The Bassmaster Classic is an all or nothing tournament. No points, no fishing for checks. Just let it all hang out. That may explain why most of the Classic field decided to crank yesterday – the hope of running across a 20-pound bag and possibly winning the biggest fishing tournament in the world.
Or maybe it was the complete lack of wind yesterday that made the guys think they just had to cover water.
Either way, more than half the field fished crankbaits yesterday, compared to a third of them on Friday. Most of them were either crawling a Storm Wiggle Wart across the bottom or winding a Rapala Shad Rap – or similar baits made by different companies – with the rest fishing a flat-sided crankbait.
Like Day One, most competitors cranked rocks, though the size of rock became more important. Gravel and rock transitions were less important yesterday than finding volleyball- or boulder-sized rocks.
Fewer competitors fished jigs while the percentage of guys using spinnerbaits stayed the same, which also indicates that guys were bent on covering water yesterday. Interestingly, most of the field – including the guys at the top of the standings – narrowed in on the 3- to 6-foot range. A few mentioned that that was the range they feltlike the fish could still see their baits in the off-colored water.
Most of top eight guys – any one of whom could win today – have been fishing differently than the rest of the field. That's not surprising because it usually takes something different to win. Here's what's different:
> While most of the field has been fishing mid-lake, most of the top eight are fishing the upper lake – though Jason Christie has been fishing the lower lake.
> Wood is more important to the top eight, though a few of them are just fishing banks: In other words, no particular cover or structure needed (or at least they weren't saying yet).
> The top eight use fewer baits. They each have committed to one or two baits (max) and are equally split between crankbaits, spinnerbaits, jigs and soft-plastics. That last one is worth noting as only 5% of the rest of the field used soft-plastics yesterday.
Given the utter lack of wind for most of the first two days, it's pretty darn interesting that Jason Christie committed to the spinnerbait. He said we could show everyone what he's using now: a Booyah spinnerbait with the new Yum Pulse swimbait as a trailer.