Japanese angler Ken Iyobe made beneficial lure adjustments that put him in the lead Friday at the Ross Barnett Reservoir Bassmaster Central Open in Mississippi.
Iyobe added today's weight of 13-06 for a 2-day total 31-01. Second-place is Bradley Burns with 30-03 and Quentin Cappo follows with 28-4. Blake Betz is 4th with 27-12, and Stephen Browning is 5th with 27-08.
On Thursday, Iyobe chose the tedious approach of flipping a jig to specific, isolated casting targets along the shoreline. Patience paid off with another limit. Today, he sped things up with a faster presentation. The idea of covering more water with a crankbait was a good idea.
"Today the fish were harder to catch, so I used the reaction lure to cover more water," said Iyobe, who commutes from the city of Tokoname, Japan, to compete in American tournaments.
Iyobe, who competed in the 2015-2016 Elite Series, used the crankbait in the same areas as Thursday. Fishing the lure slow was key. After covering an area of isolated cover, he quickly moved to the next spot using his trolling motor.
Burns began the tournament intending to target spawning largemouth. That game plan fell apart after runoff from rainfall muddied the area, rendering it useless.
"I moved into the main lake and put together a pattern late on Friday afternoon," he said.
Timing was everything for the strategy in play for Cappo. He targeted pre-spawn largemouth funneling into a narrow creek channel from the main lake. He speculated the bass are migrating to spawning flats in the back of the creek. Cappo's weight was anchored by the big bass of the day weighing 8-06.
"The timing comes when baitfish move into the creek," said Cappo. "The bass are feeding on those baitfish, and I just have to play a waiting game until they show up."
Here are the totals for the 12 anglers who advanced to day 3:
1. Ken Iyobe: 31-01
2. Bradley Burns: 30-03
3. Quentin Cappo: 28-04
4. Blake Betz: 27-12
5. Stephen Browning: 27-08
6. Luke Palmer: 27-05
7. Brad Whatley: 26-08
8. Allan Nail: 26-08
9. Caleb Sumrall: 26-05
10. Drew Benton: 25-14
11. Frank Talley: 25-07
12. Clark Reehm: 25-01