BOSSIER CITY, La. — As the 25 anglers launch to a cold, cloudless sky on the final day of the 2009 Bassmaster
Classic, Bassmaster.com caught up with some of them to ask three questions:
—How many anglers have a legitimate shot to win today?
—What contributed to the bigger weights on Day Two and what do you expect weights to be like today?
—Aside from yourself, who is your favorite to win?
Greg Pugh (14th, 14-0)
• The top 15 — those with 30 pounds or more have a shot. With the weather changes, there are so many things that could happen.
• The reason the weights increased was the cloud cover and wind that makes for a good spinnerbait bite. That gets those fish feeding, but today, the opposite conditions — bluebird skies and a front coming through — will have the opposite effect.
• I don't even know, maybe Mark Davis or Boyd.
Edwin Evers (Third, 17-0)
• There are 8 or 9 anglers in this.
• The weights will probably level off today. They bit really good under cloudy conditions when that front came through. It was a day for fishing.
• Probably one of the other Nitro guys — keep it in the family.
Jami Fralick (First, 1-3)
• Anyone who is four pounds or less out.
• The clouds, overcast skies and wind made the difference. The fishing was just better. No wind today and sun and it's going to be a little tougher. Someone might bring in a 20-pound sack, but it will probably be in the teens.
• Edwin or Brian. I spend a lot of time with them so if I'm not fortunate to win, I'd like one of the guys I stay with to do it.
Bobby Lane (13th, 13-2)
• Anyone over 30 pounds could win.
• A cold front pushed throught before 1 yesterday. Clouds rolled in and the temperature stayed up and the fish thought, 'It's now or never,' and they went. Today will be more like Day One, with an average bag around 13 to 16 pounds and a high in the 18s. These fish are used to cold fronts, so I don't think it will affect them too much. Look for the guys that are going to Pool 4 to have their best bite from 12 until 2 today.
• Aaron Martens, the heartbreak kid. Second place three times — he's put his time in and he's due to win.
Greg Hackney (20th, 12-9)
• Honestly, I want to think at least first place through 20th have a shot.
• The weights will drop on average. Yesterday was a stupid day where the fish will just bite. This spinnerbait bite that the guys got on is over unless we get some wind.
• Aaron, Skeet or Kelly. Now, Jami Fralick may win, but those are seasoned vets and they don't have the same kind of pressure because they are not leading.
Michael Iaconelli (Tied Ninth, 15-5)
• Anyone within 5 pounds of the lead. That is always how I look at it during tournaments, especially where there are some bigger fish
• I think they are going to be more like on Day One. We had that front pass through and the fish bit on a falling barometer yesterday, but today there is a rising barometer.
• Jami. He has been the most consistent angler this week. He is a great guy, a great fisherman who hasn't received that national attention.
Dean Rojas (12th, 15-13)
• With me being in 12th, I'm going to say the top-12 have a chance. It's weird circumstances, you don't wish bad luck on anyone, but with the weather, there is a possibility for anyone to stumble. The people who are outside the top of the leaderboard have a shot right now with this cold front. It evens out the playing field.
• Weights should be like the first day — or less.
• Kelly Jordon has a really good shot. I'd like to see Kelly win.
Alton Jones (21st, 13-5)
• About 12 guys. The guys in first place through 11th and then the guy in 21st. Sorry Dean, it just didn't work out for you (Dean Rojas is currently in 12th).
• I expected them to drop yesterday and they didn't. These guys are so good at learning each day, the Elite Series' weights go up each day. They might go up here today. Yesterday, people backed off. Today, they will pound them.
• To me, it's a toss up between Fralick and Kelly. I think one of those two guys will come out on top.
Aaron Martens (Fifth, 18-1)
• The top 10. Someone there could pull up to a hyacinth matt and pull out a 25-pound bag. I don't think that will happen, it should stay how it has been.
• I'm expecting 18-20 pounds. Today we have clear, bluebird skies and I'm around a lot of fish.
• Skeet's got a good chance because I know where he's fishing. It is the same area that I spent my first day and a half.
Boyd Duckett (Tied Ninth, 20-3)
• Anyone in the top 10.
• Probably not increase. They didn't catch them as good in the sun as the clouds, so I expect several guys that caught them the first day to catch them again.
• Skeet. The fish are pulling out to where he is, so I'm going to give him the nod as having the best odds.
Kenyon Hill (22nd, 9-0)
• Probably, I don't know — within 3 pounds you have a shot.
• The front deal, it was beautiful fishing days and it was reflected in the weight. It will be a slower day, probably slower than Day One.
• The leader always has a good shot because he has a cushion, depending how he handles the pressure. But Skeet is a veteran that loves the limelight. He is a very dangerous person to have in second. I would look for one of those two.