It's not just cold fronts that screw up the fishing warm fronts can funk it up too. And the sunny, warm temperatures that settled over Lake Hartwell in South Carolina this morning those same conditions that so many in the field had prayed for threw just about everybody a screwball.
And through the changing conditions, it's steadiness
zthat now leads this 38th Bassmaster Classic.
Alton Jones is the only angler to have weighed comparable sacks each day. He opened with 17-05 and followed up with 18-11 today to land at exactly an 18-pound average - the number BassFan predicted yesterday would be the winning pace.
Jones said he's waited his whole career "to be on a pattern this solid for the Bassmaster Classic."
Charlie Hartley, the day-1 leader, came in 7 pounds lighter (13-12) today, but only dropped to 2nd. He trails Jones by 1-02, and said spectator traffic affected him today. The folks were great, he noted, but he's somewhat of a "ham" and at times lost focus before the crowds. He also thinks the boat noise might have spooked some of the big fish he was over.
Cliff Pace looks particularly dangerous right now. He's running the same general pattern as Jones, he said, and with 14-11 today, combined with 18-10 yesterday, he moved up four spots to 3rd. Pace seems calm, focused, and unaffected by the lights and cameras. He's vowed to put all the extras out of his mind and fish for the win tomorrow.
Kevin VanDam, who began the day in 3rd, weighed 11-14 and dropped a spot to 4th. His day-2 sack was significantly lighter than his 20-03 opening-day weight, and he seems to have entered that mindset where he's angry. That means it's a virtual guarantee he'll come back strong tomorrow, but with three others ahead of him, his hill is that much steeper.
In 5th is Jeff Kriet, who caught the day's biggest sack at 18-12, which improved him a massive 18 spots. He's fishing deep, but will likely need a 21-plus-pound bag tomorrow to clinch.
Below is a look at the Top 10 after day 2. Total weight is followed by distance from leader in red.
1. Alton Jones: 36-00
2. Charlie Hartley: 34-13 (1-03)
3. Cliff Pace: 33-05 (2-11)
4. Kevin VanDam: 32-01 (3-15)
5. Jeff Kriet: 31-11 (4-05)
6. Mike Iaconelli: 31-03 (4-13)
7. Greg Hackney: 30-11 (5-15)
8. Bobby Lane: 29-13 (6-05)
9. Edwin Evers: 29-09 (6-07)
10. Aaron Martens: 28-13 (7-03)
BASS Federation Nation Mike Baskett finished 26th and first out of the Top-25 cut.
Along with Kreit, other significant climbers included: Aaron Martens (23rd to 10th), and Skeet Reese (29th to 13th).
Notable drop-backs were: Scott Rook (2nd to 12th), Todd Faircloth (9th to 15th), Casey Ashley (5th to 20th), and Terry Scroggins (4th to 22nd). That means that three who were in the Top 5 yesterday dropped out of contention.
And that's probably all a result of the weather, which is the one topic all the pros are talking about. Overall, it hurt nearly every bite today, and no 20-pound sacks showed up (vs. three yesterday).
The warm, bright conditions certainly changed the fishing throughout the water column. And things should change tomorrow again. The warm weather will continue, but clouds are expected to roll in.
Jones has waited his whole career 'to be on a pattern this solid for the Bassmaster Classic.'
Both Jones and Pace believe their bites are isolated enough to sustain the changing weather. And if Jones could catch another 18 pounds tomorrow, that would probably be enough. If he did that, Hartley would have to catch 19, and Pace 21 1/2.
But given the Top 5 shakeup, there's every reason to believe Jones could leave a door open. And even if he does stick 18 pounds, there are 21-pound-plus bags waiting out there.
Everything's tight right now. The predictions for a close, exciting Classic seem to have been dead-on, and tomorrow's title could come down to the very last cull.
Jones Feels Good
> Day 1: 5, 17-05
> Day 2: 5, 18-11 (10, 36-00)
Jones wasn't able to start on his morning spoon spot. When he got there, Peter Thliveros was already on top of it. That was okay, Jones said, because when he started there the day before, Peter T. wasn't able to fish it. They both found it in practice and it was a boat-draw deal.
And the fact that he couldn't fish his spoon spot was actually a blessing in disguise, Jones said. "I went straight to my spot for big fish and caught three of the fish I weighed today."
After that he slowed down, caught a few more fish and quit his good stuff at about 10:30.
About the weather, and how much the changes have affected others, he said: "I think a lot of the fish I'm fishing for are kind of immune to the conditions. I'm fishing deep, so they're not nearly as affected by changes in the sunlight and weather. If it's warm outside, the fish down there don't know it."
The fact that he's the leader does put him in a somewhat vulnerable position. The crowds have been tremendous this week there were so many spectators at launch there was fear the dock would sink, and reportedly the Outdoors Expo doors were closed because the facility had reached fire-code limits. He'll probably have the biggest flotilla of spectator boats on him tomorrow now that local favorite Casey Ashley's out of it.
Like the weather changes, though, he feels a deep bite like his is the best to have with spectators along. Also notable is that in the past, he said he'd rather be trailing going into the final day. But he reversed that preference today.
"I've always said I'd rather be 2nd, but now I'm saying every pound I have today is one I don't have to have tomorrow. I like to be leading, because I need as much buffer as I can get. This is a tenacious group of individuals, and I need every fish I can get to have a shot."
About what a Classic win would mean to him, he said: "It would mean a tremendous amount to me and my family and sponsors, and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Watching the Bassmaster Classic as a boy watching Bobby Murray, and Billy Murray, Rick Clunn and the guys from way back it's always been a dream just to have a chance to go out and contend. It's exciting."
The only thing that really scares him about tomorrow is possibly running out of fish. As noted, he left them at 10:30 today, and he left them biting, so he doesn't think he's exhausted them. But his best spot is a steep drop into a ditch, so he can't graph the fish the walls are too steep and tight.
In fact, he never graphed fish when he found the area just the structure itself.
"I caught good fish as shallow as 15 feet and as deep as 40," he noted. "I'm in a specific type of structure. Something really important to me in finding the structure is my Humminbird 1197 Side Imaging graph. I couldn't have found the places without it.
"And once I established this pattern, I was able to spend a good portion of my practice idling through the right type of stuff saying, 'Yes, this has potential. No, this doesn't.' People who don't have Side Imaging are really missing out."
Charlie Hartley has been among the Top 2 after each of the first 2 days and thinks he can catch a 20-pound bag on day 3.
About who within striking distance scares him the most, he said: "Myself, because you kind of feel the weight's on your shoulders. I've gone out and had good days and bad days under pressure. I'm just going to trust the Lord. I've prepared and done all I can do. Now it's in His hands. I'll leave the outcome to Him and let Him do what He does best, which is to be in control."
2nd: Hartley Held his Ground
> Day 1: 5, 21-01
> Day 2: 5, 13-12 (10, 34-13)
Classic rookie Charlie Hartley came in more than 7 pounds lighter than on day 1, but occupied the same place in the standings.
"It was a lot tougher day for me," he said. "I got most of my fish early, and that was fortunate because I almost didn't go to that place. Once they sun came it, it got tough.
"I thought it would have been just the opposite. We think we know a lot about bass fishing, but they can still fool you."
He had a considerable number of spectator boats with him. He said everyone was courteous, but it took a toll on his psyche.
"It's flattering, but it didn't help my nerves any. It's neat that people want to watch you fish. I think there was even a boat full of Hooters girls VanDam probably sent them over."
He fished the same way as on day 1 throwing a jig into brush in the mid-depth range. He went through 10 keepers.
"I don't think the fish I'm catching are pre-spawn yet the big ones I caught yesterday still looked like winter fish. There's nothing that tells me they're headed (toward the banks)."
He thinks he could catch a 20-pound bag on the final day.
"The lake's full of 4-pounders, so that's real doable. When we were here in December (for pre-practice) and had the warmer water, the lake showed what it's capable of doing.
"There's no reason I can't catch 20."
3rd: Pace 'All About the Weather'
> Day 1: 5, 18-10
> Day 2: 5, 14-11 (10, 33-05)
Pace brought two patterns into the event one deep and one shallow. Yesterday he caught most of his weight shallow. Today he started there and didn't get a single bite, but loaded the boat out deep.
"It's a constant game of adjustments," he said. "I'm looking forward to what the weather says maybe I'll catch them better. You just had to survive the conditions today. When it gets still and bright like it was this morning, it's very different.
"I didn't have a limit until 10:30, and yesterday I had a limit in the first 20 minutes. All in all it was a lot different."
Cliff Pace isn't worried about what he needs to catch to win he's focused only on his fishing, and not what the other competitors are doing.
Pace added that he caught all of his fish today on a dropshot, then went immediately back to a discussion of the weather.
"It all revolves around the weather," he said. "Any guy who can sit here and tell you what to do tomorrow is lying. You have to fish the conditions. It's not a one-rod game, or at least it's not for me. I haven't found anything I can do throughout the weather conditions. I'm just trying to make every hour the most productive I can."
He was planning to save an area for tomorrow, but had to hit it at 1:00 today to upgrade.
About what he thinks he needs to catch tomorrow to win, he said: "When I go into these events, I have one thing on my mind, and that's the fishing. How much weight you need to catch, or where you are (in the standings) I think that takes you away from your trust in your own abilities, because you're worrying about things you don't need to worry about."
4th: VanDam Battled Spectators
> Day 1: 5, 20-03
> Day 2: 5, 11-14 (10, 32-01)
Kevin VanDam had a few things working against him on day 2. First off, he didn't get a single bite where he caught them yesterday. After blanking at stop one, he went to his backup pattern only to realize the bottom had fallen out on that, too. On top of his fish not wanting to cooperate, he also had what he described as "a large armada" trailing him around the waters of Hartwell today.
"I didn't catch a fish before 10 o'clock," he said. "I was just blown away by the number of local boats out there. And it wasn't just spectators, a ton of guys were out there just fishing.
"But I'm not blaming the crowds for how I performed today," he added. "The weather killed my bite more than anything. A lot of it has to do with the extra wave action from the wind today. That killed one of my patterns because it muddied up the banks."
He said he's been relying on three separate patterns the last 2 days, and he's got a few other areas that combine for a so-so third plan if he has to bail on everything else.
"I don't think anybody covered as much water as I did today. I didn't save any spots or do anything conservative. It was a tough bite and I was struggling for a while."
About his chances of putting his hands around his third Bassmaster Classic trophy, he said: "I'm going to be 4 or 5 pounds back. That's within striking distance, but it's definitely not where I wanted to be.
"Hopefully tomorrow everybody goes to church and the fish bite a little better."
5th: Kriet Makes Big Move
> Day 1: 5, 12-15
> Day 2: 5, 18-12 (10, 31-11)
Jeff Kriet fished a deep-water spot that he'd neglected on day 1, and it paid huge dividends. His bag topped Jones' by an ounce for best of the day and he moved up 23 places.
"I fished docks until 12:30 and all I caught was one little keeper," he said. "Then I went to my deep spot and caught all I (weighed), and I lost one that was about 7 pounds."
He found that spot during pre-practice in December and visited it on day 1, but didn't make a cast.
"I pulled in and got all lined up, but then I said forget this. I was catching them on docks, so I went back to that.
"That one afternoon in December, I could've had 25 pounds off there on a dropshot."
He'll start there tomorrow, but doesn't know whether the spot will be productive that early.
"I'm just glad to be back in it, and I'm pretty confident. I'd have never guessed I'd pull up there today and catch what I did.
"I may have to mix it up a little tomorrow, but I'm going there first thing."
6th: Iaconelli Moves Up a Bit
> Day 1: 5, 18-05
> Day 2: 5, 12-14 (10, 31-03)
Mike Iaconelli let a couple of fish get away and his sack was far lighter than the one he weighed on day 1, but he still moved up two places.
"Today I only landed seven of nine bites, and when you're getting less than 10 bites a day, it's important to catch them all," he said. "It's a big disappointment that I didn't capitalize on those other two. I missed one completely, and the other one got off about halfway back."
He said his bites again came in spurts. He had a flurry between 8:00 and 10:00, and then another from 1:00 through the end of the day. His best fish, a 4-pounder, bit during the latter session.
"With the style that I'm fishing, for wintertime fish, there's still some big ones out there to be caught, and that gives me a glimmer of hope (for a second Classic victory). On the last official practice day, I could have had 22 or 23 pounds that day.
"Because of that, I know it's not just some pipe dream. I did it, I felt it and I saw it."
His fish are coming from extremely deep water.
"I had two of them today that had to be fizzed, so that should tell you something about the depth."
7th: Hackney Found Something New
> Day 1: 5, 16-02
> Day 2: 5, 14-09 (10, 30-11)
The general buzz about most of the patterns is that they seem to be structure- or cover-related, which is part of what makes Greg Hackney's pattern so interesting. He said his bite is 100-percent dependent on the blueback herring. He caught a 6-pounder today out of a school of bass that exploded on a roaming bunch of bluebacks.
He's using birds to help him locate the schools of baitfish.
"At about 8:30 this morning a school came up and they were just working like animals out there," he said. "I found that a little later today, but I'm going to jump on it first thing tomorrow morning and see if I can find those school fish quick."
He also found what he called "a little wrinkle" towards the end of the day that could factor into his plan for day 3.
"I've got something new now, and I think it could be pretty good," he said. "I didn't have a lot of time to explore it much, but it could end up turning into something interesting for me."
8th: Lane Hammering his Area
> Day 1: 5, 15-00
> Day 2: 5, 14-13 (10, 29-13)
Bobby Lane is in contention despite having just on locale that's consistently yielding bites.
"I've fished the same pockets for 2 days, and the bites are getting fewer and fewer," he said. "I caught 12 (fish) off one spot yesterday and 12 again today, and I left when I felt comfortable.
"How bad the spot's beat up, I don't know. I might have to change things up tomorrow and try to win this thing on some dumb luck."
His fish are deep he caught them at 33 feet on day 1 and had to drop down to 36 feet today.
"I might stay deep longer (on day 3) and get everything I can out of them. That might be 17 or 18 pounds, or it might be 12.
"There's a 20-pound bag out there, but it'd probably have to be a gift from God for me to catch it. That one area's about the size of my boat."
He culled up just once after he left his primary spot.
"I threw a crankbait a lot and I caught one good one. But I threw it from 10:00 to 3:00 for just the one fish."
9th: Evers Puzzled
> Day 1: 5, 18-07
> Day 2: 5, 11-02 (10, 29-09)
Edwin Evers began the day in 7th but fell two spots and now trails the leader by 6 1/2 pounds.
"I don't know what happened to them," he said of his big fish. "I was seeing a lot of big fish shallow, and I was really looking forward to today. I went shallow early and fished 5 hours without a bite.
"Tomorrow I'll go for a limit (deep) before I go shallow. It was pretty nerve-wracking out there without a limit today. I'll have to go catch them in the morning."
About his feelings after day 2, he said: "I'm disappointed. I lost three fish right off the bat this morning that I'm sure regretting. They were on three consecutive casts.
"I did what I thought I should be doing to win. I have to get the bites in the boat. But it's not over."
10th: Martens Dumped Two
> Day 1: 5, 12-15
> Day 2: 5, 15-14 (10, 28-13)
Aaron Martens found his tree-fish to be more spread out today. They weren't schooling like they had been, but he got busy with a Roboworm and finished his limit. Before that, though, he 'Scrounged' around in the shallows.
"I feel better about today than yesterday," he said. "I started shallow, fishing the backs of creeks, and caught a nice keeper on my Scrounger head. Then I missed a couple on it. I did that for like 45 minutes then went to my deep spot and caught a few more. I had to slow way down it wasn't like it was yesterday."
He also noted that the two Scrounger fish he dumped were big ones, and that Edwin Evers, Kevin VanDam and Terry Scroggins were in the same general area.
"I thought today was off," he added. "They weren't biting nearly as good, and I had to slow way down. I only caught one fish on the drop."
11th: Kiriyama Disappointed
> Day 1: 5, 16-11
> Day 2: 5, 12-00 (10, 28-11)
Kota Kiryama said he's "a little disappointed" in his day. He weighed 4-11 less than yesterday and stayed in 11th, which means he missed a big opportunity to move up.
"It was much tougher," he said. "I had three shallow and two deep. (The bite) was totally different and I changed. I went shallow when the sun came up they shut down deep when the sun came up.
"I had to catch all my good fish in the morning," he added. "That's when they bite the big ones. I didn't land them, so it's my bad."
Like yesterday, he threw the Jackall Flick Shake worm.
12th: Rook Clueless
> Day 1: 5, 20-13
> Day 2: 5, 7-12 (10, 28-09)
Scott Rook was in scramble mode today trying to pick up the pieces of what he thought was an invincible pattern.
"It's been downright easy for me up until today," he said. "I caught 'em in practice, I caught 'em on day 1 - today it just didn't work. I haven't had a day where I've caught less than 14 pounds - until today."
He had a stout 5-pounder shake off a crankbait next to the boat, but other than that, he's lost as to what happened to his bite.
He did go into a few details of his pattern. He's tossing a crankbait in the backs of creeks in stained water. He also noted that in most of the places he's found off-color water, it's been a little warmer than the surrounding areas.
His plan is to run up the Seneca River tomorrow, and if he can't make it happen up there, he'll head for the Tugaloo.
13th: Sun Helped Reese
> Day 1: 5, 11-05
> Day 2: 5, 17-02 (8, 28-07)
Skeet Reese is one of the few anglers who actually managed to increase his weight on day 2, and he didn't have to change a single thing in order to do it. The sunny skies made all the difference for him.
"The fish today did what they were supposed to do yesterday," he said. "I've had two patterns that I thought were pretty solid, but they just didn't hold up for me yesterday. I actually thought I was going to catch them better when it was cloudy, then the sun came out today, and I caught them better. I don't know what's up with that."
When asked what he'd change if he could relive day 1, he said: "I'd catch five damn fish. Not catching five on day 1 is what's keeping me out of it right now. I should be right up there with (the leaders)."
He said he had quite a few spectators to start off the morning, but after "running around like a chicken with its head cut off," the crowd thinned out to just a few boats.
14th: Lintner Still Scrambling
> Day 1: 5, 13-02
> Day 2: 5, 14-08 (10, 27-10)
Jared Lintner climbed seven spots even though he's still not on anything that's consistent.
"I started out shallow and caught one, then I started fishing trees in 45 feet of water and caught another one. After that, I just kind of stayed shallow for the rest of the day.
"My two biggest ones (3 1/2-pounders) both came shallow. They've got big heads, but small bodies I think the warm weather might be pulling the males in."
He doesn't have a specific plan for tomorrow, but will spend the majority of his time in shallower water.
"I'm just going to go fishing and try some different areas. I tried my two main deep spots today, and I spent too much time there with no rewards."
15th: Faircloth Catches 3, Drops 6
> Day 1: 5, 17-10
> Day 2: 3, 8-15 (8, 26-9)
Todd Faircloth was in the Top 10 after day 1, but gave up six spots today when he managed just three keepers.
"I didn't get any bites," he said. "I had one other one follow my bait, and that was the only other fish I saw.
"I thought the sun would help I'm fishing shallow, and I thought it'd pull more fish up. I think it did later in the day. I caught two in the last hour, but it was a little too late."
He caught his fish on a crankbait the same lure that produced his strong day-1 bag. If he had today to do over again, he's not sure what he'd change.
"I wasn't on anything else that would produce the quality of fish to keep me up there in the hunt for the win. I tried different baits and really slowed down and fished the jig, but I just couldn't get any bites."
16th: Crews Figured it Out
> Day 1: 5, 11-02
> Day 2: 5, 14-11 (10, 25-13)
John Crews put the puzzle together today. The only problem is he didn't find the last piece until 3 o'clock this afternoon.
"I know what I'm supposed to be doing now," he said. "I caught one fish on my first spot and then I didn't catch another until 1:30. Then the light bulb went off about 3 o'clock and I caught my three biggest fish after that.
"I wish I could go back and start all over again," he added. "I understand it now. I was just missing one little thing."
He's still keeping his pattern under wraps, but he did say it's a shallow bite on a crankbait.
17th: Reehm Pleased to Make Cut
> Day 1: 5, 13-00
> Day 2: 5, 12-08 (10, 25-08)
Clark Reehm was happy that he'll get to fish the final day in his initial Classic.
"That was my goal, and I think it's a pretty good showing for a rookie," he said. "Today every fish had a story with it, and that made it exciting.
"I had an issue with my cranking battery that cost me about 45 minutes, and that affected some of the decisions I made. I had to ride around awhile and recharge it, and that eliminated some of the places I wanted to fish."
He got only five bites and, for the second day in a row, caught his limit fish just before quitting time.
"It's hit-and-miss for me. I'm hitting specific targets, and the fish bit a little bit better today."
18th: Klein Can't Move Up
> Day 1: 5, 13-12
> Day 2: 5, 11-03
Gary Klein, fishing this event for the 26th time, failed to make any headway today in pursuit of his first Classic victory.
"It was just about the same as yesterday, I got six bites again," he said. "I still think I'm just one cast away from figuring it out.
"I made a little bait change today and caught a 4-pounder right away, but then I never had another bite."
He caught three keepers in the first hour, but struggled once the sun came out. He said he broke off a big fish in a tree.
"Usually with a dropshot, I can get them to clear the (wood). This one I couldn't."
He'll stay with his deep stuff (35 to 48 feet) on day 3.
"I'm in an area with a lot of fish, and I might have figured something out at the end of the day."
19th: A 5-Pounder Boosts Short
> Day 1: 5, 12-08
> Day 2: 5, 12-02 (10, 24-10)
A 5-pound fish that bit a crankbait helped Kevin Short move up eight spots and make the cut.
"I thought that if it got sunny, there might be a big one up shallow warming herself," he said. "I caught that one on the first point I pulled up on, and I lost another one that was between 4 and 5."
He spent most of the day fishing a jig and caught numerous keepers, but all were in the 1 1/2-pound range.
"I can catch a limit pretty easily with a jig, but it won't weigh more than 8 to 10 pounds. I might be able to catch 20 if I picked up a crankbait and got a little wind and a little sun.
"I'd have to put the trolling motor on 'VanDamit' and just go down the bank."
20th: Bites Came Late for Ashley
> Day 1: 5, 18-10
> Day 2: 5, 5-12 (7, 24-06)
Casey Ashley's a pretty level-headed kid, but even he was noticeably dejected about only boating two keepers today. He's skipping a jig under docks, so he expected the sun to help his bite today. But he thinks the drastic change from damp and dreary on day 1 to bright and balmy on day 2 made his shallow fish extra spooky.
"There were a couple times today when I skipped my jig under a dock and I'd see a fish swim out the other side," he said. "They backed out yesterday and I guess when they came back up today they were just spooky."
He only had two fish going into the last hour, then he changed his tactics and coaxed five bites really quick. The problem is he only managed to convert one of those bites to pounds in the well.
"I could've had a limit," he said. "I just wasn't putting them in the boat. I'm going to go out and do the same thing tomorrow. I'll still fish docks, but I'll probably change up the areas a little bit."
21st: Swindle Lands a Late Pig
> Day 1: 5, 9-12
> Day 2: 5, 14-02 (10, 23-14)
Gerald Swindle hooked up with a 5 1/2-pounder with just 10 minutes left in the day, and that helped him improve 13 spots and earn another day on the water.
"I didn't do a lot different (than day 1)," he said. "I went for schooling fish in the morning, and then went to the docks and didn't catch anything. Then I tried some shallow cranking, and then went back to the docks and started catching them.
"I ended up catching one big one and losing one."
He boated about 10 keepers today and has a general idea of what he'll do tomorrow.
"I can do some correcting there's definitely some stuff I won't do."
22nd: No Whoppers for Wolak
> Day 1: 5, 13-13
> Day 2: 5, 9-14
Dave Wolak failed to crack the 10-pound mark today, but still made the cut with a few places to spare.
"I caught 15 or so keepers, but there were no big bites," he said. "I had to fish a lot slower and more methodically today. I caught them all day, but I had my limit in maybe an hour."
He's targeting water 20 feet deep or shallower and doesn't plan to change much on day 3.
"I'll probably just stay with what I've got. I don't think the fish bit real good in my best area today.
"I think there's a 16- or 17-pound bag in there, but I don't think there's a 20."
22nd: Scroggins' Bite Gone
> Day 1: 5, 19-03
> Day 2: 3, 4-07 (8, 23-10)
Terry Scroggins' bite vanished on him today, and his spot on the leaderboard suffered the same fate. He dropped from 4th all the day down to barely making the final cut in 22nd. He's been catching them close to the bottom out deep, but he noted that the sun today pulled a lot of fish up in the water column.
"They all came up and suspended today on me today," he said. "I thought the sun would help my bite, but it killed it."
His plan for tomorrow is to "just have fun and run some new water." He knows his chances of winning it are out the window, and the Floridian's already thinking ahead to the next stop at the Harris Chain.
"We're gonna' hit that one just right," he said. "That'll be a fun one to watch."
24th: Crowds Awed Chapman
> Day 1: 5, 13-06
> Day 2: 5, 10-03 (10, 23-09)
Brent Chapman didn't have a whole lot to say about his so-so 10-pound day. He started off the morning really well, but his bite fizzled as the day lingered on.
The topic at the front of his mind was the crazy amount of spectator.
"My hat's off to VanDam," he said. "That guy has so many boats following him around it's ridiculous. It's amazing the way he can manage a crowd. I commend him for being able to do that.
"You should've seen the crowd on the dock this morning," he added. "It's a floating dock and so many people were crowded onto that thing I thought it was going to sink. It's crazy out there, but it's good to have the support."
25th: Biffle Burned Gas
> Day 1: 5, 10-06
> Day 2: 5, 13-02 (10, 23-08)
This wasn't Biffle's event. He never got on anything substantial, and today burned 52 gallons of gas to catch 12 pounds. But he did survive the cut to fish another day.
"I had a real tough day," he said. "I didn't have a fish until probably 10:30. This afternoon, I figured them out a little better I got in an area where they were biting and ended up catching them pretty good.
"But Where I was planning on catching them real good, I never could catch them."
> Day 2 stats 50 anglers, 35 limits (2 fewer than yesterday), 4 threes, 7 twos, 3 ones, 1 zero (1 more than yesterday).
> John Murray finished 27th and missed the cut. To read his wrap-up, click here to go On Tour With the BassFan Big Sticks.
> BassFan will publish notes from those who didn't make the cut tomorrow.
Here's the forecast for the final day of the tournament. For updated weather info, including satellite images and radar, visit OutdoorsFanWeather.com.
> Sun, Feb. 24 Cloudy 58°/39°
- Wind: From the E at 9 mph
Day 2 Standings
1. Alton Jones -- Waco, Texas -- 10, 36-00
Day 1: 5, 17-05 -- Day 2: 5, 18-11
2. Charlie Hartley -- Grove City, Ohio -- 10, 34-13
Day 1: 5, 21-01 -- Day 2: 5, 13-12
3. Cliff Pace -- Petal, Miss. -- 10, 33-05
Day 1: 5, 18-10 -- Day 2: 5, 14-11
4. Kevin VanDam -- Kalamazoo, Mich. -- 10, 32-01
Day 1: 5, 20-03 -- Day 2: 5, 11-14
5. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, Okla. -- 10, 31-11
Day 1: 5, 12-15 -- Day 2: 5, 18-12
6. Michael Iaconelli -- Runnemede, N.J. -- 10, 31-03
Day 1: 5, 18-05 -- Day 2: 5, 12-14
7. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, La. -- 10, 30-11
Day 1: 5, 16-02 -- Day 2: 5, 14-09
8. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, Fla. -- 10, 29-13
Day 1: 5, 15-00 -- Day 2: 5, 14-13
9. Edwin Evers -- Talala, Okla. -- 10, 29-09
Day 1: 5, 18-07 -- Day 2: 5, 11-02
10. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, Ala. -- 10, 28-13
Day 1: 5, 12-15 -- Day 2: 5, 15-14
11. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, Ala. -- 10, 28-11
Day 1: 5, 16-11 -- Day 2: 5, 12-00
12. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, Ark. -- 10, 28-09
Day 1: 5, 20-13 -- Day 2: 5, 7-12
13. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, Calif. -- 8, 28-07
Day 1: 3, 11-05 -- Day 2: 5, 17-02
14. Jared Lintner -- Arroyo Grande, Calif. -- 10, 27-10
Day 1: 5, 13-02 -- Day 2: 5, 14-08
15. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, Texas -- 8, 26-09
Day 1: 5, 17-10 -- Day 2: 3, 8-15
16. John Crews -- Salem, Va. -- 10, 25-13
Day 1: 5, 11-02 -- Day 2: 5, 14-11
17. Clark Reehm -- Russellville, Ark. -- 10, 25-08
Day 1: 5, 13-00 -- Day 2: 5, 12-08
18. Gary Klein -- Weatherford, Texas -- 10, 24-15
Day 1: 5, 13-12 -- Day 2: 5, 11-03
19. Kevin F Short -- Mayflower, Ark. -- 10, 24-10
Day 1: 5, 12-08 -- Day 2: 5, 12-02
20. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, S.C. -- 7, 24-06
Day 1: 5, 18-10 -- Day 2: 2, 5-12
21. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, Ala. -- 10, 23-14
Day 1: 5, 9-12 -- Day 2: 5, 14-02
22. Dave Wolak -- Wake Forest, N.C. -- 10, 23-10
Day 1: 5, 13-12 -- Day 2: 5, 9-14
22. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, Fla. -- 8, 23-10
Day 1: 5, 19-03 -- Day 2: 3, 4-07
24. Brent Chapman -- Lake Quivira, Kan. -- 10, 23-09
Day 1: 5, 13-06 -- Day 2: 5, 10-03
25. Tommy Biffle -- Wagoner, Okla. -- 10, 23-08
Day 1: 5, 10-06 -- Day 2: 5, 13-02
The following anglers didn't make the cut and won't be fishing tomorrow.
26. Mike Baskett -- Salem, Ore. -- 7, 23-02 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 15-03 -- Day 2: 2, 7-15
27. John Murray -- Phoenix, Ariz. -- 10, 23-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-01 -- Day 2: 5, 12-00
28. Jeff Freeman -- Max Meadows, Va. -- 10, 22-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 14-03 -- Day 2: 5, 7-14
29. Richard Watson -- Plattekloof, South Afr 10 -- 21-10 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 7-09 -- Day 2: 5, 14-01
30. Jay Fuller -- Kingston, Okla. -- 10, 21-05 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-08 -- Day 2: 5, 9-13
31. Mike Wurm -- Hot Springs, Ark. -- 9, 20-13 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 9-08 -- Day 2: 5, 11-05
32. Peter E Thliveros -- St Augustine, Fla. -- 7, 20-09 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 6-06 -- Day 2: 5, 14-03
33. Boyd Duckett -- Demopolis, Ala. -- 7, 20-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 4-15 -- Day 2: 5, 15-02
34. Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, S.C. -- 10, 19-14 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 12-12 -- Day 2: 5, 7-02
35. Kevin Wirth -- Crestwood, Ky. -- 10, 19-09 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-06 -- Day 2: 5, 8-03
36. Takahiro Omori -- Emory, Texas -- 10, 19-05 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 8-10 -- Day 2: 5, 10-11
37. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, Ark. -- 10, 19-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 8-01 -- Day 2: 5, 11-00
38. Jamie Laiche -- Gonzales, La. -- 7, 18-15 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 15-14 -- Day 2: 2, 3-01
39. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, Ala. -- 7, 18-00 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 12-13 -- Day 2: 2, 5-03
40. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, Okla. -- 8, 17-12 -- 0, $11,000
Day 1: 3, 5-11 -- Day 2: 5, 12-01
41. Jeff Coble -- Manson, N.C. -- 6, 17-06 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 8-10 -- Day 2: 3, 8-12
42. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, Ark. -- 6, 14-09 -- $10,000
Day 1: 1, 2-04 -- Day 2: 5, 12-05
43. Kelly Jordon -- Mineola, Texas -- 5, 14-07 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 14-07 -- Day 2: 0, 0-00
44. Chris Loftus -- Bloomfield, N.Y. -- 5, 12-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 6-08 -- Day 2: 2, 5-09
45. Brent Haimes -- Mazeppa, Minn. -- 7, 11-10 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 8-07 -- Day 2: 2, 3-03
46. Derek Remitz -- Grant, Ala. -- 4, 11-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 4-06 -- Day 2: 2, 6-11
47. Timmy Horton -- Muscle Shoals, Ala. -- 4, 9-12 -- $10,000
Day 1: 1, 3-09 -- Day 2: 3, 6-03
48. Matthew Sphar -- Pavilion, N.Y. -- 3, 7-15 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 6-07 -- Day 2: 1, 1-08
49. Chris Lane -- Lakeland, Fla. -- 3, 6-01 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 2-10 -- Day 2: 1, 3-07
50. Ishama Monroe -- Hughson, Calif. -- 3, 5-11 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 3-11 -- Day 2: 1, 2-00
> Day 2: Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, Okla. -- 6-07 -- $1,000
> Day 1: Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, Texas -- 6-02 -- $1,000