Was Lane whistling this morning?

Chris Lane has had an old rock song stuck in his head this week - Foreigner's "Waiting For A Girl Like You." You could hear him whistling the tune yesterday right before he caught the big bass of the tournament so far, that 4-pound, 10-ounce game-changing spotted bass.

The words seem appropriate for the occasion: "I've been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life."

That "big girl" came into Lane's life yesterday at 8:16 a.m. No word on whether Lane was whistling the tune when he caught his 2-pound, 3-ounce bass at 8:07 today.

Avena: Empty tacklebox

Yesterday afternoon at the boat ramp Adrian Avena was eager to get back to his hotel room.

“I’m going to tie on every lure that I’ve ever caught a bass on and use those tomorrow,” he said. “I’m going to empty the tacklebox, have all of them ready."

Truth: Check out his front deck and it’s loaded with options. And at least for now he’s abandoned the drop shotting game plan of the previous two days.

Avena is dead serious about qualifying for his childhood dream of fishing in the Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

More change ups. Swindle looks to be using a deep diving crankbait, maybe a Rapala DT20, while Shin Fukae, Scott Rook, Chris Lane and Avena are using topwaters. Not surprisingly, some are using a River2Sea Whopper Plopper.

Hard to handicap this one

How do you handicap these final three matchups in the Classic Bracket when every trend over the past three days disappeared by Thursday afternoon? Scott Rook went from zero Wednesday to hero Thursday. Greg Vinson went from hero Tuesday and Wednesday to zero Thursday. After topping 16 pounds Tuesday and catching a limit in three hours Wednesday, No. 1 seeded Fred Roumbanis seemed like a sure bet to make today's finals, and Rook eliminated him.

Further complicating any handicapping is today's rain. Both Scott Rook and Chris Lane have advanced by relying almost exclusively on a topwater River2Sea Whopper Plopper.

"That's not good for a topwater bite," Rook said about the predicted rain. "I might have to change up and figure something else out."

One thing you can count on today: Chris Lane caught the 4-pound, 10-ounce spotted bass yesterday in a marina slip on a jerkbait - not a Whopper Plopper. There's no rain falling under the roof of that marina slip. Lane caught the big bass of the tournament at 8:16 a.m. yesterday. If I were going to put any money on anything today, it would be that Lane starts fishing there.

Biscuits and gravy

Yesterday Scott Rook put the trolling motor on high to cover as much shoreline as possible. Obviously it worked, with a hitch. By mid-afternoon he was moving slower than when he started. His trolling motor batteries were running low on juice.

“I need biscuits and gravy for my batteries,” he said.

He said to expect more of the same today. Keeping on foot on the pedal at all times. What he’ll be throwing is to be determined. A Whopper Plopper is unlikely.

“I’m going to have to rethink everything tonight,” he said after returning.

Same thing for Gerald Swindle. He mentioned a spinnerbait as a viable option. So again, there are two anglers whose intentions are to put the hammer down on the shoreline.

What about everyone else? Adrian Avena and Shin Fukae stayed offshore, doing what they do the best. And that is finesse fishing. Same thing for Chris Lane. Topwaters around marinas and shoreline areas.

No matter the lure choices one thing is for certain. Change will be in order today and the front decks of all the boats will be loaded with options.

It's tough, tough, tough

Earlier this afternoon Dustin Connell probably summed up the thoughts of several anglers in this Classic Bracket at Carters Lake when he said, "This might be the toughest place I've ever fished. I think it is."

Connell is matched up with second-seeded Greg Vinson, who caught a limit weighing 13-10 on the full field day, then caught another limit in his three-hour session yesterday. But neither Vinson nor Connell have a keeper in the boat this afternoon.

Scott Rook is the only angler experiencing anything approaching success this afternoon. Other than Rook's 10-pound, 14-ounce limit, only four other keepers have been caught by the other five anglers at 2:45 p.m.

Rook not going quietly

Scott Rook has announced that this will be his last year of professional tournament fishing. He'd like to go out with the 2019 Bassmaster Classic. His odds looked slim after he zeroed in his first session against Fred Roumbanis.

However, Rook isn't going quietly today. Rook caught a 4-pound, 2-ounce bass on a River2Sea Whopper Plopper on the first day, and that's been his meal ticket today.

"They like that Plopper today," said Rook, as he landed his third keeper.

Rook started 6 pounds, 13 ounces behind Roumbanis. But he's cut considerably into that lead with four bass weighing 7-14, which includes a 3-2. Roumbanis has two small bass, and his lead is now only 1-11.

Rook's calculated gamble

No one else has caught fish like Scott Rook has today. And no one has concentrated on fishing the banks with a topwater bait like Rook has either.

"No way I could do that dobbing around in 40 foot of water," Rook said earlier on "LIVE." "If they're ever going to bite on the bank, it's going to be today."

Rook noted the overcast skies with a front coming in as perfect conditions to go shallow. Obviously, Rook picked the right game plan today.

 

Combs with ground to make up

Keith Combs begins the day 2-8 behind Shin Fukae. Combs had just 15 ounces yesterday, while Fukae had 3-7.

Combs began the afternoon session drop shotting for about 15 minutes, then ran into a cove and began drop shotting there as well. Then he ran back deep again. Combs is working hard to better the results he had on Wednesday.

"Scottie's in the lead, baby!"

The headline above is a quote from Scott Rook after he landed his fifth fish of the day, a 3-pounder, he called, "Line-stretchin' Gretchen." Rook's excitement is understandable, especially after zeroing yesterday. He's come back from a 6-pound, 13-ounce deficit to Fred Roumbanis to take the lead today. Rook now has 10-14 to Roumbanis' 9-9 at the halfway point of this afternoon's three-hour session.

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