Kennedy gets first upgrade

Steve Kennedy just got his first upgrade. This one's about 1.5 pounds.

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Dirk Goins

Lefebre moving back

Lefebre is moving back further back into a cut, where he boated two over 3-pounds on Day 3. 

Lefebre's skillful skip of his swim jig beyond the bushes on the outside edge is unbelievable. He's had a few blow up and miss his jig which he is working in with a fast paced rhythm back to the boat. 

The high-pressure has seemed to effect these shallow fish early on Day 4. A little wind could help, with the water being slick in the back of this creek. 

Swindle still grinding

Swindle ounces and inches his way up. He's culled a few and lost 2 good ones.

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Matt Ellis

Hackney finds success in channels

Greg Hackney, the current Toyota AOY leader, just told his Marshal he
studied Google Earth to see if there's a pattern to where he's
catching fish this week. And there was. He's been landing most of his
fish in or near channels. He just spent 30 minutes fishing a flat,
with nary a bite. Now he's back near a channel. Just part of the
process for a successful Elite angler. Man, his Marshal is getting an
education today.

Hackney writes one of the best how-to columns on, with
pearls of wisdom every week. It's clear the relishes teaching.

Crochet culls up

After making some adjustments, Cliff sets the hook on a solid upgrade fish.  Looming local competition for his spot is causing some an anxiety for certain.  A showdown is brewing.

Stay tuned.......

Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Joe McElroy

Crews on a culling run

Here’s a mouthful. Crews just culled again, this time using a wacky-rigged tube jig on a drop shot rig.

He’s still in the narrow creek and spun around to catch this bass after it blew up on a topwater. He dropped the PowerPole, stowed the topwater and then finessed the reluctant bass into biting.

“That one could’ve been a five-pounder,” he said.

Schedule lining up for a Hackney AOY run?

When you look at the remaining Elite Series schedule it looks tailor-made for a strong Greg Hackney run at the Toyota Angler Of the Year title. Toledo Bend, Texoma, Cayuga, and Potomac are all in his wheelhouse. They fit his style, though he's versatile enough to do well anywhere. Any time you put him somewhere with medium to shallow cover, especially with vegetation, he's got a shot at a good day. Particularly with a jig in his hand.

Hackney won his first AOY title in 2014, and that season included a win on Cayuga. He currently sits atop the Elite field with 394 AOY points. Takahiro Omori is in second, 27 points back, with 367 points.

Crews culls again, Overstreet overboard

The move to the back of the creek is worthwhile as John Crews culls up his weight with another keeper.

Meanwhile, I’ve lost my partner. He’s gone overboard, sort of, to continue providing the best on-water tournament coverage.

James Overstreet transferred over to Crews’ boat to join JM cameraman Eric Kaffka. Where he’s going its way too narrow for both boats. Overstreet switched to a fish-eye, wide angle lens to capture whatever comes next.

What’s neat about all this is the technology and skills we can bring to the coverage. Before 8 a.m. we published to the website a gallery of Crews’ early limit. When Overstreet returns I’ll take his memory card, process that gallery and post it, too. All the while by keeping the blog going and while Overstreet adds to the action. Fun job, for sure.

Good cull to great cull

A fish boiled about five feet from Lefebre's Rapala wrapped boat when he was reeling in his jig.

"I saw the fish come up and miss it as I was reeling back, as I dropped it back down, he smoked it and the (fish's) momentum took me around the boat," Lefebre explained.

Lefebre fought the fish around the gunnel This fish probably checks-in at 3 pounds, giving Lefebre close to a 2-pound cull.

The sun is beginning to show its rays, as soon as it did, Lefebre boated his biggest fish of the day just seconds ago giving him a tremendous cull. He just threw back two small fish in the past five minutes.

For the first time of the week Lefebre just exclaimed,"Woooooo!!"

He has no idea how much this 4-pound fish is helping his case for staying in the final day on Wheeler Lake.

I estimate his weight at around 13-14 pounds.

Another notch for Tak?

Let's revisit a little history during a small lull in the action.

Looking back through Omori's tournament history, he has threatened to win a number of recent Elite-level tournaments - most notably the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell where he ended up in third place.

The cold South Carolina weather didn't stop Omori from targeting and catching deep-water fish with a finesse approach. Even so, everyone remembers Tak's shot at another Classic title was stymied by the hometown hero, Casey Ashley.

But forget that recent "close but no cigar." Instead, let's list Omori's five B.A.S.S. career wins. He has spread his success across (mainly) the Southeast, with wins in Arkansas, North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Missouri.

His B.A.S.S. wins are:
2005 - Central Open #2 - Lake Norfork, Arkansas
2005 - Tour #1 - Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, Florida
2004 - Bassmaster Classic - Lake Wylie, North Carolina
2001 - Texas Central Invitational - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Will Tak add Alabama to his wins list next?