Christie on the back deck

The power of the Ultrex trolling motor is showing out today. Christie is pinned down in about 75 feet of water and the wind is rolling in. He’s actually fishing off the back deck, propping his foot up on his big motor.

You don’t see that every day in the Elite series. But being able to hold without fighting it in the wind is huge.

The bite is on

The bite is on for Christie. He just keeps whaling on a school of fish. He’s evidently working these little guys over to finish out his limit.

Most of them he’s not even concerned with measuring. We followed him yesterday on this spot. And he caught fish after fish but at that point nothing that would help him. We know this isn’t where he caught the bigger ones that moved him out of the near bottom of the standings to the top.

A limit, though, really helps and it’s our guess in the next 10 or 15 fish, he will have waded through enough to catch that.

Wheeler weeds to a limit

Jacob Wheeler has fired up a school of bass this morning and caught about 30 on his way to putting five small keepers on his scorecard. The biggest weighs 1 pound, 11 ounces.

Wheeler has been able to do the same thing on this spot the previous two days en route to finally finding a solid 3- or 4-pounder amidst the crowd of dinks. It's a search for a needle in a haystack right now.

A lot going on out here

Every morning fish of all sizes have been breaking the surface. It’s been a constant chatter of breaks and splashes.

Today the wind is brisk, with a nice fisherman’s chop on the water. You can’t hear that chatter of breaking, but the fish are still breaking and chasing this morning. You can see the breaks. And occasionally hear them when they are close.

But these guys seem to be having just as much trouble catching them today as the past two days. They peel one out every once in a while. But with the wind and activity, you’d think it should be every cast.

As soon as I start typing that. Christie starts catching fish on virtually every cast. He caught four in the time it took me, with pauses, to type that last blog.

Only one was big enough to weigh. The point is, while there may not be much jumping around on BASSTrakk, there is a lot going on out here.

Better morning for Lane

On Friday Bobby Lane Jr. struggled to get a weigh-in bass in his livewell. In fact, it was 12:30 p.m. before the lid opened.

“I don’t know what the deal was, because like everyone else, I thought the wind would help,” he told me yesterday.

Lane and his peers have their wind and a bonus with the cloud cover. Lane’s early morning lure choice has been a Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil, fished along sea walls. A Yo Zuri Shadcrank is another choice. Later in the day, he switched to a wacky rigged worm and quickly racked up the pounds and ounces needed to be in the hunt for getting into Championship Sunday.

Yesterday Lane said he had 13 bites with 6 keepers. BASSTrakk shows he’s broken the run of early morning bad luck, with 5 bass on the scoreboard.

Benton surges to an early lead

Headlined by a 6-pound, 7-ounce bass, Drew Benton has surged into the early lead. He's got 16 pounds, 14 ounces, with only four fish on his scorecard. The others weigh 3-13, 3-12 and 2-13.

Benton made a charge from 22nd place on Day 1 (13-15) to 5th place yesterday with 16-13. Benton has already topped that total today - early.

Wheeler has a school fired up

Tournament leader Jacob Wheeler is having no trouble catching fish this morning, according to the B.A.S.S. on-the-water junior correspondent Gettys Brannon. Wheeler has been on one spot for about 30 minutes and has already caught 15 to 20 fish. He's weeded through them to put two small keepers on his scorecard, but he's searching for bigger bass.

Wheeler said he caught a 4-pounder on this spot yesterday and a 3-pounder the day before. In his solid limit of 18 pounds, 3 ounces, yesterday, Wheeler had no giants, just all solid 3- and 4-pounders.

That's a rarity in this tournament. In fact, Wheeler may be the only angler who has culled a 3-pounder during the course of a day. For example, Jason Christie's 21-13 total yesterday included a 2-8 and a 2-12.

Every day is different on Travis

Bobby Lane is the latest example of how every day is different on Lake Travis. He recorded the second-place bag of 21 pounds, 2 ounces on Day 1, then struggled without a keeper until about noon yesterday. Lane managed to finally catch five that weighed 9-2, which dropped him to 6th place.

Today Lane recorded the first limit of the day - five keepers by 7 a.m., after a 6:15 a.m. takeoff. Granted, Lane would like to cull almost every one of them, which weigh a total of 7-7, but all these guys will tell you that it's so much easier to fish when you've got five keepers on the scoreboard.

Up the river

I’m about 40 miles up the Colorado River this morning, following Jason Christie. I left early, took my time and enjoyed the ride.

I was virtually the only boat on the lake, which is nice on this lake. The wind is blowing, but this narrow, winding lake doesn’t get bumpy too bad. At least from the wind.

By midday, it will be like a washing machine with big boats and a ton of jet ski riders that seem to like to do nothing more than ride in circles. So it was nice to have a comfortable ride for at least part of the day.

Plus we have some cloud cover this morning and conventional fishing knowledge says the fish should be biting in this clear water. I’m hoping they do for everyone.

There’s obviously some giants that live in this lake. It'll be cool to see a bunch of them today, even after all the unpleasurable boats start churning up the water.

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Second verse same as the first

There was much anticipation about how fishing would improve with a brisk southerly wind at Lake Travis on Day 2. But for most of the Elite Series pros, there was no noticeable improvement.

"I thought it was going to make fishing a whole lot better," said Cliff Pace, who's in 3rd place, where he was after Day 1 as well. "It wasn't. It's been a grind both days. I attributed (Thursday) being a grind to the fact we didn't have any wind. But (Friday) was just as bad a grind for me, if not worse."

Ironically, Day 2 wasn't better or worse than Day 1 overall. When you look at the totals for the 108-angler field, they were nearly identical each day:

 91 limits caught each day
507 keepers counted among those limits on Day 1502 on Day 2
10-pound, 5-ounce big bass on Day 19-pound, 2-ounce big bass on Day 2

So what would ideal fish-catching conditions be on Lake Travis?

"I don't know," said Pace. "I thought today was going to be ideal - just knock their lights out. It was hard."

Jason Christie had the second-biggest bag of the tournament yesterday of 21 pounds, 13 ounces. It moved him up from 58th place after Day 1 to 4th. He'll take more of the same.

"Exactly like (Friday)," said Christie of his weather wishes. "Wind out of the same direction and everything. Let everything get cloudy where you can fool these fish a little bit."

Christie likes the forecast of 10 to 20 mile-per-hour winds out of the south-southeast and mostly cloudy skies early, giving way to sunshine in the afternoon.