<
>

Live Blog

4/9/2011

Editor's note: To get more liveliness out of the live blog, refresh your page.

4:48
PM ET

All the boats have checked in.

Poche cut it close, as did Iaconelli. Both slipped in by seconds. Both casting furiously for that final bite. Doesn't look like it came.

Hite probably has this one wrapped up. We expect Lane to be second. Poche third.

After that, it gets really hazy. The weigh-in, though, will have some great moments.

That will be starting real soon.

Until next week, at Toledo Bend ...


-- Steve Bowman


4:46
PM ET

Davy Hite knows how to finish the deal.

Poche is still scrambling trying to get that fifth fish. At the moment, that could mean the difference between second and third.

Hite is doing all he can to make sure he doesn't get any daylight. He just added a 4-pound plus fish that shoots his total to 21 pounds plus.

Poche needs to make up 10 to 12 pounds all of the sudden. That very well could be the nail in the coffin. As I write this there are less than 10 minutes left to fish.

Hite's fish came with 12 minutes left.


-- Steve Bowman


4:44
PM ET

Poche is at least getting the bites. He's not doing what he needs.

A quick call to his Marshal reveals he only has three fish in the boat for 8-8. But at about the same time I called, Poche lost about a 6-pound largemouth.

Two that size would do it for him. It's possible. But time is running out quickly.

Poche just added a 2-pounder in the boat. That will bump him up a place or two. We're sure he needs every bit of extra money he can get.

That 6-pounder is looking huge, all of the sudden.


-- Steve Bowman


4:36
PM ET

At the moment, everything looks like it revolves around Poche.

The outcome rests largely on him. We, of course, are assuming that none of the other anglers are mounting un-seen, un-reported huge sacks.

Hite could put it further out of reach with another good fish. But Poche actually caught 10 to 11 pounds yesterday on his last two fish.

If he does that again, all of the sudden we have another one of those really close finishes that is too close to call.

As for the other guys -- Lane, Jones and Brauer-- are running and gunning at the moment, they are keeping clumsy Rob on his toes trying to keep up with them. But as far as we know their weights are pretty much the way we have them reported.

The one wild card is Hackney. We haven't heard from him in a long time. Last we heard he had 17. At this point, he would need 27. I'm not going to say it can't happen.


-- Steve Bowman


4:16
PM ET

Overstreet just reported in that the catching has infected Poche.

The action keeps heating up below the dam, but it's a slow heat. They haven't exactly gone full-bore crazy.

PHOTO GALLERY

On the water

He just boated a 3-pound plus from his spot near the dam. By our count that gives him three fish that total 8 pounds.

That could be good enough for a top five at the moment. And he's still got a couple fish to give.

He will be 10 to 11 pounds back, so the size of the next two fish will be critical to him. Unless of course he just stumbles into a wad of 4-pounders.

He's close to the take-off (about 5 minutes or less) so he will likely milk the clock until it's dry.


-- Steve Bowman


4:11
PM ET

Bobby Lane has upgraded to about 17 pounds and now sits in the lead.

Hite is a half pound back, still with four fish in the boat.

While he's waiting for the fifth bite, Matt Reed just caught another 4-pounder right from under him. That gives Reed 18 pounds and pushes him up to fourth place some four pounds out of the lead.

Now all of the sudden one of those 8-pound giants like he had yesterday could really change the game. But it's still riding on Davy's shoulders.

As soon as I typed that, Overstreet reports in that Hite catches a 5-pounder. That gives him 17- to 18 pounds and a 5-pound lead on Lane.

You could hear Hite in the background screaming like a banshee.

That could be the sealer in this deal. But we have to continue to watch Poche. The action has picked up.

He only has two fish for 5 pounds. But three of those solid fish like Hite and Reed are catching and he could scare the heck out of Hite.

Like yesterday this last-hour stuff gets even more incredible.


-- Steve Bowman


3:46
PM ET

Overstreet just checks in that Matt Reed just caught a 4-pounder, not 20 feet from Davy.

That brings Reed's weight up to more than 15 pounds. We expect he might have a little more than that. His weight yesterday was severely underestimated as well.

In order for him to really make a big showing, though, he's going to have a couple of giants bite for him to catch Davy and Bobby Lane.

Hite may not have liked being that close to a fish like that and not catching it. But it might prove important any way. Those kind of things can give you confidence in your area (as if he needed any). But when the pressure mounts for winning an event like this, you never know where your mind could go.

We do know, that Hite is one fish short of a limit. A 4-pounder to fill out his limit might just seal the deal.


-- Steve Bowman


3:46
PM ET

Good to see U.S. servicemen appreciate our efforts.

RHRhino first jokingly commented on the bottom of this blog that he liked how our BASSTrakk had Bobby Lane with one fish weighing 12 pounds and how Greg Hackney had a 17-pounder.

That would be something, huh?

Ah, the glitches of technology. That's partly why we call them unofficial.

Then he comes back and gives a heartfelt nod of appreciation.

"
My joking comment aside, THANK YOU for this blog. I'm in Afghanistan and delighted to be able to keep up with the tournament through this well written and entertaining blog. Truly a first class effort!"

Thank you, Rhino. We appreciate all that you and your brothers in arms are doing.


-- Mike Suchan


3:24
PM ET

Davy Hite is not going down without a fight. He just added his fourth fish and it's a 4-pounder, giving him 12 1/2-pounds on the day and slipping him past Bobby Lane for the lead.

He can push even further ahead with a final keeper.

True to the way things have been playing out all week, those fish below Wilson Dam are starting to bite later in the day.


-- Steve Bowman


3:20
PM ET

Jones has been moving around more but the action has clearly slowed. A spectator told us he has caught 25 or 30 bass on the day.

As we cruise down the lake, I notice the wind has picked up and the main lake is really rough. Our next stop is a bigger creek and Jones is flying down the bank.

"You don't have to stop fishing,'' Jones tells a group of recreational anglers. "I'm looking for a big one a bed."

At this point, it will take a big one to upgrade his limit, but he's done a lot to help his cause in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

-- Rob Russow


3:15
PM ET

I knew as soon as I wrote that last blog, it would kick something into gear.

Poche has added his second fish, a 4-pounder. He now has 5 pounds on the day and sits in sixth place.

This is spooky similar to how things played out yesterday, all the way down to the first 1-pound fish caught early and the 4-pounder caught about this time yesterday.

-- Steve Bowman


3:12
PM ET

After most of the morning with the action coming so quickly you didn't know what to expect, it's been eerily quiet for some time.

The last couple days, Hite and Poche talked about the bite getting better at noon, but we are a couple hours passed that and we thought a few catches would have been produced by them.

They are still on three fish for Hite and one for Poche. Their better fish did start biting later in the day, as a matter of fact from now until the end of the day was the better time yesterday.

But everyone else has slowed as well.

We still have Bobby Lane in the lead with 16 pounds. Alton Jones and Hite are in a virtual tie in second and Denny is less than a pound back of them in fourth.

When the current picked up we saw a little flurry from Hite and then saw a few catches pick up as the slug went down the lake, but the increased flow hasn't produced a sustained bite.

-- Steve Bowman


2:08
PM ET

In response to some of the questions below.

Kelly Jordon has completely boated off the BASSTrakk grid and we've been unable to reach him or his Marshal, but we will continue to try. We had the same issues yesterday.

Iaconelli is fishing well down the lake and has a limit around 12 pounds for the moment.

He and Jordon will both have to catch almost 30 pounds to impact the very top of the standings.

Jordon said last night that if all things fell into place perfectly, he could catch 35 pounds. That's why we'd love to have a set of eyes on him. But at the moment we don't.

-- Steve Bowman


2:08
PM ET

This is my first time on this part of the lake and the water is clearing considerably. Jones was cruising quickly, looking for beds while also pitching deep into the reeds.

After making a move, a local idles out of the area and gives Jones some room.

"He wouldn't want to know what I just caught out of there,'' he said.

If they were big spawners, that could hurt Jones, but regardless he is easing into the shallows fishing wood and reeds.

-- Rob Russow


2:02
PM ET

The leaderboard is in constant motion. The shifts up and down the board are noticeable at times.

Bobby Lane just reported in with a 16-pound sack and that sends him to the top of the board with a more than 3-pound lead on Hite.

Lane has been tucked away off the main river channel throwing a topwater. He's had a good day with a 4- and 5-pound fish hitting the well.

Hite still has two to take back the lead, since he only has three in the livewell. But the race continues to tighten in several directions with Hite, at least for the moment, having the best shot at making up the ground.

Poche is still stuck on one fish, about the same place he was this time yesterday.

-- Steve Bowman


1:52
PM ET

Here's the latest BASSTrakk standings, although unofficial as can be.

It appears rather close at the moments, but catches don't always come in as the angler could be out of range, a number mistyped, etc, etc, etc.

This doesn't have Alton Jones' latest catch either. Enjoy anyway. Unless someone charges forward, we should have a top-notch weigh-in.

-- Mike Suchan


1:26
PM ET

We've watched Denny do a lot of moving in the past hour, which coincides with the wind shifting from the southwest. Talking to Denny this morning, he told me wanted the cloud cover. He didn't get it for long.

Now we are following him inside a small pocket along the river channel. The wind is blowing into the spot and Denny is doing what he does best, making close-range pitches to flooded brush.

What we are seeing from everybody along this stretch of river -- Brauer, Lane and Jones is they are playing the wind to their favor.

-- Craig Lamb


1:26
PM ET

We're adjusting BASSTrakk to reflect an 8 1/2-pound three-fish stringer for Hite.

That actually puts him back in the lead by a couple of ounces over Denny.

-- Steve Bowman


1:17
PM ET

BASSTrakk has Hite with 6-4, which doesn't jive with what we are hearing from Sanders and seeing from Zona on BassCam.

The Marshal for Hite is not in the boat, instead watching from a distance, giving up his seat to a cameraman, so his guesses have been light.

Sanders and Zona say Hite's total is more like 8 1/2 pounds. That would push him up a bit to third place. But still behind Denny and Bobby Lane.

We haven't heard anything from Bobby Lane in a while, so we're sending clumsy Rob to chase him down and get an update.

-- Steve Bowman


1:08
PM ET

Rob Russow is trying to catch up with Denny Brauer. He's not having an easy go of it. He just messaged in that he fell in the boat and lost his phone overboard.

He will still be blogging, but we'll take a moment to mourn the loss.

-- Steve Bowman


1:06
PM ET

Davy Hite just added a 2 1/2-pound smallmouth. That fish hit the swimbait in the seam 40 yards from the water release.

PHOTO GALLERY

On the water

Zona thinks the fish is closer to 3 1/2-pounds.

-- Tommy Sanders

That puts Hite above Alton Jones in the standings with almost 70 pounds. BASSTrakk has Hite with 6-4. If Zona's estimates are right, then he could have as much as 8-pounds with those three fish.

-- Steve Bowman

Inset is the latest photo gallery from the water.

Terry Scroggins, who caught a quick limit Friday, and Alton Jones, who's beening catching good fish as he tries to maintain a lead in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, are among James Overstreet's subjects in this batch.


12:56
PM ET

Here comes Dave Mercer's 1 p.m. ET Live Video update, which are at the top of each hour. They have been including footage from the Bassmaster TV cameramen.


12:38
PM ET

No sooner than Zona notes that a pair of blue herons have just set up on a rock just out from the dam, Davy catches a 4-pound class largemouth from the same rock.

He caught it on a 5-inch Berkley Hollow Belly swim bait.

The water level below the dam is halfway back to yesterday's level after 40 minutes of the second generator running.

-- Tommy Sanders

That fish holds Hite steady in the rankings right now at fifth. But it has to be a big sigh of relief. Those kind of fish will go a long way in holding off all these guys making a run at him, if he can find three or four more to go with them.

He's done that every day. He's currently on BASSTrakk with two fish that total 4-8. We expect him to have a little more than that.

-- Steve Bowman


12:22
PM ET

Poche is sticking to the dam. For 10 minutes he and Davy Hite were boat to boat, firing at the same eddy at the corner of the release chute.

Hite has moved out a bit at the moment.

(Here's a neat video Zona caught after water generation started. Shad are hanging at the dam base and catfish are coming up to chomp.)

-- Tommy Sanders


12:21
PM ET

We've left Keith Poche in the capable hands of Overstreet, Sanders and Zona since Hite and Poche are back piled up on top of each other.

Aaron Martens and Travis Manson stopped by on their way to do some drum fishing. Those are pretty numerous up in this area.

We're going to find Denny Brauer, who put on a flipping clinic yesterday down the lake. His bite slowed considerably when the sun first came out, but he still managed to cull up to almost 20 pounds.

Back in contention and with the dam bite nonexistent so far, he could turn out to be a major player before the day is out.

-- Rob Russow


12:18
PM ET

The last two days have been interesting to watch. The flippers like Denny and Alton and now Hackney climb the board, leaving Hite and Poche in the dust for the first half of the event.

And then yesterday, in the last few hours things just went crazy up there around the dam and Hite and Poche built incredible stringers.

We wonder if that kind of timeline will follow today. All of the fish catching is taking place way away from the dam at the moment. And guys like Denny, Alton, Hackney and Bobby Lane dominate the leaderboard.

Sanders just reported another generator turning on at the dam. That could bode well for the dam guys. But I noticed this morning that the area has also seen a big increase in local traffic. They aren't spectators. They are fishing.

That could add another twist to things. It all comes together to create a pins and needles situation for Hite and Poche, and one worth watching from this vantage point.

-- Steve Bowman


12:14
PM ET

Herons and gulls are working the current seam just like the fisherman.

Davy soldiers on, laughing and joking. Zona just said that Davy is totally committed to this spot -- he's going to live or die right here,

And now they've just turned on another generator.

-- Tommy Sanders


12:12
PM ET

If Hackney indeed has 17 pounds, then that puts him in the top two or three.

Right now we have Denny at top with about 71 pounds overall.

Hackney is right there, if he has the 17. As is Bobby Lane with his reported 12 pounds for the day. Alton is around fourth with 68 pounds. And Hite is fifth with 65 and stuck on one keeper.

-- Steve Bowman


12:08
PM ET

Hackney just caught a 4-pounder on the sunken island of buried treasure.

Hackney says he has about 17 pounds. Could someone off the radar come in here with a monster sack and steal this thing away from the leaders?

-- Craig Lamb


12:06
PM ET

Alton Jones has moved to his other identical area. The winds have picked up and are out of the Southeast

Greg Hackney is nearby flipping standing timber and brushpiles on a submerged island in the main channel.

-- Craig Lamb


11:58
AM ET

Poche broke out the shaky head and is working down the bank, which is steep and rocky. He's probably sitting in about 8 feet of water, now throwing a spinnerbait.

"I'm happy with what he's doing right now," Crochet said. "Letting his spot rest and trying to catch another keeper here before going back."

He's dug in the rod box for a crankbait and is now working parallel to shore. Things are slow here, but that's what we expected. We are all waiting for the last few hours when expectations are the bass will start biting up here.

-- Rob Russow


11:56
AM ET

Get ready for Dave Mercer's noon ET Live Video update, which come at the top of each hour.


11:47
AM ET

Davy Hite is on the move. He's run about 5 miles down the lake. Fished for a short while, then turned and headed back to the dam.

That's two moves in 15 minutes and he's still had time to catch about 30 pounds of drum.

At the dam, the water looks like it has dropped 1 1/2-feet. The generation is about half of what it was yesterday. One thing we notice is that there is more dead bait floating around.

-- Tommy Sanders


11:30
AM ET

Poche has moved to the horseshoe, where a lot of the top-12 fished last year.

He knows the eddy spot is best late in the day, and wants to get a few more fish in the boat before he commits everything to the spot.

There is some current flowing through here, but most is blocked by a long row of boulders. The current breaks where the water flows around the rocks are what Poche is targeting.

He is switching between a swimbait and a spinnerbait. There are a lot of recreational anglers around and one just boxed a 3-pounder.

-- Rob Russow


11:09
AM ET

Davy Hite just left the dam again. He knows with the morning bite slow, that he can check on the other spot that produced three nice smallmouth yesterday. You can count on him being here in the afternoon though.

Poche is being patient, making the same cast over and over. When we pulled in, he said something had changed, the water was different.

"There's no eddy here anymore," Poche said.

He had been staying on one small spot on a cement corner of the dam that formed an eddy. Right now, he's catching drum and snagging shad with frequency.

Cliff Crochet is in the boat with us and he was not disheartened by what he saw.

"They may have changed, but they are still in there," Crochet said.

-- Rob Russow


11:09
AM ET

We've found Alton Jones, Power-Poles down. He's on the same stretch of isolated reeds on a shoreline adjacent to the main river channel.

He's got the boat lined up parallel to the reed line making pitches to any irregularities he finds along the way.

-- Craig Lamb


10:56
AM ET

Get ready for Dave Mercer's 11 a.m. Live Video update, which come at the top of each hour.


10:54
AM ET

The live stream from the Super Dock Dogs is running on the
backstage live page.
Hit the backstage button right under the player.


10:41
AM ET

Alton Jones' is fishing a small cut off the main lake, slowly working down the edge of some gator grass pitching his YumDinger. He's at four fish so far at 8:55 CT, none too big -- as soon as Zona gets in with him he catches a nice three pounder to get his limit.

Zona says the bottom around this sawgrass (not gator grass -- my bad) is very hard for spawning.

-- Tommy Sanders


10:37
AM ET

Keith Poche just registered his first fish of the morning. It weighs in around 1 pound.

He and Hite are around the dam and the water is noticeably lower. I just got in from the helicopter ride and I couldn't believe the amount of rocks that were showing where boats were sitting just a few days ago.

Obviously the dam bite is slow again. And there seems to be a lot of local help in the area. I would guess as many as 20 boats fishing and making drifts around the dam area.

It will be interesting to see if those guys can hold on through the day like they did yesterday. If it's anything like that it will be exciting from this end.

I've just looked at things on the computer and it looks like Alton Jones has had the start that Scroggins had yesterday. He has a limit for 12 and that puts him in the lead, but only by 2 pounds over Hite.

Hite and Poche are next with one, but we are hearing that Bobby Lane has four fish in the 7- to 8-pound range and that would put him in second. Brauer has two fish for 4 pounds, Matt Reed has three for 6-5, Wellman has two for 4-5 and Grigsby has a two for 3-7.

The standings pretty much shape up like that. Hackney, Jordon and Iaconelli are sitting on zero.

In a few minutes we'll have the launch gallery up, followed by the aerial gallery.

-- Steve Bowman


10:29
AM ET

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, Skeet Reese was in the middle of his remarkable run when weather dampened the picture a bit at the Alabama Charge.

Reese had won the previous event, the Blue Ridge Brawl, and followed up his fifth-place finish in the Alabama Charge with a victory in the Southern Challenge on Guntersville, where his lead for Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year stretched to 258 points.

That lead was aided by a second-place finish in the first Elite event on the California Delta – where he was just one ounce behind John Crews. He then was fifth on Clear Lake and held the AOY lead until the last guy weighed in at Championship Week.

This week, Reese finished in 37th on Pickwick, and might climb a few spots from 52nd in the AOY points race, but he'll need a little run like last year to return to where he has been acustomed to.

-- Mike Suchan


10:19
AM ET

Less than a year ago, things were very different at the Alabama Charge.

Skeet Reese was leading but a storm system that had been spawning tornadoes was heading Florence's way, prompting B.A.S.S. to cut short the final day of fishing to five hours.

Reese, the only one locking into Wilson, was visibly upset, although he later told Tournament Director Trip Weldon having the weigh-in before all hell broke loose was the right call.

Kevin Short blew away the field with a big bag he caught quickly, but he left Pickwick feeling a bit disappointed as basically he got to raise the trophy and run. Everything B.A.S.S. packed up and skedaddled out of harm's way.
Good thing too as there were tornadoes in the area and the launch site flooded. Revisit Short's victory here;

-- Mike Suchan


10:04
AM ET

The 12 anglers have not even fished for 90 minutes and Alton Jones already has caught a limit. His fish weigh an estimated 12 pounds, 12 ounces and move him into the lead as things stand right now. Here's the top five as I see it:

Alton Jones 65-12
Bobby Lane 65-8
Davy Hite 65-0
Keith Poche 65-12
Matt Reed 59-04

I'm not saying Jones has a good chance to win, but just think if those dam fish never turn on, things could get interesting around the top of the leaderboard.

We won't know anything until this afternoon most likely, since Poche caught a 6-11 in the last hour to keep himself in the game. We may not even know anything about Hite and Poche until weigh-in. But meanwhile, the rest of the anglers are giving this their best shot.

-- Rob Russow


10
AM ET

Dave Mercer should be on now with the first of his hourly Live Video updates.

Live Video update


9:59
AM ET

Jones continues adding to his weight, now with four fish that weigh 9 pounds, 10 ounces.

Entering the day in ninth place, a good ways back from the leaders, allowed Jones to go and have a fun day. On Day Three, he "wrecked them" and told me he looked forward to having a good time. Being relaxed like that makes a huge difference when the final day is as tight as it is.

Our tracker shows Keith Poche has moved away from the dam. I'm not sure if he actually did, because the receiver is in the camera boat. If he did move, Cliff Crochet said he's going to kill him. Not literally, the two are roommates and good friends. Crochet is going to join us when we head up to the dam in a little bit.

"I think I was more nervous this morning than when I was in the mix," Crochet said.

They are very supportive of each other — Crochet has been on the dock every morning to root Poche on and keep him calm.

Hite is now up at the dam after catching a small keeper in his starting spot.

-- Rob Russow


9:44
AM ET

Craig Lamb, who is following Bobby Lane, says Lane has four keepers that weigh about 6.5 pounds. He's pitching and flipping around isolated reed patching in a narrow slough just off the main lake. He's going to be sending in a video soon. Those four keepers, even though they are small, push him into the lead right now with 65-8.

Davy Hite just caught his first keeper fishing right across from the take-off and sits in second with 65-0. Keith Poche has yet to boat a keeper at the dam this morning (although Reed has caught three right next to him), but still sits in third place with 62-12. Alton Jones is fourth with 61-1 and Matt Reed is fifth with 59-04.

This is Poche's first shot at an Elite Series victory, but he seemed calm and ready at take-off. He knows he doesn't need to leave the area, but it has to be excruciating not getting a bite until after 12:00.

-- Rob Russow


9:25
AM ET

There are numerous patterns at play here on the final day. We've talked a lot about fishing at the Dam and a lot about flipping the flooded cover, but guys like Denny Brauer and Alton Jones and doing something a little bit different.

Sure, you know Brauer is flipping, but it is the area he's fishing that has separated him from the rest of the field. With miles and miles of flooded shoreline cover in the creeks, the bigger fish have come from very small pockets off the main lake.

Mostly, these pockets are not very protected, allowing for some current to move through the area. Anything blocking the current, like reeds and wood is what is holding these fish.

In Scroggins' case, he hasn't noticed much current on his main lake spot that produced so well yesterday and he's on the move. Some anglers predicted a loss in current with the weekend and that may change some of the main lake and dam fishing.

Jones adds another bass over 2 pounds to his well, pushing him over 8 pounds and into third place right now with 61 pounds, 1 ounce.
That has him just two pounds behind Davy Hite, who hasn't registered a fish yet.

Like Brauer, Jones is in one of those little cuts and said yesterday that he made an adjustment on how he approached the area and it paid off big. Looks like his adjustments are paying off again on the final day. Still a lot of fishing, but he's making it harder for Scroggins to catch him in the TTBAOY race for sure.

-- Rob Russow


9:25
AM ET

The morning isn't going how Terry Scroggins planned with only one fish in the livewell. Sanders reports that the area is a drop from a shallow flat off the main channel. He said there is a right of way and powerline crossing that indicates a lot of gravel and piles of spoil material on the bottom. Looks like he's about to bail.

On the other side of the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, Alton Jones looks to keep things under his control. He just registered in with two quick bass and one was close to 4 pounds. His total of 5 pounds, 14 ounces moves him into fourth place and ahead of the Big Show. With both anglers making all three top-12 cuts, any separation he can get today would be big.

Reed posted another 2-pound class fish to jump into fifth, right behind Jones.

--Rob Russow


9:18
AM ET

Matt Reed just reported in as the second angler to catch a keeper. Considering he spent 19 minutes in the Penalty Box, he got off to a fast start. His 2-pounder came up at the Wilson Dam, where he started yesterday. He told me this morning he only caught one fish up there yesterday in addition to losing that 5-pounder.

Interestingly, tournament leader Davy Hite is not at the dam yet. Hite is fishing within sight of the take-off, holding in a heavy current area that we saw Skeet Reese early yesterday.

My guess is, this is the spot where Hite went to catch those three big smallmouth when Wilson Dam didn't produce Friday morning. Just a guess though and it won't be long before we see him head toward Poche and company.

There are some interesting BASSCam videos coming in from the helicopter and from Mark Zona, who is in the boat with Scroggins.

--Rob Russow


9:14
AM ET

We've found Bobby Lane in a winding slough about a quarter mile off the river.

Like he said, river fish look for the first pocket off a river to spawn. This one is very isolated, tucked behind a bridge and it's wind protected. Habitat features isolated patches of reeds, also his pitching and flipping targets. I'm standing on the bridge for a bird's eye view. He's just boated a keeper. Will do a video report soon.

-- Craig Lamb


9:07
AM ET

Sanders reported in that Scroggins has just put his first keeper in the boat. It's a 2-pounder, caught at 7:54 and is the first keeper we've seen on BASSTrakk so far.

That puts him at 56-15 for the tournament, still in fifth place. Scroggins switched from the crankbait to a swimbait and two casts later, he boated that fish.

Today was the warmest take-off of the week. I have to wonder if that will push any more bass onto the beds. It's a pattern we haven't heard much about all week, but more than a few anglers reported seeing and catching bass off the bed later yesterday.

The sun came out in the afternoon and made sight-fishing conditions ideal. For the most part, any bed fishing that was done before that, was blind casting.

Another interesting story is rookie Nate Wellman. He made his first 12 cut this week and spent all three days fishing in Coffee Slough, the area Kevin Short fished to win last year.

Of the large crowd that fished the first three days in there, he is the only one that remains. Wellman gave a candid BASSCam interview this morning where he explained why he thinks he was successful while others weren't.

-- Rob Russow


8:57
AM ET

Still no bites yet for Scroggins. Water temperature is 58 degrees with a light southwesterly breeze.

There's some cloud cover now. Forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 88. Southwest wind is between 10 and 15 mph. There is a slight chance of showers in the morning.

-- Tommy Sanders


8:51
AM ET

All of the anglers except Matt Reed are now on to their starting spots. Reed is sitting in the penalty box for 19 minutes for not wearing his PFD within 800 feet of Wilson Dam. He received the same penalty as two anglers earlier this week who committed the same infraction.

Reed was in a good mood after a banner day that saw him catch an 8-pound largemouth and a smallmouth he estimated over 6 and maybe closer to 7 pounds. Those two incredible fish propelled him into the cut.

According to Tommy Sanders, Terry Scroggins, who made waves early with a big catch, has his crankbait in the water by 7:43. Alton Jones, Mike Iaconelli and Bobby Lane passed him on their way down the lake. All four of them are fishing about 15 to 20 miles from the take-off.

-- Rob Russow


8:44
AM ET

We got an early start to the day. Zona, Overstreet and I are waiting for Terry Scroggins down the river. He's looking to make things happen fast this morning after catching 16 pounds almost immediately yesterday.

-- Tommy Sanders


8:39
AM ET

We know where Davy Hite and Keith Poche will be starting.

Poche said he is sticking with the dam all day and Hite wants to start there first thing to see if there is an early bite.
He might move in the middle of the day like he did Friday when he went and caught three beautiful smallmouth, but expect to see him back in the tailrace to finish the tournament.

I'll be curious to see where Matt Reed starts. We reported Reed losing a 4- to 5-pound bass yesterday morning there. He later went on to catch the biggest stringer of the day, which included a fish under 2 pounds. If he had caught that early fish, he could have had a monster stringer in the 25-pound class.

Anglers are getting closer to their fishing locations and catch information should start coming in.

-- Rob Russow


8:30
AM ET

The final day of the Alabama Chase is about to get under way here in Florence, Ala.

Davy Hite and Keith Poche lead the final 12 out on Pickwick Lake, separated by a mere 12 ounces.

The story of the tournament is a tale of two lakes. Hite and Poche are the only anglers left standing from the zoo fishing below the Wilson Dam, although Matt Reed has fished there intermittently.

The rest of the field is much farther down the lake, using a diverse range of techniques from flipping to cranking to bed fishing. Today will be the day when all those secrets can be revealed and the picture will finally crystallize. Will the dam reign supreme or will one of the upstarts from down the lake grip the winning stringer when the dust settles?

Can the second-year pro knock off a seasoned veteran while fishing 20 yards apart?

These questions and more will be answered right here on the live blog as the day unfolds. Stay with us and if you have any questions, post them in the comments section below.

-- Rob Russow

Day Three Live Blog