"That could be a $100,000 fish!"

If you're watching "Bassmaster LIVE," you witnessed as emotional a moment as you'll see in this sport. Carl Jocumsen completed a 35th birthday five-bass limit with a 3-pound, 8-ounce smallmouth bass.

"That could be a $100,000 fish!" said Jocumsen, before he was simply overcome by the moment and was left breathing hard on the boat deck, flat on his back.

Jocumsen doesn't know what anybody else has today, but he knows he's got close to 20 pounds, which would be three pounds heavier than any other limit weighed previously this week. Making the moment even more dramatic, Jocumsen went almost four hours between the last fish in his four-bass, 16-pound flurry, which ended at 8:33 a.m., and his fifth fish, which came at 12:13 p.m.

In looking back over Jocumsen's comments at the weigh-in yesterday, he may not have had a feeling something like this was going to happen, but he was completely dialed-in on what he was going to do today - fish that 3/4-ounce football jig on structure 22- to 35-feet deep.

"I just have to put every other rod away and not have anything else on my mind," he said. "If it's my time, it's going to happen."

Zaldain's lure lineup

This morning myself and Andy Crawford helped Chris Zaldain change out a trolling motor cable at the boat ramp. When we finished, Zaldain brought out his lure lineup, and one lure in particular stands out. Here’s the lure lineup and that special bait. 

He is primarily fishing windblown pockets and points in 3 feet or less with a Megabass 3-inch neon pepper Spark Shad. “It matched the smaller size of the shad.” 

Here’s the cool part. He rigs it to a 1/8-ounce Megabass Okashira Screw Head, featuring two propellers that provide vibration and lift to the bait. 

“It was important when fishing in that shallow water, to keep the lure off the bottom and in the strike zone.” 

So what that means is the lure stays just off the bottom, which is otherwise difficult to do in just a few feet of water. 
He is also using a Megabass 6-inch albino Magdraft Swimbait. Added on Champoinship Sunday is a 3/8-ounce Santone Lures Wobble Hog, with 4.25-inch Gene Larew Biffle Bug, fished in deeper water. The thing about that rig is Zaldain has only one of the wobble heads in his boat.

Jocumsen's bait

All week Carl Jocumsen has used one lure. It’s a new Molix Tungsten Football Jig, 3/4-ounce, with a 4-inch Strike King Rage Tail Craw trailer. 

“It’s brand new and it just comes through everything, it’s a football jig but it’s got a very unique shape and a bigger hook,” he said. “It’s just perfect for working on the bottom through cover.”

Monti making moves

After 3 1/2 hours Kyle Monti has made his first move of the day. He didn’t go far, possibly a half mile or so. 

Thankfully it’s more out of the wind than where he’s been sitting all morning. It was getting bumpy out there. With some wind breaks in our favor this is much nicer. 

Not sure if that was the reasoning for Monti’s move. He’s been obviously resolute in where he’s going and what he is doing. So it’s likely this is part of his plan. 

Now he’s moving again. And away from his familiar spot. 

Mullins making room for Jocumsen

We stuck with Jocumsen for two more spots before we headed up the lake looking for more of the Top 10. We found David Mullins, who at the time of this writing had three bass for 7 plus pounds.

The wind has really picked up making boat control and clear picture-taking a challenge, but Mullins is switching between a finesse outfit and a crankbait. 

At takeoff this morning, Mullins said he’s fishing for fun today.

“I don’t have much of a chance at winning this one, but I’m in the AOY Championship next week, and I’m in the Classic. Today I’m fishing for fun.”

Jocumsen just pulled up and Mullins waved him in. The extended courtesy was appreciated by the current leader. 

AOY Top 10 – After Day 3 at Tenkiller

Scott Canterbury, 19th (27-8)

The following is a look Toyota Angler of the Year standings for the top 10 as they were after the last tournament, at Cayuga Lake on August 25th, and as they are now, after three days on Lake Tenkiller. Remember that AOY points aren’t earned until each angler’s place in the final standings is determined. In other words, the “After Day 3 at Tenkiller” column will change again today, except where noted, and won’t be official for three of these anglers until after Sunday’s weigh-in.

Scott Canterbury never officially lost his AOY lead, but he’d dropped to third behind Drew Cook and Chris Zaldain, based on the Day 2 standings, when Zaldain was in first place, Cook in third and Canterbury was 29th. Now, after three days, Canterbury’s points are official. He finished 19th, adding 82 points to his previous total of 679 after Cayuga, and giving him 761 going into the AOY Championship at Lake St. Clair.

Chris Zaldain’s AOY total is still in flux. Based on his current 2nd place in the standings, he’s got 752 points. The best he can do, by winning the tournament, is improve by one point to 753. If he drops from 2nd today, Canterbury’s margin will increase by one point for every place in the standings that Zaldain falls.

AOY points for each Elite Series tournament are awarded in a descending order from 100 points for first place to 26 points for 75th place (provided the angler weighs-in at least one bass over the first two days; no fish, no points).

After CayugaAfter Day 3 at Tenkiller
1. Scott Canterbury 6791. Scott Canterbury 761*

2. Drew Cook 660

2. Chris Zaldain 752

3. Chris Zaldain 653

3. Cory Johnston 746

4. Bill Lowen 652

4. Stetson Blaylock 741

5. Cory Johnston 549

5. Drew Cook 733*

6. Stetson Blaylock 648

6. Brandon Lester 722*

7. Chris Johnston 644

7. Bill Lowen 714*

8. Seth Feider 642

8. Seth Feider 708*

9. Drew Benton 635

9. Drew Benton 705*

10. Brandon Lester 632

10. Chris Johnston 699*

* Denotes these anglers’ AOY points are official. Only the AOY points of Zaldain, Johnston and Blaylock can change today. The totals above are based on their Day 3 standings, when Zaldain was 2nd, Johnston 4th and Blaylock 8th.

Monti has a largemouth

We can see Kyle Monti clearly having angst over one of the fish in his well. 

We are watching body language to come to our conclusion. But after a conversation with Trip Weldon on another matter, Weldon let me know that the fish he was worried about appeared to be a largemouth. 

That explains why Monti’s cameraman hasn’t put the fish in BassTrakk. We do know he has two keepers. 

The whole identifying game of is it a spot or a largemouth has been going on all week. There have been a few taken out of anglers’ creels at the bump station. 

Typically the argument is about a tongue patch. Spotted bass have a rough tongue patch. But occasionally so do largemouth and smallmouth. So a rough tongue can’t be the only way to tell one fish from another. 

Law Enforcement typically follow these rules. If the jaw hinges in front of the eye it’s a smallmouth. If it hinges below the eye it’s a spot. It it hinges behind the eye it’s a largemouth. 

Pretty simple realty and it takes care of the occasional cross breed. 

Combs sneaking up

The 8 o’clock hour was good to Keith Combs, producing almost 8 of the 10 pounds he’s put in the boat. 
He was still in fifth when we pulled up, but he’s been whacking on the spotted bass to round out his limit. 
He’s covering banks with a crankbait, a pattern that has allowed him to cull up twice. Those extra ounces have pushed him into second with a total of 44-4. 
Of course, he’s still almost 7 pounds behind leader Carl Jocumsen, who remains one fish shy of his limit. 

Monti with another keeper

Kyle Monti has his third keeper. This one more in line with his first keeper this morning. 

Monti was dragging his wobble-head jig across his sand bar when he noticed something on his graph. He turned and burned like a wild man to get his cast in. Once in, he dropped a drop shot on top of his target and seconds later he was fighting his third keeper. 

He still has a way to go if he’s going to catch Carl Jocumsen. But it’s more than possible.

One fish away

Carl Jocumsen started today in third place, the highest in tournament standings he’s been all year. It’s been a very difficult season for the young Aussie, but he knows no quit.

Never has.

He’s a fighter. Always has been.

Jocumsen is one fish away from likely winning this event. BASSTrakk weights are unofficial, and we have to witness the final weigh-in to be sure — plus, the other anglers are a factor too.

But with four fish he’s already registering one of the heaviest sacks of the tournament.

He’s out of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. He’s out of Classic contention, but having nothing to lose makes him a dangerous man.

If Jocumsen can put together 17 pounds, he’ll be very tough to beat, perhaps unbeatable. This could be the comeback derby of the year.

It’s been a special morning. Only time will tell if it’s Jocumsen’s day or not. Sure seems like it so far.

Pages