Rick Clunn rallied from 8th place, 11-13 out of the lead, to win going away with a 34-pound, 14-ounce five-bass limit. His winning weight was 98-14. Johnston finished second with 95-2, and Menendez was third with 95-1.
With history as our teacher, obviously anything is possible today.