Laker Howell signs with Bryan College

Bryan College, which has made a serious commitment to bass fishing, has signed another scholarship angler. Laker Howell, son of former Elite Randy Howell, signed his paperwork in a special ceremony at the B.A.S.S. booth during the Classic. 

When asked what it means to her, Laker's mom Robin Howell held back the tears of a proud parent and managed to let me know, "I'm just so proud, it's exciting."

Laker says, "I'm so excited to go to Bryan and pursue my career in fishing and study business marketing. If the fishing doesn't work out, I still want to work in the industry and Bryan can give me the education to do that." 

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Avena is back

After Pirch made his intentions clear to make a long run downriver, we decided to head back to his starting spot just to check it out. Adrian Avena was back. He said he scrounged up a limit elsewhere and does not know where he will start tomorrow. Just then he set the hook on a smallmouth, the first one he has caught here. Unfortunately it fell short of the length limit and went back.
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Finally, movement

After spending the entire morning in a 40 yard radius, Pirch rapidly trolling motored out of his backwater. At 12:50 he started up his Suzuki and made a 2-mile run down the river.

We are not sure if he is done with his starting spot for the day or just giving it a rest.

Daniels lands 6.19-lber

Mark Daniels Jr. was languishing with three bass weighing a total of 6 3/4 pounds at 12:30, then he almost doubled his weight with one fish. After a long fight, which took him from one side of his boat to the other, Daniels put the big largemouth on his digital scale, which read 6.19 pounds.

In demonstrating just how important those 6-pounders are, that one fish rocketed Daniels from 13th place to second in the BASSTrakk unofficial standings.

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Zaldain: Fish to win

Chris Zaldain’s prophetic statement to me before the Classic is coming into view as realty.

“I’ve never been to the Classic fishery and didn’t get to pre-practice, so I’m going to do one thing, and that is fish to win.”

That is a bold predication to make, but Zaldain has the backing of coming off a second place finish last month on Lake Lanier.

There, as he is doing on the Tennessee River, means to fish his strengths. Those are applying his skills using a variety of Megabass swimbaits, including the Spark Shad.

“Its a big bass bait and that is what I want to catch this week,” he explained. “I don’t care if all I get are five bites, because if I do those fish will be five quality fish in the livewell.”

So far so good. Zaldain made a big move into seventh place.

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Company on the fly

Avena may have left a couple of hours ago, but Pirch briefly had company in the form of two young anglers in a Jon boat, one of them fly fishing. They did not loiter in his key zone, instead moving quickly up the shallow creek. Despite the fact that Pirch has 250 horses on his bass boat and they have over 200 fewer, they're covering a lot more water today.

Pirch taking his time

After a 45 minute period of heavy action, Pirch has now experienced a lull of nearly an hour. If he is feeling the pressure, he's not showing it.instead he has shown the fortitude to slow down even,more. He has retied several times, Power-Poled down, and even worked with a plug knocker for nearly 10 minutes to try to retrieve a prized lure.

With a relatively short run back to weigh-in, he has at least three hours left to fish. That can be an eternity...or it can go by in the blink of an eye.

Eat Asian carp? You bet and here's why

Asian carp are a growing problem in waterways where they continue to invade. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Valley Authority are collaborating to educate the public on the food value of the fish. Watch TWRA Assistant Chief of Fisheries Jason Henegar explain why from the Classic Expo.