2008 Elite Series Empire Chase: Day Three, On the Water

In this photo gallery, you'll find on-the-water images from Day Three of the 2008 Elite Series Empire Chase on Lake Erie/Niagara River Tributaries, near Buffalo, New York.

In a sonar view of the bottom of Lake Erie, Mark Zona points to smallmouth bass above a large group of bait.
Photo: Larry Towell - In a sonar view of the bottom of Lake Erie, Mark Zona points to smallmouth bass above a large group of bait.
The goby is the predominant forage for smallmouth in Lake Erie and can grow to over 10 inches in certain parts of the lake.
Photo: Larry Towell - The goby is the predominant forage for smallmouth in Lake Erie and can grow to over 10 inches in certain parts of the lake.
Matt Reed continues his onslaught of Lake Erie early on Day Three of the Empire Chase. Reed was bumped to second place in the standings after Michael Iaconelli weighed in 22-15 on Day Two.
Photo: Larry Towell - Matt Reed continues his onslaught of Lake Erie early on Day Three of the Empire Chase. Reed was bumped to second place in the standings after Michael Iaconelli weighed in 22-15 on Day Two.
In this shot, a swarm of smallmouth bass actively feed on forage, most likely smelt or goby.
Photo: Larry Towell - In this shot, a swarm of smallmouth bass actively feed on forage, most likely smelt or goby.
Matt Reed fights another smallmouth toward the boat, though this one would come unhooked, a common theme among anglers on Day Three.
Photo: Larry Towell - Matt Reed fights another smallmouth toward the boat, though this one would come unhooked, a common theme among anglers on Day Three.
This smallmouth will help Matt Reed toward the goal of maintaining a top-12 spot on last day of the Empire Chase.
Photo: Larry Towell - This smallmouth will help Matt Reed toward the goal of maintaining a top-12 spot on last day of the Empire Chase.
Kevin Short arrives at an area Matt Reed was fishing, though both had shared this area on Day Two.
Photo: Larry Towell - Kevin Short arrives at an area Matt Reed was fishing, though both had shared this area on Day Two.
Kevin Short's co-angler Mike McGrath hooks into a healthy Lake Erie smallmouth shortly after their arrival.
Photo: Larry Towell - Kevin Short's co-angler Mike McGrath hooks into a healthy Lake Erie smallmouth shortly after their arrival.
Mike McGrath will use this fish to help boost his weight today; the co-angler champion will be crowned at this afternoon's weigh in.
Photo: Larry Towell - Mike McGrath will use this fish to help boost his weight today; the co-angler champion will be crowned at this afternoon's weigh in.
On another portion of the lake, Kevin VanDam was making up ground after stumbling on Day One and recovering on Day Two, starting Day Three in 14th place.
Photo: Larry Towell - On another portion of the lake, Kevin VanDam was making up ground after stumbling on Day One and recovering on Day Two, starting Day Three in 14th place.
John Murray, like many of the leaders, is locating bait and bass with his electronics, then dropping a lure where the action is.
Photo: Larry Towell - John Murray, like many of the leaders, is locating bait and bass with his electronics, then dropping a lure where the action is.
Kevin VanDam has trouble early keeping sizeable smallmouth buttoned up for one reason or another; many anglers battled to keep these feisty bronzebacks hooked up.
Photo: Larry Towell - Kevin VanDam has trouble early keeping sizeable smallmouth buttoned up for one reason or another; many anglers battled to keep these feisty bronzebacks hooked up.
It didn't take long for Kevin VanDam to get into a rhythm and start filling the livewell.
Photo: Larry Towell - It didn't take long for Kevin VanDam to get into a rhythm and start filling the livewell.
VanDam drop-shots at a much faster pace than many of the other competitors, calling it
Photo: Larry Towell - VanDam drop-shots at a much faster pace than many of the other competitors, calling it "power drop-shotting." With the Buffalo skyline in the background, he works the area at a feverish pace, jumping from one school of fish to the next.
Kevin VanDam is soon joined by Todd Faircloth, the man who took away (unofficially) the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year lead on Day One.
Photo: Larry Towell - Kevin VanDam is soon joined by Todd Faircloth, the man who took away (unofficially) the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year lead on Day One.
Todd Faircloth follows his electronics around the underwater point where VanDam started his day. Starting in eighth place, and cast down by VanDam, he jumped into 14th in the standings on Day Two.
Photo: Larry Towell - Todd Faircloth follows his electronics around the underwater point where VanDam started his day. Starting in eighth place, and cast down by VanDam, he jumped into 14th in the standings on Day Two.
Kevin VanDam and Todd Faircloth are not only battling for Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, they are also battling for the same smallmouth bass on underwater structure holding lots of bait and plenty of smallmouth.
Photo: Larry Towell - Kevin VanDam and Todd Faircloth are not only battling for Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, they are also battling for the same smallmouth bass on underwater structure holding lots of bait and plenty of smallmouth.
Todd Faircloth gives Kevin VanDam a glance as VanDam protects the area he started fishing this morning.
Photo: Larry Towell - Todd Faircloth gives Kevin VanDam a glance as VanDam protects the area he started fishing this morning.