If Bette Davis were around, she’d probably tell the Elites to “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”
With harsh weather and the oddities already occurring, something crazy is bond to happen at the Plano Bassmaster Elite at the Mississippi River presented by Favorite Fishing. It’s been a pretty strange practice, if that’s any indication.
First, we have the boating nightmare of Casey Ashley, who ran aground as he was coming in Monday evening. He had to wait past midnight for a ride in then had to leave his boat on the sandbar overnight. The next day, Tom Monsoor’s airboat dragged it off.
Yusuke Miyazaki also had a rough go as he posted to his Facebook a video of Paul Elias pulling his boat off an underwater dike in the main river. Ouch.
Edwin Evers also got stuck in a shallow backwater, and he too uploaded a video informing fans of his fate and how he’ll be OK.
“It’s not very deep,” he said. “The problem is you sink really far (in the mud). It’d be great duck hunting … I can just push it out of here. I’m just sunk up to my waist — need an airboat.”
Edwin, call Monsoor.
OH SAY CAN YOU SEE …
A neat thing happened to Brandon Palaniuk. Last time here, Palaniuk was on his way to winning until the state line zigzagging away from the main river channel zapped him. This time he proudly hooked and landed an American flag.
Say, did that come off Chris Lane’s boat? Eh, probably not. But it sure makes you wonder that flag’s story.
“Definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever caught while fishing!” Palaniuk wrote. “Even as beat up, filthy, ragged, and zebra mussel invested as it was … it was still beautiful. Had no choice but to keep it!”
Commenters loved the story, with several showing the stars and stripes they snagged. There were some who said he should follow VFW flag etiquette. Other veterans said there’s something special and touching about landing a flag. Many suggested he frame it, and one even offered to frame it for him free of charge.
NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT
Mike Iaconelli posted a video of Gerald Swindle talking about his pursuit of the Toyota Angler of the Year title. Both were suffering crazy bad from allergies — possibly ragweed, they thought — before Ike asked him about how he’s approaching things this week.
“I may be leading at this point, but I’m really not thinking about it,” Swindle said. “I’m going out tomorrow to try my best to get a check on the Mississippi River and take one step at a time. You just have to look at what’s priority, and what’s priority is catching fish tomorrow.”
Swindle told Steve Wright how he’s taking shipwreck out of the possible results he could have. Swindle won the AOY way back in 2004. Maybe in part that’s why Ike, for one, said he’d like to see Swindle win.
“I can’t really root for anybody,” Ike said before whispering, “but I’m rooting for this guy right here — don’t tell anybody.”
FROG EAT FROG WORLD
Marty Robinson wins top photo during practice with this shot of an actual bullfrog eating, and getting hooked by, his frog lure.
“Guess that’s why they call it frog fishing!” he wrote. A-ha.
OLD MAN RIVER KEEPS ON RISING
Kevin VanDam, who’s going for an unprecedented fourth victory in the 2016 Elite season, slept in a bit Wednesday to let a strong storm cell pass.
“Even on top of my (boat) cover, I had 30, 40 gallons of water to take off, so we’re going to have rising river levels,” he said. “This is a great fishery … probably the ultimate frog and swim jig territory. With this rising water, it’s going to change things for a lot of people.
“This is going to be a tournament to really watch because there’s … a lot of things going on with the elements and what Mother Nature is handing us.”
Sounds like KVD is saying the anglers who are experienced in making adjustments, like himself, should do well.
MUST BE WISCONSIN SIDE
Really want to ask John Crews exactly where he came across this non-NFL-approved log. He wrote: “Even in the endless sloughs of the Mississippi River up here, you know you are in Packer land.”
Wait a second. You can certainly see where someone living in Wisconsin would be fans of the home-state team, but folks in the La Crosse area have three NFL teams they could reasonably root for, and the Pack is not even the closest.
The Chicago Bears are 4 and half hours southeast of La Crosse, while the Green Bay Packers play about 3 and half hours east. It’s Minneapolis and the Minnesota Vikings who are the closest, only 2 and half hours west.
It’s certain there’s some interesting debates there, especially since the teams all play each other twice each season as members of the NFC North.
GETTING AHEAD OF THE SNOW FLY
Evers didn’t get this gentleman’s name, but he did learn of his amazing quest.
“Wishing this guy luck on his adventure as he started canoeing at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota and plans on going to New Orleans,” Evers wrote. “He wanted an adventure, pretty sure he’s going to get one if he sticks with it!”
Ah, if he sticks with it. That’s the rub.
Several years ago, Elite Stephen Browning took part in a similar excursion with two other experienced adventurers, but Evers’ photo takes me back to being a cub reporter in Hannibal, Mo. A man walked into the newsroom claiming he was traveling the entire length of the Mississippi in a canoe. Wow, adventure and human interest.
I visited with him, took notes and what not, probably gave him a couple cups of coffee, then went down to the docks to get a photograph of him and his rig. I can still see his canoe tied up on the side of a big cabin cruiser — he was hitching a ride with someone!
Sure, he canoed some, but then explained that he accepted help as he was racing the “snow fly.” I lost some naivety that day. Oh, still got plenty, but I don’t wear it out so much nowadays. And yes, I think I did write a short story on him.