Wild Card begins beautifully

Other than the cloud of blood-sucking mosquitoes, there's not another cloud in the sky over Lake Okeechobee for the first day of the Bassmaster Wild Card Tournament presented by Star Tron.


Shaye Baker reports that he saw a mosquito standing flat-footed while making love to a wild turkey this week.


James Overstreet, boat driver Dave Bolema and I are on the south end of this massive lake, where we've already seen some "boat-bumping." Arnie Lane and Russ Lane (unrelated) are flipping some isolated vegetation and have been within 50 feet of each other at times. We've seen both men land a bass - Arnie's wasn't a keeper, but Russ's appeared to weigh about 3 pounds and - get this - allowed him to cull a smaller bass already.


Pre-tournament predictions were all over the map as to what it will take to make the top 12 cut after two days. Some of the 49 anglers thought it would take 20 pounds a day; others thought it would take "only" 17 pounds. But everyone agrees that anything is possible at Lake Okeechobee, especially with the warm, calm conditions predicted for the next three days.