Howell with five

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Nate Koxlien

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Swindle vs. Combs

Gerald Swindle and Keith Combs essentially have been in a head-to-head battle for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title over the last three tournaments. Swindle took a big step toward clinching the crown by making the Top 12 cut yesterday while Combs finished 18th. 

At worst, if Swindle drops into 12th place today in the final Top 12 standings, he will have a 43-point lead over Combs going into the AOY Championship at Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Lake next week. With only the top 50 anglers qualifying for that event, Combs will still be alive mathematically, and he’ll be the only one who can still catch Swindle. Swindle could clinch today if he finishes fourth or better, as he’d have more than a 50-point lead over Combs too.

There have been some recent AOY champions that survived having one bad tournament in a season, like in 2013 when Aaron Martens started the year with an 85th-place finish at the Sabine River. But it’s unlikely to happen again this year.

A quick glance at Comb’s results from this season reveals the killer: 90th place at the Bull Shoal/Norfork lakes event in Arkansas. If he would have finished 50th, for example, that 40-point difference would have him breathing down Swindle’s neck going into next week. But he didn’t.

 Here’s a glance at the seasons of Gerald Swindle and Keith Combs:


Elite Tournament              Swindle            Combs

No. 1 – St. Johns River      40th                   14th

No. 2 – Winyah Bay            7th                     6th

No. 3 – Bull Soals/Norfork   30th                   90th

No. 4 – Wheeler Lake         10th                   39th

No. 5 – Toledo Bend            34th                    4th 

No. 6 – Lake Texoma           3rd                    16th

No. 7 – Cayuga Lake           10th                    6th 

No. 8 – Potomac River         10th                    6th 

No. 9 – La Crosse                  ?                     18th

Feider on the prowl

Seth Feider basically relocated to near the bottom end of Pool 8 -- it was a long run.

He's now working the slop for a largemouth kicker, which would be a big help right now. According to BASSTrakk he's just behind Alton Jones, but two upgrades could dramatically change things for the young Minnesota pro.

He's still got plenty of time to work some magic.

Howell has four

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Nate Koxlien

DeFoe update

Ott's fourth keeper was a line-burner.  He measured it a while so it's barely 14. We are leaving the area Ott caught them well in yesterday.  The wind has picked up and it looks like decision time.

We may be headed back to the spillway. 
Update by JD Blackburn

Lee has three

After a very long drought, Jordan Lee finally broke the silence with keeper number three. 
It was another solid fish in the 2 1/2 pound range and it gets him one step closer to a limit. He doesn't know it, but he is just two solid keepers from jumping in the lead. 

Feider and company

Seth Feider has quite a crowd today, and he's putting on a show.

Photos by Bassmaster Marshal Bri Douglas

5 keepers for Davis

Mark Davis caught a lot of fish to get five keepers.

Photos by Bassmaster Marshal Paul Herron

Lane x 3

As Bobby Lane is interviewed by Dave Mercer on Bassmaster LIVE here's a bit of interesting trivia.

Coming into this tournament Bobby ranked 16th in the qualifiying standings for the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. Chris, his brother, is 38th and in need of a strong showing at the AOY championship next week at Mille Lacs. 

Should Chris and Bobby qualify there is another cool aspect for the Lane brothers. Arnie, their brother, is a finalist at the Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Championship presented by Magellan Outdoors. That tournament in November ironically is scheduled at Lake Conroe, also site of the Classic. 

Arnie qualified for bass club fishing's championship event as the Florida state champion. All he needs to do, and potentially make it three Lanes in the Classic, is become the top angler for the Eastern region of the B.A.S.S. Nation. That means he doesn't necessarily need to win, just win his division. 

In this game anything is possible. And it certainly will be a first should all three brothers qualify for the Classic. 

Howell update

Randy has #2. They are starting to turn on....

Photo/update by Bassmaster Marshal Nate Koxlien