DeFoe and Walters

Ott DeFoe has 3 in the box. Unsure of the size of number two and three, but they joined a 2 1/2 from earlier.

Patrick Walters got past one of his hairy spots up river, but still has one more to go through before being free. He opted to fish a 100-yard stretch right below the rock shoal and caught his second keeper.

Brooks continues to battle

There is no doubt that Allen Brooks has had to battle some adversity this week on Douglas Lake.

When we covered Brooks yesterday, we watched his trolling motor break right before our eyes. The good news, is that the trolling motor is fixed and properly functioning, but the bad news is that his outboard is giving him some issues today. Brooks believes that he has a solution to fix the issue, but if his idea doesn’t work he will have to catch a ride back to the weigh in with a competitor.

With a little over three hours left to fish, Brooks has 4 keepers but they are all small.

Walters breaks the ice

Patrick Walters and his co-angler Mandel Pettis worked hard for about two hours before finally treading enough water to get by a rock shoal and access where Walters has been fishing.

Walters caught two smallmouth at his first spot, but both were under the 18-inch minimum length requirement. He just boated a largemouth to break the ice. It is a keeper, but it is just under two pounds.

Cox didn’t make it

John Cox never got over a rock shoal to fish his areas in the Nolichucky River. After a long battle with it he realized it wouldn’t be likely and started fishing down the bank. As soon as he started fishing he caught one that was 2 pounds and change. One in the box for Cox.

Toshinari Namiki’s Hot Star

Toshinari Namiki has focused on the river portion of Douglas Lake all week. Coming into the final day in ninth place, Namiki knows that he has to catch a big bag to make a move up the leaderboard. Up to this point, he is well on his way to achieving that goal. Namiki estimates that he has about 12 1/2 pounds with a lot of time to fish.

The spot that Namiki is fishing is a sweet spot a little ways off of a flat on the main river. He has only been been here for about 30 minutes and has caught 3 keepers and made a solid cull.

Oh Canada!

With 25-7, Jon Canada was sitting in seventh place coming into Championship Saturday. Jon has three small keepers in the boat this morning.

Focusing on getting a quick limit, Jon is fishing a deep water hole that is covered with rock and other various types of cover. Jon made a mention that these fish have been pressured all week, and getting them to bite is tricky. His plan is to head shallow soon if he can fill his limit quickly on this spot.

Also worth noting, Jon’s co-angler for the day, Benjie Seaborn, is leading the co-angler side of the tournament. Unfortunately, Seaborn has yet to boat a keeper.

Ott Defoe still searching

Ott DeFoe made his way from takeoff to his area up the French Broad River. He doesn’t have a fish in the boat just yet, but his co-angler Dennis Akers landed an 18-plus inch smallmouth. A good healthy fish like that will be in the 3-pound range. Akers started the day in 6th only 3-2 behind.

DeFoe is in-tune with the river and knows what the slight changes in current or flow will do to current breaks. The flow, level and hot spots have changed daily, but the biggest thing in his favor is the trouble that Patrick Walters and John Cox are having issues getting into their area in the Nolichucky River.

Morning with Lester

I started my morning with Brandon Lester who was sitting in 5th place after Day 2 with 26-11. Within his first hour of fishing time, Lester boated his first keeper.

Lester is fishing extremely slow, picking apart every piece of cover thoroughly. The area that Lester started the day in is a narrow creek just off of the French Broad River which has received a tremendous amount of pressure throughout the week.

There has been some concern that the guys at the top of the leaderboard after day two may not be able to get to their best areas due to the dropping water levels, but Lester’s key areas will be less effected by the falling water.

Lugar struggling

Day 1 leader Jeff Lugar has been cursed with short fish today. He has still had some bites, but currently only has three fish in the box. Lugar lost a good fish this morning that he estimated around 3 pounds. The sun is high right now with very little wind, so Lugar is targeting the shade provided from docks. Lugar has a long day today with his check in time being at 5:15. He is committed to what he is doing and is confident that he will make it happen by the end of the day. Consistency is the name of the game on Douglas Lake this time of year, and the main lake has always been a tough area to stay consistent in past events here. 

Update by Kyle Jessie