As we pass the halfway point of this three-day tournament, Justin Lucas and James Elam are taking the air out of two big balloons. Lucas came into this event with a 9-point AOY lead and knowing if he finished 8th or higher, Josh Bertrand couldn't catch him, even if Bertrand won the tournament.
At 11 a.m. today, BASSTrakk showed Lucas in 4th place with 10 3/4 pounds today, and he's got every bit of that, to go with his 6th place bag of 13-6 yesterday. Meanwhile, Bertrand is still mired in 50th place.
As for the $25,000 first-place prize and the blue B.A.S.S. Elite Series trophy that goes with a win here, Elam has topped his Day 1 first-place bag of 16-10 with 17-10 today, and he's opened a 7-pound lead over second-place Chris Lane, according to BASSTrakk.
However, there's still plenty of drama left in this concerning the automatic GEICO Bassmaster Classic qualifying spots. And there will be until Sunday's weigh-in is complete. The same goes for the Rookie of the Year race between Roy Hawk and Jake Whitaker. With so much at stake, there will be theatrics in this event until the very end.