30 years of fixing boats

Jay Andersen, or as he likes to say, “db’s brother from another mother,” is celebrating this week his 30th, that’s THIRTIETH year as part of the Mercury service crew fixin’ fishing boats in tournaments all over America.

I have nothing but respect for all my friends in the service yard, they are my safe haven, always keep me grounded, and always cracking me up.

Seriously, they are some of the best mechanics on the planet who I’ve seen fix things in ice, snow, thunderstorms and all times of the day or night.

So a shout out to Jay, who is hobbling around this week with gout, and all the guys who keep all the tournament guys on the water.

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Has the deck been reshuffled?

When Rick Clunn said yesterday that he's had his worst practice ever - emphasis on "ever" – that's saying something. This is his 420th B.A.S.S. tournament dating back to 1974. However, we're still talking about practice (see "Iverson, Allen").

And as David Walker noted yesterday, "We've got a (storm) front coming in tonight. Usually that's what it takes to kind of reshuffle the deck."

The storm front did come through, so the Elite Series anglers may find Wheeler Lake's bass more inclined to bite this morning. We'll soon begin to see if indeed the deck has been reshuffled. All these anglers could talk about yesterday was the lousy cards they were dealt in practice.

Reese with an important 3-pounder

Skeet Reese recorded the second fish-catch of the day at 6:29 a.m., and it was a 3-pounder. Three-pounders are a big deal everywhere the Elite Series goes, with very few exceptions. 

"In the real world, except for places like Clear Lake and Falcon, an average of three pounds every day will win," said David Walker yesterday. "That's what I've always admired about Kevin (VanDam). He's caught more three-pounders than anyone in history."

Look back no further than last week's tournament in Arkansas on Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes, where Randall Tharp won with 61-10 over four days. That's 20 bass weighing an average of about 3-1. Skeet Reese finished second to Tharp last Sunday with 59-8. No 3-pound average, no trophy, I guess.

It will be difficult to finish with a 3-pound average at Wheeler Lake this week, according to the pros. But we'll see.

Photo of Skeet's first catch of the day by Marshal Leslie East.