It’s crowded at Crowded Point

This morning Steve Bowman and I are covering Fred Roumbanis, who started the day in second place. Boom Boom was fishing along and made his way to a lake point when we noticed a gaggle of boats. Turns out it was Brandon Palaniuk and three spectator boats. Boom Boom fished right up near them and then departed. About that point, I looked at our Lakemaster map and noticed this area is called Crowded Point. It lived up to its name this morning.

Slow for Skeet

After almost 2 hours without a bite, Skeet Reese just set the hook but the bass came unbuttoned at the boat. He’s moving a lot, but after his first two quick bites, things have really slowed down for the tournament leader. 

Faircloth making a charge

For proof that anyone in today's Top 50 anglers could advance to the Top 12 final, look no further than Todd Faircloth. He started the day in 38th place. But a limit weighing 18-4 this morning has Faircloth in 4th place, according to BASSTrakk, and only 1-6 behind leader Skeet Reese.

Faircloth won't stay that high in the standings with 18-4 at the end of the day, but he's got plenty of time to build on that hot start. Faircloth's five keepers now include the following: 5-0, 4-0, 4-0, 3-0 and 2-12. Twenty-pounds-plus is well within reach.

Forecast for the rest of the tournament

Today, we’ll start off with some dense fog during the morning hours at Lake Kentucky, but that will eventually lift and we’ll end up with mostly sunny skies. Afternoon highs will top out in the lower 80s after starting off in the mid-50s at launch time. Winds will be out of the southwest to start and shift out of the west-northwest at 5-10 MPH.

Monday’s weather will feature less sunshine but we’ll remain dry for the last day of the tournament. Skies will be mostly cloudy with temperatures starting off in the upper 50s at launch and topping out in the mid-70s for the afternoon high. Winds will be out of the north at 3-6 MPH.

Mornings are key for Skeet

Skeet Reese had his 21-pound, 10-ounce limit by 10:30 a.m. yesterday. And he caught two 3-pounders in the first half-hour this morning. But with the sunshine today, the shad spawn bite that has been the key to his success each morning may not last as long as it has on the previous overcast days.
"I'm not seeing shad, but that has to be what it is," Reese said yesterday. "They're feeding for the first four hours of the day. I've got to change how I fish in the afternoons because the last two days I definitely drove the suck bus."

There might be a change for the better, as well, with the sunshine and warming weather today, which is forecast to be in the lows 80s for a high.

"If we got some sun and the water starts warming up again, there's going to be another wave of fish moving shallow. There are still plenty of pre-spawn fish that are waiting to move shallow."

Reese reported water surface temperatures between 66 and 68 degrees yesterday.

Skeet with two

It’s just 6:15, and Skeet Reese already has two nice fish in the livewell. He’s slowed down in terms of how fast he’s moving his boat through his areas but the changing conditions don’t seem to be affecting his bite.

Comparing Grand and Kentucky lakes – Day 2

With two Elite Series events on back-to-back weeks at two of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, it might be interesting to compare snapshots of each. It isn’t intended to indicate that one lake is better than the other. It’s done more in the interest of trivia than anything else. This will be updated as the 2018 Berkley Bassmaster Elite at Kentucky Lake presented by Abu Garcia progresses through Monday.

Grand Lake  Kentucky Lake
Day 1           Day 1
Bass weighed-in     531     493
Ave. weight      3.15 lbs.       3.22 lbs.
Limits  102       82
20-lb. bags       11       9
Big bass     7-3       7-7 (2)
Big bag     23-12        24-3
25th place       17-12     18-6
50th place     15-11     15-8

                                

                          

Grand Lake     Kentucky Lake
Day 2Day 2
Bass weighed-in         505                   473
Ave. weight                      2.98 lbs.       3.13 lbs.
Limits                                            92      70
20-lb. bags    6   9
Big bass                                  6-12 (2) 7-11
Big bag                                                          26-3     24-0    
25th place                                  34-6     33-15
50th place                                30-6       29-11

                          

Anyone in Top 50 could make Top 12

Consistency is, of course, crucial to success in a four-day bass fishing tournament. But Day 2 at Kentucky Lake re-emphasized the point illustrated last week at Oklahoma's Grand Lake: Consistency is difficult during the spawn.

Of the top 10 anglers on Day 1 at Kentucky Lake, only three remained there on Day 2 - Skeet Reese, Jason Christie and Bobby Lane. Chris Zaldain was the most obvious example of those falling out. He dropped from first place on Day 1 with 24 pounds, 3 ounces to 40th place on Day 2 with only three fish weighing 7-2. But there were wilder swings in the standings, both up and down, than Zaldain's 39-place fall.

Boyd Duckett vaulted from 60th place to 8th with the 24-0 big bag of Day 2. Aaron Martens moved from 55th place to 10th with 22-7. Paul Elias dropped from 9th to 55th with 9-4. And there were plenty of other examples, like Timmy Horton rising 50 places from 89th to 39th, and Kyle Monti falling 62 places from 22nd to 88th.

With the field cut to the Top 50 today, everyone seemingly has a chance to make the Top 12 for Monday's final. There's a difference of only 7-3 between 12th place (Jordan Lee, 36-14) and 50th (Jake Whitaker, 29-11).

"I finally got on some," said Timmy Horton, who caught a limit weighing 11-7 on Day 1 and had 20-0 on Day 2. "I caught 'em pretty good in the morning on the shad spawn. Then I lost one about 7 or 8 pounds later in the day right at the boat."

Horton found bass that were moving in with another wave of spawners later in the day, saying, "They're coming. I'm pumped."

So, yeah, anyone in the Top 50 could make the Top 12 at the end of the day.

Timmy Horton's 7-pounder

Marshal Brad Davis captures Timmy Horton bringing a giant to his boat on Day 2 at Kentucky Lake. 

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