One of the more interesting parts of Day 3 of this event isn’t actually who is in the semi-final cut, but those who aren’t.
If you play Fantasy Fishing it’s likely those sitting on the sidelines after today come with a barrel full of broken hearts and expectations.
In every event, there are a couple of surprises. But this week has brought more than its share.
Just as an example:
Buddy Gross, who grew up on this lake and is a proven winner on the Elite Series and Alabama, sits in 48th place.
He’s followed by Matt Herren, who some figured was an odds-heavy favorite in this event. Tough derbies fit his style and he’s at home where he’s excelled before. He’s in 49th and now on the plus side of the Classic bubble in points.
Then there’s John Cox who weighed in a 4-fish total, 17 pounds, 3 ounces but could only follow up with a single keeper of 2 pounds, 1 ounce and fell to 53rd place.
Patrick Walters fresh off a win and a Classic birth, could only manage 4-6 on Day 2 and sits in 57th place.
The bigger surprises just keep coming. Brandon Lester, always a top finisher at Guntersville could only manage 5-15 on Day 1 and finished in 61st place.
Paul Mueller who holds the record for the heaviest stringer ever weighed in a Classic with over 30 pounds and caught on this lake, could only manage less than half that in two days and sits in 69th.
Then there’s Jamie Hartman, who won here a year ago in spectacular fashion, was anything but and finished in 77th place. And it’s hard not to point out Bill Lowen in 82nd place.
Lake Guntersville is historic in a lot of ways, most of those ways because of incredible come-from-behind wins, big bass, and heavy stringers. This event could produce some of that by end of the week. By then the victims, like those above, will be forgotten. But every historic story has them and no better time than now to point them out.