LAKE TOWNSEND Another chilly start greeted the dozen qualifying anglers at Lake Townsend on Saturday morning as the Bassmaster American headed into the final two days. The competitors, who have one hour, 10 minutes in each of six holes on the 1,500-acre impoundment, will battle it out to see which six will fish Sunday for a shot at the first prize of $250,000.
"It's a good looking little lake from what I saw yesterday," said Brian Snowden, who bullied his way into the lead at High Rock Lake on the strength of a shallow flipping bite.
"It looks like the five, six and one holes are going to be the best. There's a little rip-rap, some laydowns. I've got everything tied on. I'll throw a crankbait, a buzzbait, flip, just do whatever it takes to get five," said Snowden, who like everybody else will start from zero.
Similarly concerned with simply securing five keepers is Edwin Evers, who spent just 30 minutes on the water supply lake for the city of Greensboro. Anglers were allowed to ride the lake with their big motor only until 8:30 Friday night.
"I made a lot of notes and waypoints yesterday. I found some points, laydowns, creek channel swings. It'll be important to get bites early in order to figure them out and get some confidence," Evers said. "Catching fish in this deal is important rather than size. There's just such limited time."
John Murray spent 40 minutes here on Friday evening and said he found a good assortment of rock and shoreline cover, as well as some nice concentrations of bait on his sonar.
"I would have taken hole three if I'd had my choice. All of the holes look pretty good," said Murray, who finished the High Rock leg in second place. "I've got fifteen rods rigged up. You've got to use an assortment and just see what works."
Ishama Monroe, who qualified for the third day with a solid 17-3 day two, had first pick on the six-hole course based on his Angler of the Year points. He chose holes two and three in the afternoon, citing sun position and his opinion that those look the least promising to him.
"Two and three will be shady in the afternoon, so hopefully I'll be able to get something out of that," said Monroe. "The lake looks good, good shoreline structure, laydowns, overhangs and undercut banks. I'm gonna flip, throw a frog and a popper, maybe a little shaky head on the rip-rap."
Editor's Note: Sunday, May 20, ESPNOutdoors.com will have live video coverage of the Bassmaster American at 3:30 p.m. ET as Bassmaster TV's Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders host Hooked Up. The final day weigh-in follows immediately after where you can see who wins the $250,000 prize!