LIVE: Kyle Monti breaks rod, lands big one

Kyle Monti breaks his rod, yet lands a big bass on Day 3 of the Bassmaster Elite Series on Lake Tenkiller.

Card in the hunt

Brandon Card was cautiously optimistic  that he could adapt a fall pattern to Tenkiller that he uses back home on Fort Loudon. 

“Back home I like to run to the backs of the creeks and target isolated logs out in the middle,” he said. “Those areas are like ambush points for the bass when the shad move back into the creeks.” 

That panned out during practice and Card proceeded to mark waypoints for the best areas in the hopes of a sustainable strategy.The plan was validated on Thursday when Card caught a 4-pound largemouth. Even so, the plan came with a hitch. 

“I knew the water was going to drop six or eight inches a day and put the shoreline brush that had been productive on dry land.” 

He was correct. That cover began to vanish, but there was hope for the log pattern as the water dropped. The new idea was the fish would back off to the next available cover. Now, on Saturday even that option is drying up. 

Today, Card has resorted to targeting his best high percentage areas that remain inundated. Now, it looks like he is faced with having to find new water with the odds increasing that he will be fishing on Championship Sunday.

Monti with a limit

Kyle Monti has finished his limit. Again it looked small. It may have been a spotted bass. But it went into the well. 

Prior to catching that fish BassTrakk had him just 1 pound, 1 ounce out of the lead. Our guess is the final fish would put him atop the standings. 

He’s not covering a lot of water. He’s hitting a spot. Fishing it thoroughly for an hour or so and moving to the next. 

During that time he’s catching four or five shorts for every keeper. 

Monti snags keeper no. 4

Kyle Monti has just landed his fourth keeper. His wading thru the dinks is working. 

That fish is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 1/2 pounds. That should give him enough weight to slip up to the top two or so in BassTrakk. 

Monti, though, could make a run to the top of the standings with a solid fifth keeper. 

Monti searching for a monster

Kyle Monti has not added any fish to his livewell, but he’s been steadily reeling in fish. All of them are short. 

In the last 20 minutes, he’s hooked up a half dozen times. We can only guess he’s wading through the small ones waiting for the big ones to show. 

At this point, if he’d finish his limit he would likely be in the lead. But that is all other things stay the same. 

A big fish in the mix, though would do it. Or if stayed with his average of 2 1/2 pounds per keeper. 

The battle for 50th in AOY

There are three anglers fishing on Semi-Final Saturday that are fighting for the Top 50 in Toyota Angler of Year. Jesse Tacoronte (49th), Ed Loughran (53rd) and Steve Kennedy (56th) are all in a pretty tight battle with possible movement today. Here is how it all shapes out:

Tacoronte is seven points ahead of 50th position, nine ahead of falling out in 51st. Meanwhile Ed Loughran is eight points behind the 50th position and Steve Kennedy is 11 off the pace. The two anglers sitting on the sidelines watching it all go down are Jay Yelas (50th) and Bernie Schultz (51st). All options are in play as only one can make it, both can make AOY and neither can make AOY.

Tacoronte is 23rd coming into today, Loughran in 22nd, and Kennedy in 26th. They all have plenty of ground to move up and some decent ground to fall back if they have a tough day.

Kennedy started the week one point ahead of Loughran, but currently trails him by four spots in the event. That has given Loughran a three-point cushion on Kennedy. In case of an AOY points tie, Loughran has the pounds and ounces tiebreaker between the two of them.

As of 1 p.m. ET, Loughran is up to 11th in the event while Kennedy and Tacoronte are below 26th place. Right now he is in position to sneak into the Top 50. If Tacoronte (29th) falls to 31st, he will miss the AOY because he will fall below Jay Yelas' point total. Yelas isn't fishing today and is locked in at 499 points.

Shryock is on a roll

Hunter Shryock is riding a wave of momentum. He posted his best Elite Series finish this season at the St. Lawrence River, where he was 14th. Then he topped it the next week at Cayuga Lake with a 13th-place showing.
The second-year pro from Newcomerstown, Ohio, moved into the BASSTrakk top 10 at noon after catching this 4-pound largemouth, which gave him a 9-pound, 6-ounce limit. He started the day in 18th place. Shryock was ranked 30th in the Toyota Angler of the Year standings entering this event. He's well on his way to his first Bassmaster Classic qualification.

Angler of the Year Top 10 – Then and now

Drew Cook, 3rd (23-5)

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 two 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 “now” column will change tomorrow, unless noted, and won’t be official for some of these anglers until after Sunday’s weigh-in.

For example, if Chris Zaldain finishes first Sunday, which is where he is now in the Tenkiller standings, he will earn 100 points and have an official total of 753. And if Drew Cook finishes third Sunday, where he is now, he’ll earn 98 points and officially have a total of 758. Scott Canterbury can improve considerably on his current 29th-place in the standings, or he could fall another six spots to finish 35th, which is worth 66 points.

AOY points for each Elite Series tournament are awarded in 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 Cayuga

After Day 2 at Tenkiller

1. Scott Canterbury 

679

1. Drew Cook 

758

2. Drew Cook 

660

 2. Chris Zaldain 

753

3. Chris Zaldain  

653

3. Scott Canterbury 

751

4. Bill Lowen  

652

4. Stetson Blaylock 

745

5. Cory Johnston  

549

5. Cory Johnston 

744

6. Stetson Blaylock  

648

6. Brandon Lester 

721

7. Chris Johnston  

644

7. Seth Feider 

719

8. Seth Feider 

642

 8. Bill Lowen

714*

9. Drew Benton 

635

 9. Drew Benton 

705

10. Brandon Lester  

632

10. Chris Johnston 

699*

* Bill Lowen’s total is final; he finished 39th and earned 62 points. Chris Johnston’s total is final; he finished 46th and earned 55 points.

Moving on to Monti

We’ve pulled off Chris Zaldain to watch Kyle Monti for a bit. 

Monti is in his sophomore season on the Elites and still working to get his feet under him. He’s currently out of next week’s AOY field. And I don’t think a win here, would get him there. He’d have to have a lot of help from those around him. But a win here would go a long way in helping establish his name among the searching eyes of sponsors. 

We are watching him fish off shore a bit and we’ve not been here long before he hooked up with a nice largemouth. It didn’t keep. But his third place standing in BassTrakk tells us he must be catching a few. 

We hope so. Monti is a guide in south Florida, seeing him off shore is a little strange. But obviously he’s growing his arsenal. It would be a good story to see him stay a factor like this. 

Zaldian making AOY race tighter

Chris Zaldain just added a third keeper in the box. It wasn’t big so it was probably a spotted bass.

It’s not enough for him to retake the unofficial BASSTrakk lead. But it gets much closer. With Cory Johnston less than 2 pounds ahead of him the AOY race is getting tighter and tighter.

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