Prime time for Cook?

Andy Crawford just pulled up on Drew Cook, who is fishing a main river grassline, focusing on the edges. He is rotating between a frog and soft plastic bait, pitching it high and allowing it to land and penetrate the surface.

"This is my best stretch and best time of the day to be here," he said.

BASSTrakk shows him with four keepers for about 10 pounds. The Thursday leaderboard had him in sixth place, so hopefully, this indeed is the window of opportunity for Cook to maximize his chances of competing in Championship Saturday.

Wendlandt continues to rise

To win an Elite Series Angler of the Year title, you've got to overcome some adversity. The first day of this tournament was adverse, to say the least, for AOY leader Clark Wendlandt. After a fish-less morning, Wendlandt said he was starting over, throwing out everything he'd learned in practice. He managed to finish 42nd that day with a limit weighing 11-6.

Wendlandt made the Day 2 cut in 35th place with 12-8 and 23-14 overall. Survive and advance, that's the theme for Wendlandt, and he's advancing up the standings in a big way today, thanks to a 4-pounder that has him up to 20th place in the BASSTrakk standings.

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Downey adds an upgrade

Bob Downey was on "Bassmaster LIVE" for a bit recently to talk about the 6-pounder he caught earlier. As soon as that Skype call ended, Downey added an upgrade - a 2 1/2-pounder. It gives him an estimated 13-3, and he's still got a couple of 1-pounders in his livewell.

Card catches an antique

"You never know what you're going to find out here," said Brandon Card, after snagging the line of a swimbait lost long ago in Lake Guntersville. "How old is that swimbait?"

As for the bass he's caught today, Card has a limit weighing 9 1/2 pounds, which is keeping him in the top 10, according to BASSTrakk. Card began the day in 10th p

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Cobb on tricks to retrieving your lure from under a dock

From a distance, you would think that Brandon Cobb is practicing a magic trick called the ole’ floating rod trick. In reality, he is retrieving his swim jig from a dock post. Cobb said the trick is to never let go of your line, obviously; however, when the rod starts down the path, try not to let it hit too had or it knock your front eye guide off. I suggest all of y’all at home practice this one in clear shallow water.

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Downey lands a difference-maker

Bob Downey landed a difference-maker at 10 o'clock. As we have seen over the previous two days, anything in the neighborhood of six pounds changes the game this week at Lake Guntersville. Downey caught a 6-5 that opens the door for him to make the cut to tomorrow's top 10 finale.
Downey, an Elite Series rookie from Hudson, Wis., was 12th on Day 1 and dropped to 16th on Day 2. But the standings are so tight that Downey now has a shot - for sure.
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Canterbury lands 3 pounder

Scott Canterbury’s day just improved significantly. He moved down to Spring Creek and just landed a 3 to 4 pounder. His cameraman put it into BASSTrakk as 3 pounds, giving Canterbury 5-3 so far today. That moves him into 12th place in the unofficial standings with two keepers. 
Canterbury is fishing docks. He lost a big bass at the boat prior to landing the keeper.

Palmer has been Mr. Consistency

In a tournament rife with inconsistencies, Luke Palmer has been the picture of consistency - on paper anyway. He weighed 15-11 on Day 1 and 15-11 on Day 2. That's been enough to move him up from 11th to 7th over the first two days at Lake Guntersville.
But Palmer will tell you he's been something less than steady in landing fish he's tried to drag out of the thick mats he's punching.
"I have not executed this week," Palmer said yesterday. "It's sickening. I lost four (Wednesday) that would have helped, and I lost two (Thursday) that would have helped."
However, Palmer recognizes that's part of it when you're fishing the thick stuff. He's been catching a few each day on topwater, mostly early, with a War Eagle Buzz Toad and a "plopper-style bait." Then he's punching the grass.
"Big rod, 80-pound braid, hit 'em as hard as I can and hope I get the right five to come out," said Palmer, who added that he's got three flipping rods on the deck - one with a 3/4-ounce weight and two with a 1 1/2-ounce weight.
Palmer had four keepers at 10 o'clock, which has kept him in the top 10 on BASSTrakk.

Talley is in his comfort zone

Frank Talley started today in 9th place after weighing 16-5 Thursday, which was one of the better bags of the day. He's worked his way into a comfort zone of eelgrass lines up the river. The fact that he's already got four keepers makes him only more comfortable.

"My bite hasn't been happening until 10 or 11," Talley said on "Bassmaster LIVE" earlier today. He described how he's working the outside wall of eelgrass with a Strike King Thunder Cricket vibrating jig and occasionally with a Strike King 1.5 squarebill crankbait. Talley has noticed schools of big gizzard shad swimming in and out of the eelgrass, and he believes bass are targeting them there.

Talley desperately wants to qualify for the 2021 Bassmaster Classic at Fort Worth, which is close to his hometown of Temple, Texas. And he's well on his way, currently ranked 28th in the Angler of the Year standings. Talley's best finish in his two years on the Elite Series was 13th at Oklahoma's Lake Tenkiller last year. He's on the verge of topping that this week.

Cobb on skipping a buzzbait tip

Brandon Cobb took a moment this morning to share with me two of his best buzzbait tips. When asked, Brandon said, “ I like a squeaky buzzbait blade; and one way I do that is by drilling a few holes into the blade.”  While I was watching Cobb this  morning, I was seeing home skip his buzzbait sometimes completely under a dock and out the other side. I’m like who does that!  My boat driver and local fishing guide, Lonnie Calhoun, said “ add a horny toad, “ then I turned Brandon and said, “ hey Brandon, what’s the secret to skipping a buzzbait, “ and he said “ add a horny toad.”  So you know what, add a horny toad if you want to skip a buzzbait a mile under a dock.

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