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Live Blog

4/17/2011

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

4:59
PM ET

Boats are checking in; as a matter of fact, most of the first flight is at the dock.

Rob Russow is there getting as many reports as he can to start brining us up to date. Those updates will start showing up soon on BassCam. So keep an eye out on there.

Any thing that is worth sharing, we'll jump back on and give you an update if we learn about it before the first fish hits the scales.

-- Steve Bowman


4:32
PM ET

Another on-the-water photo gallery from Day Three of the TroKar Battle on the Bayou just went up. Take a look.

PHOTO GALLERY

Click Here

4:28
PM ET

The great unknown is what is keeping us on edge around here. As a few of these guys get around service, we see some ticks occur on BASSTrakk. But we'd like to see a whole bunch more of them.

Coming into this event we knew that cell service would be a booger. Toledo Bend is just that remote. We hoped we would get some help from satellites, but even those mounted on a solid base couldn't resist the winds that have been tearing across us the last couple days.

All in all, we have a better look at what's going on the water than what we used to have. But there are still a lot of anglers who could be making some big moves.

We saw what Ish Monroe did yesterday. Same with David Walker.

Truth is we felt like every angler in the 50-man field had an opportunity to jump into the final 12. Still feel that way, we just don't know who those guys may be.

We are in the last hour and obviously the weigh-in will be the deciding factor. It will be interesting to see if Rojas has hung on and/or how many of these guys make last-minute charges.

As soon as they start hitting the dock, we'll be in their faces getting a little more clarity.

-- Steve Bowman


4:22
PM ET

Thank you to "jerryrapp" for the forecast he posted in the comments section. I wish I could embrace your optimism about the wind tomorrow. Unfortunately, the same forecast was originally put out for today and, as we saw, that didn't happen. It's calm now though, and that's a good sign. After picking up around noon yesterday, it hasn't stopped blowing until now. If the wind does lay down, even a little tomorrow, it will make things so much better from a coverage perspective.

We will have four boats out on the water covering the top of the leaderboard to bring you the action on the water. Lighter wind means more BASSCam videos, easier time taking pictures and more blogging (at least as much as my fingers can handle).

But ultimately, like these fishermen, we are professionals. We will be out there rain or shine, calm or windy.

-- Rob Russow


3:59
PM ET

Conditions this afternoon are completely different from this morning. The winds have largely died down and it has warmed up considerably. That should provide ideal sight-fishing conditions for the final hour of the day.

I was talking to Bobby Lane, who didn't make the top 50 cut, and he said his day turned around yesterday in the afternoon when he caught a 5- and 3-pounder off beds and saw another big one locked on. This could be the time, if an angler makes the right move, that we see someone shoot up into the top 12. Especially if weights turn out to be as light as they are looking.

We mentioned Andy Montgomery as a potential mover and he added to his case a few minutes ago with another 4-pounder that puts him at 18 pounds, the biggest of the day. He's in fourth. Keep in mind we still haven't heard from Rojas since earlier today when he had three fish for roughly 7 pounds. A lot has probably changed since then, but that has him close to the lead.

-- Rob Russow


3:40
PM ET

Swindle is on the move again, this time to Six Mile Creek. But he went farther up the creek than his last stop in Six Mile.

-- Trey Reid


3:26
PM ET

We've talked about the wind almost too much over the last few days, but it has dominated every aspect of this tournament. Yesterday, we heard word that Mike Iaconelli had to leave his boat out on the lake and I wondered how it fared in the 4-foot waves. Well, Kevin Short just stopped by to report that a friendly competitor (him) stopped by when he saw the boat floating in a boat lane and put the Power-Poles down on a sandbar, keeping the boat safe for when Ike went back to get it later. A thank you to Power-Pole and Short for saving the day.

In tournament news, Andy Montgomery boated a 5-pounder to move him into the 15-pound range. Montgomery has been fishing well this year, as has his roommate, Ott Defoe, who currently leads the Rookie of the Year race.

As anglers move around later in the day, their catches are starting to pop up on our radars and we will keep you posted.

-- Rob Russow


3:26
PM ET

We just posted an on-the-water photo gallery from today. Take a look.

PHOTO GALLERY

Click Here

3:21
PM ET

Swindle just left Housen Bay and has returned to the big flat just south of Six Mile Creek. This is the spot where he boated a 3.5-pounder that allowed him to cull a 2-pounder. With time ticking away, he's still looking for another kicker to put with the 4.5- to 5-pounder from early this morning.

-- Trey Reid


3:17
PM ET

Ish Monroe has been camped out all day in the same location. I'm betting it's where he caught the 10-pounder yesterday. His biggest today is 6 pounds, and he has almost 13 pounds with four keepers in the livewell. Another big fish to end the day would push him into the 20-pound range and give him a legitimate shot to fish on Sunday. The underwater bridge or whatever it was that he found yesterday seems to hold larger-quality fish.

How about Davy Hite? After winning on Pickwick, he has shown no sign of slowing down. A small cull to 15-12 on the day moves him into fifth place for now. Another top 12 finish would greatly improve his 20th position in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings. And when Hite gets on a roll, look out. He's had years like this before and was hard to stop.

-- Rob Russow


2:58
PM ET

Team TJ: Dennis Tietje, who grew up fishing Toledo Bend, has been getting a lot of support from fans at Cypress Bend Park, site of the TroKar Battle on the Bayou weigh-ins.

Two of his biggest fans are his sons, Donovan, 20, and Logan, 12. The brothers appeared in "Team TJ" ("TJ" is how Tietje is pronounced) jerseys, their last name emblazoned on back their shoulders, just like their dad's competition jersey.

Donovan is a pre-med student at McNeese State University in St. Charles, La. He might go into radiology, or perhaps psychiatry. His brother — although it's early to say — just might be his father's protégé.

"I fish, a lot," Logan said. His favorite fishing partner is his father. "We slam 'em when he's around."

Tietje made the cut to compete Saturday. However he ends up, he's enjoying the local support.

"When I stepped out onto that stage Friday, and saw that crowd, it was unbelievable," he said.

-- Deb Johnson


2:45
PM ET

Two hours left in the day. The limits are starting to accumulate from the anglers who are in service range, 11 to be exact. 23 anglers are reporting fish catches of one keeper or higher. 82 keepers among those 23 anglers.

Davy Hite has the big fish honors with a 6-pounder. Walker now has the largest limit to report at an estimated 16 pounds.

-- Hank Weldon


2:55
PM ET

Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer's Live Video update will be coming up at 3 p.m. ET. Watch it live.


2:45
PM ET

As "3dskeeter" pointed out in the comments section, it has been interesting to see guys heading north from the take-off. That turn around the point on the east side of the lake is getting pummeled by waves and has been since yesterday. We tried to run out there earlier to find out where Aaron Martens had gone and there were easy 4-footers that nearly swamped us. As you can imagine, we headed back in to the dock.

The anglers up there will be heading to the dock themselves in a few hours and hopefully they will give themselves enough time today. Yesterday, a few miscalculated and were in for a rough ride when they realized they had to go 20 miles in 25 minutes. Ish Monroe lost all the rods off his deck and Paul Elias nearly was late after crossing under the bridge and seeing how big the waves were. With that lesson well in hand, the anglers should prepare themselves today.

-- Rob Russow


2:33
PM ET

A few minutes ago, David Walker made a big move, boating a 5-pounder and jumping into second place with 15 pounds on the day. Walker has been throwing a Z-Man Chatterbait because it will catch fish in various stages of the spawn.

He told me yesterday that most of his bigger fish have been postspawn, but he's catching some he thinks are spawning and prespawn.

Walker is just happy to finally have a great day on the Elite Series. Since coming over from FLW, he's struggled, and now is in a position to win this tournament after catching 24 pounds Friday.

Check out a story on him by clicking here.

-- Rob Russow


2:26
PM ET

Toledo history: Dean Rojas won a Bassmaster tournament on Toledo Bend in February 2001. The event was the Louisiana Top 150, and Rojas took it with 55 pounds, 8 ounces.

He also was in three other Bassmaster events on Toledo: 2003 Open Championship (Rojas finished 28th); 2003 Louisiana Showdown (48th); and 2002 Louisiana Central Open (fourth).

Other Elite pros with good Toledo history: John Murray won the 2003 Open event, and Takahiro Omori was second in the 2003 Showdown and sixth in the 2002 Open.

-- Deb Johnson


2:17
PM ET

Keep in mind that we have very few eyes on the water right now. I'm here in the trailer and James Hall is off the water. Also, with reception as poor as it is, we don't have enough BASSTrakk units in play to really have a good idea of who is making the biggest move.

There hasn't been much word from Dean Rojas. The machine says he has one fish. I say he has a lot more than that. His biggest fish yesterday, nearly 8 pounds, came at the end of the day, so I wouldn't be surprised if he did it all again.

If anything, we've been able to give you a good idea of what these anglers are dealing with out on the water. As for a map of where these guys are fishing, I'm glad you enjoyed the snapshot we put up. We'll try to do a few more of those once the top 12 shakes out later.

-- Rob Russow


2:11
PM ET

Swindle has made another move, crossing over to the north side of Housen Bay. For the third time today, he's on the spot that produced his biggest fish of the day. He has been throwing a jerkbait and a crankbait most of the time, but he just worked the grassline with a Carolina rig. Now he's got the jerkbait back in the water. He's working back and forth over the same line off a point at the mouth of Hurricane Creek.

-- Trey Reid


2:03
PM ET

Although we don't have a GPS fix on him, Martens just completed his limit with a 5-pound, 11-ounce bass to push him back into the lead over Gerald Swindle.

Right now the top five looks like this:

Aaron Martens, 54-1

Gerald Swindle, 51-5

David Walker, 48-7

Dean Rojas, 45-13

James Stricklin, 44-13

There are still three hours remaining here on Day Three and the afternoon bite can be hot. All it takes is one 7-pounder to move up on a bed to change this tournament.

-- Rob Russow


1:57
PM ET

It was amazing earlier to come around a point that was blocking the wind and see a hoard of recreational anglers. Saturday and Sunday are a little more crowded usually and, even with the windy weather, the locals have showed out. Like Swindle mentioned earlier, the wind-protected areas are covered up and the windy areas have been abandoned. Those Elite anglers that can fight nature's force might be rewarded at the end of the day.

The amount of physical strength and mental focus that is expended with a day like today must be noted. I watched Aaron Martens holding his boat at the mouth of a small creek in 4-foot waves and was impressed by how focused he remained. Yesterday, it worked and he boated one of the top stringers. Today has been tougher, but a few of those bigger bites could change everything.

-- Rob Russow


1:53
PM ET

Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer's Live Video update will be coming up shortly. Watch it live.


1:39
PM ET

I just got close enough to talk to Swindle and he's still sitting at 16 pounds. He said he thinks he has enough to fish tomorrow, but he's still looking for a couple more big bites. He has moved back to Housen Bay. Swindle said there were too many locals in Six Mile and he didn't think he can win around that much traffic.

"I'm going to have to go back out in the wind. This is where the weak get off."

-- Trey Reid


1:29
PM ET

Swindle has moved into Six Mile Creek and he's beating the banks. There are several recreational anglers in the area, as well as a few Elite Series guys, including Jason Williamson.

-- Trey Reid


1:24
PM ET

The latest from BASSTrakk:


1:05
PM ET

Howell got the opportunity to watch one of his local contingent catch a 3-pounder.

That fish would have doubled his current weight.

-- James Hall


1:00
PM ET

We were asked where the anglers are fishing and here's our view of BASSTrakk to show where they are. It might be hard to see each angler, but it's as close as we have to showing where they're at today.

-- Mike Suchan


12:57
PM ET

We've moved to the next point north now. Cloudless sky, maximum radiation and the water has warmed exactly 0.0 degrees today.

-- Tommy Sanders


12:55
PM ET

Howell has drawn quite a crowd. He now has 12 boats around him. All want to see him catch a fish. No pressure, Randy.

-- James Hall


12:52
PM ET

Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer's Live Video update will be coming up shortly. As a guest he'll have Elite angler Mike McClelland, who's won six B.A.S.S. events. Watch it live.


12:50
PM ET

Teitje just switched to a small swimbait. It seems he is not at all target fishing, but fan casting the flat while drifting with the wind.

The water here is gorgeous. Very clear ... Perhaps 5 feet of visibility. Easily the clearest we've seen on the lake. Likely because of the thick patches of grass here. Big patches of sand separate the grass patches.

-- James hall


12:48
PM ET

A couple hundred yards from Tietje is Randy howell. He is having a tough day. He was blown off his primary spot this morning and has settled for a protected pocket.

He has only one small keeper thus far. He's switching between a Carolina rig and a jerkbait.

-- James hall


12:42
PM ET

Swindle is rocking and rolling, literally and figuratively.

He just set his trolling motor a little deeper because the wave action was keeping it out of the water about half the time. Jeff Jackson, my boat driver, said Swindle looks like the circus bear that balances on a ball.

Swindle just caught a 3.5 pounder and culled a 2-pounder. He told me his total weight is probably about 16 pounds now. He seems to be locking into a pattern on this flat.

-- Trey Reid


12:25
PM ET

We have left the back of Housen Creek, and found local favorite Dennis
Tietje fishing the mouth on its northern side. He just got a monster
backlash throwing into the wind.

He is reeling a spinnerbait over a shallow grass flat. We can't get close enough to see if he has any fish and if he does what they weigh.

-- James Hall


12:23
PM ET

We are leaving Martens with the two small spotted bass that cameraman Rick Mason reported he had.

According to Mason, Martens confirmed the water in his primary area where he was this morning was muddied up. He did plan on revisiting the area if the wind let up or changed direction. Right now it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

Looking for Howell and Greg Vinson we came upon Jeff Kriet fishing a few sandbars. The bars here are loaded with stumps and wood cover and I can only imagine how it would look when the water is up.

The waves along this shore are blocked by a long point, but the wind is still howling. We are going to keep looking for Howell and company.

-- Rob Russow


12:02
PM ET

Swindle left Housen Bay about 10 minutes ago. He's fishing several miles south of there on the main lake, working a flat that juts out toward the middle of the lake.

His boat is in about 5- to 6-feet of water and he's throwing his jerkbait into 3- to 4-feet. He was battling a fish as I caught up with him but it came off before getting to the boat.

-- Trey Reid


12:00
PM ET

The fist pump fish Davy Hite caught earlier just came through on his BASSTrakk unit. It was definitely worth a fist pump registering as a 6-pounder. That gives him two fish for 8 pounds even.

-- Hank Weldon


11:58
AM ET

Just found John Crews fishing a huge stump flat. The waves are pushing him around pretty good, his boat bouncing between stumps like a pinball.

Crews says he has five small keepers pitching a creature bait.

-- James Hall


11:55
AM ET

Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer's Live Video update will be coming up shortly. As a guest he'll have Elite angler Kevin Short. Watch it live.


11:44
AM ET

Swindle is now fishing fairly close to Kriet.

There are a total of 10 boats fishing the mouth of this creek. It is about a mile wide. It drops to 25 feet in spots with humps rising to 5 feet. Swindle and Kriet are using jerkbaits to comb the sides of the humps.

-- James Hall


11:42
AM ET

Another hour has passed and the bass just don't seem to be hungry.

That can also be a result from the spotty service we are seeing across the lake. What we do know is there are 24 keepers now in 14 anglers' boats.

As Steve Bowman stated earlier, Gerald Swindle was the first angler to achieve his limit. He still is the only angler to have a limit in his boat.

Denny Brauer has snuck into the top six with four bass that will weigh 7 pounds. David Walker still has four fish. The other 12 anglers have a max of two keepers in the boat.

Surely they will start to bite soon.

-- Hank Weldon


11:40
AM ET

The first day of practice on Toledo Bend was good for a lot of the anglers. Then a front came through and the fishing got challenging.

The same thing happened in the tournament, too. After the rainy, overcast conditions we now see this front moving in. Dean Rojas said he didn't think it would stop more fish from moving up since a full moon is just around the corner.

It definitely seems to have given these deeper fish lockjaw. And with the windy conditions, it is near impossible to use a slow, methodical approach that would usually work.

Martens dropped off his cameraman with the camera boat and I'm sure he got some interesting footage, if not of fish catches, then of water and wind. That in itself makes the weigh-in and Hooked Up! shows worth watching.

-- Rob Russow


11:38
AM ET

Still in a slow time for David Walker, but he's starting to swing and miss on a few more. As we watch the line bow and float in this wind, you wonder how he feels anything.

Hite looks from here to be throwing a spinnerbait or maybe chatterbait -- medium retrieve. He just boats another keeper.

-- Tommy Sanders


11:27
AM ET

Looks like Davy Hite just caught one about 300 yards away. We can't see how big. But it was a keeper that came with a fist pump.

Meanwhile, Walker crisscrosses through this flat, pretty much as fast as he can go. We calculate that he will pitch to about 1,700 different stumps today, which means he will hit about .0001 percent of the stumps available in the immediate area.

-- Tommy Sanders


11:19
AM ET

Kriet just switched to a jerkbait. In talking with him and a couple of other pros last night, many are using jerkbaits to take advantage of the shad spawn.

They feel the erratic action and profile a jerkbait best tempts bass feeding on the spawning forage.

-- James Hall


11:14
AM ET

We just pulled up on Jeff Kriet. He's fishing off shore, likely a creek channel swing. He has one keeper in the livewell. It appears to be dragging a soft plastic along the ledge.

-- James Hall


11:13
AM ET

James Hall reports that Rojas has left his small area and they've lost him in the waves and trees.

He's now back on Williamson and may have Kriet nearby. Both of those guys are black on BASSTrakk so hopefully we will get a report soon.

If you watch some of Hooked Up hourly updates with Dave Mercer, he's sitting in a wind-protected area behind the stage. But you can get a good idea of the wind by watching the Toyota Tundra tent top flapping in the wind.

The wind with the vastness and remoteness of Toledo Bend continues to create issues with BASSTrakk and BassCam. But our crew is shooting interviews and scenes from the water, those will get updated soon.

-- Steve Bowman


11:03
AM ET

Walker is talking about how important Day Two was to him. How he needed 24 pounds to get in the right place mentally.

He mentioned to me this morning how much pure fun a day like (yesterday) can be in competition.

-- Tommy Sanders


11:00
AM ET

Swindle has a limit, his fifth fish in the 2-pound range. He's now looking to trade up.

-- Trey Reid

Swindle becomes the first angler that we know of who has a limit and it puts him in the lead for this event. He's already qualified for the Classic and knows he has nothing to lose.

With the added pressure to Rojas from locals and some of the others, Swindle might be in a position to double qualify.

-- Steve Bowman


10:59
AM ET

Walker says that when he does catch one, he will usually pop two more really quick. The fish seem to be in small pods.

Overstreet notes how far his line and bait are drifting into the wind. As he faces east, he pretty much has to aim 10 feet left of his target in a north wind.

He's good at it, though. This is pretty much his thing.

-- Mark Zona


10:57
AM ET

Randy Howell is fishing the shallower end of this drop or bar while Martens has worked his way out deeper. My camera boat driver saw Howell catch a fish when we first pulled back in here, but otherwise the action has been slow.

Howell just did a little dance on his front deck as a wave crashed over the bow. Things were quiet after that so Howell decided to make a move over to the other side of Martens out deeper.

As soon as he left a local boat that was watching moved over and started fishing there. There is a big sandbar out here in the middle of the lake and it has been a popular place. With the water low, stumps are just visible and the light outline of the bar beneath it.

Earlier in the week Skeet Reese culled a 12-inch fish there in the last 5 minutes of the day. Then on Day Two he only caught three keepers and finished the tournament in the 90s. It's been a shockingly poor start to the season for the man who at this time last year was riding a streak of four straight top-five finishes.

Martens and Howell still casting and fighting the wind, now probably 100 yards apart.

-- Rob Russow


10:55
AM ET

Quick reports from the on-the-water crew.

Jason Williamson, who was tossing a swimbait around a line of timber, had a local move in on him, so he's packed up and left.

Walker. who had a quick morning, has been fishless since. He's had a few swings and misses, but the keepers have slowed for him. The water temp in his area is around 66 degrees. Walker said it was 72 degrees yesterday.

The wind continues to blow. Sitting lakeside at blog central there is a continuous roar overhead as it rushes across the roof and slaps the flags around.

Catch rates have been reduced from what we can tell. Our satellite dish can't lock in these gusts so a lot of our BASSTrakks are in total black. But we are getting info from some of the anglers and we have eyes on our leaders.

-- Steve Bowman


10:53
AM ET

Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer's Live Video update will be coming up shortly. As a guest he'll have Elite angler Clark Reehm, who will break down what's going down on Toledo Bend. Watch it live.


10:50
AM ET

We just moved north a couple of miles. Kennedy passed us heading south. Now we are watching Jason Williamson work a small swim bait along a timber-lined ledge.

He doesn't have a fish at the moment.

-- James Hall


10:46
AM ET

Another move for Swindle, going almost to the back of Housen Bay. He just caught fish number four, a 3-pounder, pushing his total to more than 11 pounds.

-- Trey Reid


10:35
AM ET

The wind is blowing a steady 20 miles per, with occasional buffets up to 30. Walkers says that it's a big improvement over yesterday.

PHOTO GALLERY

Click Here

-- Tommy Sanders

Swindle has added his third fish, a 2 1/2-pounder that gives him 8 1/2 overall. He sits in third at the moment.

All of these guys are battling the wind. Those who are getting out of it are having to deal with locals. It is the weekend and folks around here love their fishing.

It makes it an interesting quandary, stay in the wind and get beat to death or get out of it and deal with the frustrations of local anglers pounding away.

-- Steve Bowman


10:28
AM ET

Trolling a quarter mile through stumps and super shallow water we finally get to Walker. He's caught four really fast. Two good ones.

He is flipping a jig and we're a good ways north of a long point. Zona is in the boat with Walker. He says the grass is key plus David has much less company today.

-- Tommy Sanders


10:22
AM ET

Almost two hours of fishing has taken place on this third day of the Trokar Battle on the Bayou.

There have been a total of 14 keepers caught. Eight Elite anglers are sharing those 14 keepers. No angler has a limit of bass yet. David Walker is leading the way with numbers and weight. He has four fish that will weigh around nine pounds. Gerald Swindle has the biggest fish so far at an estimated four pounds.

Cliff Crochet, Swindle, and Casey Ashley all have two keepers. James Strickland, Dean Rojas, Mark Davis, and Jason Quinn have one keeper in the boat.

This wind looks like it might be hurting the bite right now. With that said, there is still a lot of time.

-- Hank Weldon


10:13
AM ET

Tim Horton, Kevin Wirth and Chris Lane are fishing the mouth of the creek where Rojas and DeFoe are in.

We can't know from where we are how many they have caught, but we can certainly see them battling the wind. Once you leave the protection of the west bank, you better hold on.

-- James Hall


10:11
AM ET

Martens made a move thankfully for all of us watching. You could see us from the ramp in an area a few guys have fished the past two days. In fact, both our cameramen are now here, one with Martens and the other on Randy Howell.

No clouds in the sky today and with the wind blowing it still feels cold. My face would know.


-- Rob Russow


10:10
AM ET

We are just now getting close to Walker. It has been what we would call a whompity boat ride.

Walker is on a spawning flat with a lot of timber and a half foot of visibility. Looks like Davy Hite is here as well.


-- Tommy Sanders


10:07
AM ET

Walker has added his fourth keeper, giving him about 9 pounds, 3 ounces on the day.

That also pushes him into the lead by 1-3 over Rojas, who seems to be having local angler pressure impacting his day.

-- Steve Bowman


10:01
AM ET

There are now four local anglers thrashing the water between Rojas and DeFoe.

I can't imagine this small area will hold up to this kind of pressure. I won't be surprised if Rojas doesn't move soon.

-- James Hall


9:59
AM ET

Check the Live Video update with Dave Mercer here.


9:59
AM ET

Walker has added his third keeper. He now has three fish for about 8 pounds, a really good start.

He's still behind Rojas. But his slow start on Day One has been made up for.

Conditions are getting tougher in some ways. The vastness of Toldeo Bend along with the remote nature of the lake swallows up everything. We keep hoping some of these guys will get in wind-protected areas like Rojas. Those that don't will be taking a ride the equivalent of an 8-hour bull ride.

-- Steve Bowman


9:52
AM ET

Martens made a small move from the mouth of a small creek to a bluff bank nearby. Even in 4-footers, Martens is fishing like it was any other bank. It's pretty amazing to watch and amazingly hard at the same time.

We are taking waves in the boat from every angle and the wind is still picking up. I thought we were supposed to get a break today. Instead we are just getting punished.

Martens continues down the bank as a bald eagle flies by. It's hard to hold there, but when he gets to a big tree lying in the water he stops for a few casts.

-- Rob Russow


9:47
AM ET

Swindle moved again, this time further back into Housen Bay, working his jerkbait on a windblown point.

He catches his first fish of the day, a 4 1/2 pounder.

-- Trey Reid


9:45
AM ET

Ott DeFoe is fishing the exact same pattern as Rojas about 40 yards away from the leader.

You have to wonder what's going through his head, as Rojas catches fish. He caught the 3-pounder first, then just set the hook on a dink. But he's catching fish.

DeFoe has had no bites.

-- James Hall


9:41
AM ET

Several anglers in the top of the standings are fishing in Housen Bay on the Texas side of the lake. Swindle, Faircloth and Roumbanis are fishing a huge flat with several fingers jutting out toward the main lake.

They are fishing over submerged grass. I'm watching Swindle at the moment and he's fishing a jerkbait, ticking the top of the grass. He boated one, but it was the wrong species, a massive crappie that would have made any panfish angler proud.

Swindle has moved twice since we've gotten on him, but he has gone more than 400 yards.

-- Trey Reid


9:37
AM ET

Another challenge Martens will have to deal with is dirtying water. The wind has been blowing on this spot for close to two days so far and where once the visibility was two feet, now it's less than one.

He's found something unique out at the mouth of a small creek and is making repeated casts at it. Where our boat is near the bank, the depth is almost 70 feet, signifying a bluff- type bank. Where Martens is fishing there seems to be a sloping point leading to whatever structure he is keying in on.

Still no fish for Martens, a surprise since he told me he is getting a good number of bites. There is a lot of bait showing up on the graph though.

-- Rob Russow


9:32
AM ET

Catches are starting to filter in. Walker still has two, but Rojas' 3-pounder has put him back in the lead.

Other catches Casey Ashley and Jason Quinn, neither have enough to impact the top of the standings yet.

-- Steve Bowman


9:28
AM ET

The little pocket Rojas is fishing is very protected from the wind. He has caught three fish, but only one has kept, a 3-pounder. It appears as if he's using a small swim bait.


-- James Hall


9:26
AM ET

This day will be different than any so far this year. We have had terrific set-ups so far, in fact two out of the three featured first- and second-place angler looking at each other.

But this will be great, it's Toledo Bend. We're looking for David Walker in the tangle of stumps and rolling waves. Should be on him soon.

-- Tommy Sanders


9:24
AM ET

Aaron Martens started near the ramp but quickly mad a move around a windblown point. Although the wind supposedly calmed down from yesterday, the waves beating on us as we try to follow are brutal.

We are staying in cabins overlooking the lake and it was howling on all night. Usually the wind will let up overnight before picking up again in the morning, but today we were greeted with 4-footers.

Martens is bouncing up and down like a kernel of popcorn, barely staying on the front deck. It's hard to imagine him doing this all day yesterday, but he caught his biggest bag of the tournament.

No fish yet.

-- Rob Russow


9:20
AM ET

Horton just landed a small keeper. He's aggressively working a jerkbait along the edge of a grass bed.

Meanwhile, two local anglers are fishing the point Steve Kennedy has been on the last two days.

-- James Hall


9:15
AM ET

After a 30-minute bone-jarring ride south, we have pulled up on Dean Rojas. Fishing nearby is Chris Lane, Ott DeFoe, Tim Horton and Kevin Wirth.

Steve Kennedy has been here the past few days, but has yet to show. No catches to report, yet.

-- James Hall


9:10
AM ET

Walker's quick start is the kind of thing Toledo Bend can do for you. Limits, while not necessarily easy, have been the norm. Mixed into those are those fish like Ish Monroe's 10-pound, 14-ounce lunker.

He caught that in the last few minutes of Day Two to make his first cut of the year.

Obviously, it could show up at any moment.

While we have a ping on Walker, Hank Weldon, who is running our BASSTrakk, just tells me that half the field just went black, as in out of service. "It's going to be a tough day,'' he says.

-- Steve Bowman


9:04
AM ET

David Walker is first on the board today. He just caught a 3-pounder.

That puts him in second about 2 1/2-pounds behind Rojas.

The interesting thing about that is Walker was actually in 53rd place after Day One. He smoked them yesterday, catching 24 pounds and jumped into the top of the standings.

Walker may have figured out a little something -- We'll see. Mark Zona and Sanders are chasing him down.

As soon as I finish typing that, Walker boats another 3-pounder. He now has 6 pounds on the day and is in the lead as quick as you could type a blog.

-- Steve Bowman


8:40
AM ET

The anglers have taken off and are currently bobbing and banging their way across Toledo Bend.

The wind has been cut in half of what it was yesterday, down to around 15 to 20 miles per hour. That's actually a welcome respite from the gale force stuff of Friday.

Wind isn't something new for these guys, or any bass fisherman for that matter. But on Toledo Bend, where the water level is around 10 to 12 feet low, and the lake is a veritable mine-field of stumps it makes it even more interesting.

The boat lanes are pretty tight in places. Knowing that wind often takes you where it wants you to go rather than a straight line you need to take can make that a hair-raising scenario. The combination of stumps and wind wiped out Michael Iacconelli yesterday, Andy Montgomery the day before. Both still made the semi-final 50. But who will be next?

Regardless, most of theses guys are making a run, drawn out by the conditions, but we expect to start getting catch information soon.

-- Steve Bowman


8:15
AM ET

It won't be long before the third day of this event will be under way, and a lot of questions will be answered.

Typically, that means who will catch them or not. In this event, it means what kind of information we will be able to produce around these guys performances on the water. Of all the great fishing places in the world where you could actually have an Elite event, this is about as remote as it gets from a cellular standpoint.

Folks around here like it that way. I probably would too under different circumstances. But the remoteness will create some issues for us. Being able to communicate is important to the lifeblood of a blog like this. Having our BASSTrakk units work seamlessly is important as well.

Before all the geniuses (who really don't know diddly about what we do and how we do it) start asking "why can't ..." all I can say is we have the very best equipment, the very best people doing this.

The information we will bring to you will be the most up-to-date you can find. So in a few minutes we will take off, my fingers will be crossed that every one return safely and our equipment and information will work well enough to give us a good look at how the day progresses.

We will have four teams on the water, sending us blog information and shooting BASSCam videos and 50 BASSTrakk units being plugged on by the Marshals on the water.

It promises to be an interesting day, from a fishing and a technological standpoint.

-- Steve Bowman



8:05
AM ET

Winds made Friday treacherous for the anglers. Whitecaps rolled in at the dock in Many, La., as the anglers tried to tie up for the Day Two weigh-in.

Saturday is a somewhat different, with winds steady at 15-20 but forecast for a calmer 6 mph. The temperature has cooled to 53 degrees. The top 50 are launching in preparation for the 8:30 ET take-off.

Dean Rojas holds a lead, and despite cell coverage issues on the remote areas of the late, we'll do our best to provide up-to-the-second updates on Day Three of the Trokar Battle on the Bayou.

Pass on any questions you might have in the comments section below and we'll see what we can do to answer them.

-- Mike Suchan