- Henry Abbott, TrueHoop, NBA
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LAY LAKE Russell Colwell, the ESPN Outdoors Bassmaster Series Champion, won his way into the Classic despite bringing in six fish on the final day of his qualifying tournament.
His 6 pounds, 8 ounces were only good enough for 48th place, but the wide-eyed angler from Baltimore, Md., didn't seem to care.
At the launch on Day 2, his No. 26 boat lined up on the dock between Denny Brauer's No. 24 boat and Kevin VanDam's No. 32.
"We all know you're going to be moving up the leaderboard today," Colwell said, striking up a conversation with VanDam.
If Colwell would have had a blanket and picnic basket he could have filled half of his fantasy dinner table (each angler was asked what their fantasy dinner would be before the tournament). The only missing piece for Colwell would have been Edwin Evers.
Hot angler still cold
Even though the temperature has been rising for the last week, the mornings for the two launches have still required an extra layer.
Randy Howell, who sits in second place with 17-15, was piling on the clothes before he took off on.
"I've got to keep adding layers," Howell said as pulled on a windsuit covered with the Purolator logo. "I'm just not a cold weather guy."
Two for two
Friday morning, Tommy Biffle had engine problems in his No. 54 boat and had to make a switch as the other anglers took off.
This morning Biffle passed the baton to Mike Iaconelli, who was running the same switchover drill five minutes after everyone had hit the water.
Iaconelli was being moved from his No. 1 boat the No. 54 boat that Biffle had used the day before.
It might not be too bad of an omen considering Biffle finished Friday in sixth place with 16-11.
All this negativity
Alabama's Boyd Duckett holds the lead with 19-14, including an 8-pound largemouth kicker that had alluded the rest of the field.
And the before-mentioned field is now doubting/hoping that Duckett won't be able to find something like that again.
"I don't think that he can catch another one like that," Biffle said. "In fact, I'm banking on the fact that he can't. I'm just going to try and get another 16 or 17 pounds and move up the leaderboard."
For the love of that cast
Jeff Kriet was one of the few anglers who was relaxed and chatty before the take-off on Saturday.
"I'm just ready to get out there," he said. "There's just something about that first cast that I really love."
Kriet started the day in 20th with 12-10, but according to Bass Trakker, made an early move up the leaderboard.
2hMike Fish and David Purdum