Foggy delay

There was a thick coat of fog descending on the takeoff site at Goose Pond when myself and Andy Crawford arrived at the ramp to do the top lures gallery.

It's blanketing the surface now, and Trip Weldon delayed the takeoff by only about 15 minutes.

Expect to see a variety of reaction and power baits in the gallery. Punch rigs, jigs, buzzbaits and topwaters filled the bill.

Palmer fishing his second Top 10

Luke Palmer, 3rd, 47-4

Luke Palmer started the day in third place after three remarkably consistent days. He had 15-11 on both days 1 and 2, and 15-14 on day 3 for a total 47-4. That puts him just 1-6 out of the lead.

The second-year Elite from Colgate, Oklahoma had a strong start in 2019 finishing 26th in Angler of the Year. Currently, he’s 35th in AOY.

This week is the second top 10 he’s made on the Elite Series. The first being Winyah Bay, S.C. in 2019.

Cobb buzzes up No. 1

Brandon Cobb has relied heavily this week on the combination of a Greenfish Tackle Toad Toter buzzbait paired with a Zoom Horny Toad. And it's working for him this morning. He caught his first keeper - a 2 1/2-pounder - at 7:34.

Sullivan is on the board

Randy Sullivan is on the board with a small keeper. He is using one key bait, which is a Berkley Frittside 5 Crankbait, which he is casting along a causeway bridge with riprap.

"It's really key to what I am doing," he said. "Instead of a side-by-side wobble, it produces more of an up-and-down shimmy that gives the bass something different to see."

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Talley begins with a big bang

Frank Talley caught a bass first thing this morning that Elite Series anglers have been spending all day in hopes of landing. It was a 5-pounder - a difference-maker this week - at 7:16. And Talley now leads this tournament.

"Never fished this spot," Talley said. "It just felt good when I was coming up here."

Underway after short fog delay

As you can see in this photo of Brandon Cobb, the fog is burning off Lake Guntersville on this 43-degree morning. There was about a 15-minute fog delay before the top 10 anglers were allowed to leave the Goose Pond marina.

Cobb is a prime example of the inconsistent nature of Lake Guntersville bass fishing right now. He was 6th on Day 1 with 17-0, 1st on Day 2 with 17-11 and dropped to 9th on Day 3 when he weighed only 10-1.

Sullivan locked into one pattern, one lure

Randy Sullivan plans to do today what countless other bass tournament anglers have done at Lake Guntersville - fish bridges. And he's going to do it with one lure - a Berkley Frittside 5 crankbait. It's been very, very good to him over the past three days. Sullivan had the second-biggest bag of 18-8 on Day 1, stumbled with 11-7 on Day 2 and rallied with the biggest bag of Day 3, 17-15. He starts the day in second place, only 1 pound, 2 ounces behind leader Wes Logan.

"The most classic Guntersville pattern ever," said the 28-year-old Breckenridge, Texas, angler. "It's all about that crankbait, sticking with it and grinding it out."

Sullivan caught some fish around boat docks the first day, but that's no longer an option. He plans to stick with cranking around Guntersville's bridges, working around the crowds there and hoping the bass bite with a little more enthusiasm than they did Friday.

"Every single fish that I caught was barely hooked," Sullivan said. "I've tried every variety, color, everything, but they'll bite one particular crankbait, and every single one is barely hooked. It's nerve-wracking."

There is one bad omen for Sullivan. He thought the wind helped him yesterday. It's not forecast to blow today.

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Another day, another lead change

Lake Guntersville in the fall is proving to be the challenge everyone predicted it would be. That's evident in the daily changes in the leaderboard. For the third straight day, there's a new leader of the NOCO Bassmaster Elite. Friday it's Elite Series rookie Wes Logan. Thursday it was Brandon Cobb. Wednesday it was Kyle Welcher.
Welcher (4th) and Cobb (9th) remained in the top 10 and will join Logan in the Saturday finale. Bob Downey made the biggest jump into the top 10, coming from 16th place on Day 2 to finish 8th Friday. In doing so, Downey illustrated the importance of one big bass - the kind that are common every other time of the year on Lake Guntersville. Downey took big bass honors on Day 3 with a 7-3.
It's going to be a shootout Saturday. The top six are within three pounds of the lead.
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Talley rallies while killing time

Frank Talley has had to deal with some adversity today. And he's done it in championship fashion. After suffering mechanical difficulties that left him dead in the water, waiting for a backup boat, Talley caught two 3-pounders.

When he finally got that backup boat and was able to go to the spot he was planning to move before adversity hit, Talley landed a 4-pounder. He's got 14 pounds on the day and is second in the BASSTrakk standings.

Talley finished 69th in Angler of the Year points after his rookie season on the Elite Series. He explained on "Bassmaster LIVE" how he's turned it around - by going back to being Frank Talley, instead of changing his style to fit "the Holy Grail" of bass fishing, like he did as a rookie.

"I chased my tail all last year, trying to make something happen I wasn't comfortable with," Talley said.

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Ito gets off zero in big way

Taku Ito has been leading a charmed life in his rookie season on the Elite Season. He came into this tournament, ranked 2nd in AOY points, after three straight top 10 finishes on the northern smallmouth bass swing. And his luck seemingly continued when he squeaked into today's top 40 cut when he won a tiebreaker - by one ounce - to claim 40th place.

However, his luck seemed to have run out today. Ito was fish-less until almost 2 o'clock. But Ito is smiling again, after landing a 3-pound, 5-ounce bass at 1:57.

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