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Game time is over for Day Two.
This is the way we see it at the moment.
1. Jeff Kriet 29-7
(In the lead, but could easily be bumped by a miscalculation on a Marshal's part. That goes for everyone)
2. Todd Faircloth 29-0
(He bumped up a few ounces since last report)
3. VanDam 27-12
(Remember yesterday when we missed it by four pounds)
4. Biffle 24-11
(If Biffle was in charge of telling his Marshal what he thought the weights were, he could be much heavier. He's a notorious sandbagger)
5. Iaconelli 24-9
(While Biffle is a sandbagger, Ike is a big-eyer. But he also doesn't mind playing games and being sneaky. You never know with him)
6. Takahiro 23-15
(We don't have him for a limit, so he could be more)
7. Russ Lane 21-6
(He's been everywhere, in some folks' back pockets and burning gas. He's only had three fish and caught a 2-5 in the last few minutes. He could have more or less)
8. Matt Herren 22-15
(The local makes good and he had the highest weight of the day (13-8). That's a big fall off from the weights yesterday, which makes us all cautious)
9. Niggemeyer 21-13
(He's just been quietly sulking around and we don't have a handle on him yet)
10. Browning 21-1
(We expected him to do well. Check our fantasy team, but he was a little off yesterday on his guesses. We can only assume we're close.)
It will be an interesting weigh in.
We are basically done here, with all the boats checking in.
We will be back on again early in the morning at the take off. We'd love you to join us for our live stream, where we will be talking to the anglers. The blog will also kick off.
Until then check out the coverage at the weigh in on www.ESPN360.com and all our post-gamer coverage, including Hooked Up.
We've been watching boats run by our office for the last half hour. It's interesting that the takeoff is at Beeswax creek and that's where most of the fish are being caught.
That might entice a few guys to rush back early to get that one fish that means they get another day of fishing.
The first flight checks in at 4:15 ET. We'll have one more unofficial top-10 coming soon.
As we near the weigh-in, we stress again that all these weights are unofficial and are tabbed in by the Marshalls on the water.
Sometimes they take their cues from the anglers and sometimes they guess themselves. In last year's Classic, we had Iaconelli's final day weight on BASSTrakk significantly heavier than it weighed in because of a 6-pounder he caught at the end of the day that ended up being more like 4 pounds.
It could have had something to do with the fact that Ike caught it in the last few minutes, jumped in his boat, screamed "never give up," and fired up the Red River to check in with his fist in the air. That kind of excitement can turn a 4 into a 6.
"I'm always calling them giants so I guess sometimes I think they're a little bit bigger than they are," Iaconelli said after that weigh-in.
Mix human error in with computer error (or cell service error) and what we are left with is a pretty good idea of what's happening on the water. But there are always a few surprises both good and bad at the weigh-in.
Just a few minutes left and Iaconelli's weight just bumped up. He now has four fish that weigh 10 pounds. That gives him 24-9 and puts him in an unofficial fifth place.
As we see it looks like this:
1. Jeff Kriet 29-7
2. Todd Faircloth 28-2
3. VanDam 27-12
4. Biffle 24-11
5. Iaconelli 24-9
6. Takahiro 23-15
7. Matt Herren 22-15
8. Niggemeyer 21-13
9. Russ Lane 21-6
10. Browning 21-1
That's all completely unofficial. And if they all turn out exactly like that, I'm buying everyone who checked into this blog all day a Bud Light.
If there is even an ounce wrong, I'm taking the Bud Light.
I think it's a given that Pam Martin-Wells will be fishing on Sunday, basically becoming the first woman to go the distance in the Classic.
That's pretty cool. Those of us holed up here in our little shack in the woods at Lay Lake have been asking "what does that mean?"
The fact that they acknowledge that it is cool, but can't quite put a finger on the depth of that is pretty interesting.
I don't know when another woman will make it to the Classic. At the moment, the WBT is gone. Martin-Wells or Lucy Mize or Kim Bain-Moore may kick some butt on the Opens and be here next year.
But it's just as likely that they will not. The fickle finger of fishing fate is just that. There are women out there, those named above and a few others, who have the skills and knowledge to do that. The problem is there aren't that many of them. But there is a huge pool of men who have the knowledge and skills to compete on the Open level, then move up to the Elites.
We are talking about a huge pool. That makes the odds against the women.
Same as the odds are against a specific angler from a small state. Only a few get to experience the perfect season and make it to the Classic from the Opens. There are too many things that can go wrong and too many things that have to go right. Women or men are not immune to that.
Get to the Elites and that's a whole other ball game.
So what does it mean for a woman to go the distance in this event, to be the angler that catches the first limit each day? It means that this is an historical Classic. A woman is making a statement that the fickle finger of fishing fate doesn't discriminate.
All of us should be proud of that. We may have just shown the other half of this nation that we play a game that they should not only be interested in, but can compete in on a high level.
To give you an idea of how slow the bite is on Lay Lake this afternoon, we've been watching the 25th place spot for over an hour.
That was when we reported that Jason Quinn was holding that down with 12-9.
Now with less than an hour left to go in the day that hasn't changed one bit. Quinn is still in.
The amazing thing that about that is it's in a section of the standings that should be constantly changing. Every fish catch should change it. But there haven't been that many catches reported.
Look down the page at our bubble report and it's virtually the same as well.
Aaron Martens is one angler making good late in the day. He didn't have a fish at 11:30 and has caught seven since.
A lot of anglers thought this might end up being a finesse tournament before it started and liked Aaron Martens, but this seems to have turned into a battle of the lipless crankbaits.
We're not sure what he's throwing — he has stayed hidden from our photographers and reporters on the water for most of the tournament, but Martens caught 8-11 on Friday and has a little over 8 pounds again today, which might put him in a position to make a top-10 run on Sunday.
Check out the latest photos from on the water on the photo galleries page.
Jeff Kriet said after the Day One weigh-in that he didn't lay off his fish much because he didn't want to get too far behind the other guys fishing Beeswax. He's hammering pretty good on them again.
Here are the leaders in terms of fish caught today:
Cliff Crochet — 17 (and he's been off the radar since noon)
Kriet — 12
Martin-Wells — 9
Herren , Browning, Freeman — 8
VanDam, Martens, Scalish — 7
Biffle, Faircloth, Chapman — 6
Niggemeyer, Kiriyama — 5
Those are the only limits.
Matt Herren has slowly worked his way up the standings. He started the day in 18th.
In the last hour he's caught a 2-8 and 3-0 pound keepers to bring his daily weight to 13-8. That puts him at 22-15 overall and in sixth place.
The locals didn't fare as well as most thought they would yesterday. Russ Lane finished the day in ninth place. But today, they might show up a little better.
Herren is sixth, Lane is eighth and Swindle is in 15th with 16-3 overall. Swindle has yet to finish his limit. He's been stuck on four since 12:09 p.m. EST.
Here's the bubble list for making the cut at 25.
Currently, Pam Martin-Wells is in 19th place with about 15-6.
We figure that is going to be really close to the cut.
20. Mark Tucker 14-7
21. Frank Scalish 14-0
22. Mike McClelland 13-5
23. Terry Scroggins 13-0
24. Kevin Wirth 12-9
24. Jason Quinn 12-9
26. Gary Klein 11-7
27. Dean Rojas 11-1
28. Randy Howell 10-5
29. Bobby Lane 10-1
30. Byron Velvick 10-0
31. Kelly Jordon 9-12
There are a lot of guys from that 26th on down to about 36th or so, that could feasibly make it with one bite. All of those would make it with the big 6-pounder Iaconelli had.
He caught that one late yesterday.
Just looking at the tracks, about half the field is heading down stream setting up shop between Shelby Shores to Blue Spring.
I understand there is a lot of grass in that area, so some of these guys are probably looking for a big punching bite. We saw a lot of Chigger Craws and Sweet Beavers on braid this morning.
There are still several boats in Beeswax and up the river, but there has not been much to update.
The top 25 mark is 12-9. That's where Jason Quinn is sitting, and it's a good guess that a lot of these guys are scrambling around to hit that mark. I will follow up with a bubble list of those guys.
But before I do that, I'll tell you why it's important for many of these guys to make that cut. I don't think the money is that different from 26th to 25th. But it does give them another day on the water.
While no one has ever come from that far behind to win one of these events, you can't say it won't happen. And most importantly, it gives those guys another chance to walk across the Classic stage, showing off their sponsors and doing the things that help them pay the bills.
Looking at a few things from yesterday at this time and it appears as if the the 15 or 20 are about 2 pounds off the pace from then.
For instance, Matt Herren has the second largest stringer of today with 12-8. That was about 14-8 yesterday.
It was taking about 10 pounds to get in the 10 or 12. Today that is 8 pounds and change.
The morning bite was definitely stronger, but since then it's been slower.
We were getting a fairly raid rate of catching about this time yesterday and it's been several minutes since anyone in the top of the standings has made any move today.
Maybe that is from all the pressure, with some of these guys gambling and others simply out of fish. Plus there are several more anglers are going off the grid in cell service. More than yesterday.
They include Cliff Crochet, Jason Quinn, Terry Butcher, Dean Rojas, Brent Long, Alton, Schmidt, Brent Long, Darrell West, Howell, Hackney and Ashmore.
We're picking up Reese, Short and Brauer and they are still registering zeroes.
From the day catch-rate standpoint, things would look different.
Take out Day One and just add these weights and the standings might stack up like this.
1. Jeff Kriet 13-0
2. Browning 11-10
3. Herren 10-12
4. Biffle 10-8
5. Cliff Crochet 10-0
5. Todd Faircloth 10-0
7. Gary Klein 8-13 (He just added his third)
8. Niggemeyer 8-10
9. Pam Martin-Wells 8-9
10. Takahiro 8-8
11. VanDam 8-4
12. Martens 8-2
13. Grigsby 8-1
14. McClelland 7-12
15. Russ Lane 7-5
It seems like we had more catching going on at this time yesterday. Maybe this is the calm before the storm.
We do hear more boats running and scrambling about. That might be local traffic, but there is definitely more traffic.
We still have Kriet at the top of the heap (13-0) with 29-7 total.
Faircloth is second with 28-2
VanDam is third with 27-12
Biffle is fourth with 24-11
Takahiro is fifth with 23-15
• Iaconelli and Browning tied at 8th place with 20-9
• Russ Lane with two fish and in 7th place with 21-6
• Billy McCaghren with two in 12th place with 18-11
• Aaron Martens in 13th with 16-13
• Cliff Pace in 15th with a zero and 16-3 overall.
• Gary Klein has picked up his pace, he has two fish weighing 7-8 and sits in 26th with 10-2 overall.
Still no word or action from Duckett or Skeet.
Notable zeroes for Day Two at the moment:
Alton Jones, Bobby Lane, Boyd Duckett, Byron Velvick, Cliff Pace, Denny Brauer, Kevin Short, Terry Scroggins and Skeet Reese.
Several of those are off the grid, tucked away in some dark place that the cell service can't reach them. So we're sure that some of them may have fish.
A couple of them are probably pushing pretty hard to come up with a big sack.
You have to believe that Duckett and Scroggins are married to their flipping sticks, betting on a movement of big fish in the grass mats around the lake.
Duckett has to do that. Scroggins I'm not so sure. He spent a lot of time flipping yesterday, abandoned it to catch a limit and then returned to flipping. He may be working that same plan today.
He did make this guarantee: "I will catch a flipping fish before this tournament is over."
Nice catch Lizzy in the comment section.
Pam Martin-Wells has 15-6 for two days, which puts her in about 16th place.
That might be good enough to make it to the final 25 cut.
We have no idea why her name is not transferring over to the list.
One of those quirks of electronics.
One of the reasons this creek has been so good is it has been warmer and clearer than the others. And I'm sure several of the pros knew that fish were there, but some like Klein normally seek out less-pressured water. And Grigsby didn't miss the bite. He's in the creek and the areas have been whittled down.
We have about three hours left in this event. The top tier are battling it out and the rest are trying to get in that top 25.
Right now the cutline is Dean Rojas with 11-1.
We expect that weight to go up to about 15 or more.
Well, the VanDam move lasted all of a few minutes before he ran back to Beeswax Creek, joining Todd Faircloth, Jeff Kriet, Shaw Grigsby, Brent Chapman, Kevin Wirth and Gerald Swindle.
When VanDam first came back, he was fishing the main part of the river near Kriet and Faircloth, but he's since gone back under the bridge and is sitting on old faithful.
He didn't catch any fish when he was out and hasn't caught anything since he's been back. His last bass was at 10:45 a.m., and his biggest is still his first, which was a 2-pounder.
The water temperature in Beeswax right now is 49 degrees and warming.
Well, after sticking it out for the majority of the day, VanDam has left Beeswax Creek and is heading down lake. Marty Stone mentioned on BASSCam this morning that he was interested to see where VanDam would retreat to since he wasn't forced to use any of his backup spots on Friday.
Today is the first nice weekend day they've had in while here on Lay Lake, so it will be interesting to see if the spot VanDam made his living on yesterday gets any additional pressure from recreational anglers this afternoon.
Iaconelli is showing up with no fish on BASSTrakk, but we're pretty sure he has two fish that weigh 6 pounds (two 3 pounders).
That would put him inside the top-10 mixed in with Matt Herren and Stephen Browning.
If Skeet Reese misses the cut, and we have him with zero fish right now, it will only be the second time he's missed the Classic cut in his career.
It's confusing to watch him not be able to figure out the fish. The start of this tournament was like the start of most tournaments with Skeet Reese. He tells you his practice was awful, but he usually follows up by catching a boatload over the next few days.
Consider this: the last time Reese missed the cut in anything was the Empire Chase on Lake Erie in 2008. Considering his finish on this same lake three years ago, the last two days have been pretty surprising.
One of the things that all of these anglers have been dealing with in this event is the shad kill.
Water temperatures get low enough they start dying. On the water you could see them struggling, floating at times.
Anglers struggled with that because a big portion of the bass in this lake have been gorging on them. It's hard to make them eat when they are sated on shad.
Today, some of the changes involve those shad.
From our on-the-water reports there isn't near the shad activity as there has been in previous days. The rising temps are helping with that.
Here are the latest unofficial standings.
Check back soon.
Noticed someone commenting on the miscue of Takahiro's fish.
We have to remember those Marshals are bass fans just like all of us. If they weren't on the water, they might be right here with us, maybe even some of them wondering "how in the world does something like that happen?"
It just does. We all know that going in.
The guy that did that might even be saying, "If I were out there, I would get it right."
I know I make mistakes. My math is often bad.
Just like with Russ Lane. I gave him 2 extra pounds. How stupid is that?
He's now in 6th place, instead of 5th, with 21-6, instead of 23-6.
Noticeable zeroes at the moment include:
Cliff Pace, Iaconelli and Terry Scroggins.
They all sit in order from 14th to 16th.
Russ Lane has just boated a 5-pounder to add to the two he already had. He currently has about 12 pounds for three fish and has moved to the top five with 23-6, pushing Biffle down a spot.
Lane could make bigger moves if he keeps that up. He still has two places in his livewell to give.
It isn't all bad news for Takahiro. He now has four keepers that weigh in around 8-8. That pushes him back up the standings in fourth place with 23-15, about 4 pounds shy of third place VanDam
Tommy Biffle is fifth with 22-14, followed by Stephen Browning in 6th with 20-9, Matt Herren in 7th with 20-3.
Cliff Crochet is eighth with 19-5. Billy McCaghren is ninth with 18-11 and James Niggemeyer is tenth with 18-9.
Omori, McCaghren and Niggemeyer are the only ones in the top 10 without a limit.
Omori has four, McCaghren has two and Niggemeyer has four.
The field is cut from 51 to 25 after today, so there's a secondary battle going on in the middle of the leaderboard.
Right now, Kelly Jordon is sitting on the bubble with 9 pounds, 12 ounces total. History tells us that in a 51 boat tournament, the cut is going to be about double Day One, which would make it 15-8. John Murray finished in 25th after Day One with 7-12.
So assuming that's going the be the case, only 13th place (Cliff Pace, 16-3) and above are safe at the moment. That number will obviously continue to grow throughout the day and we'll keep an eye on it.
There's a lot of moving to be done. Five of the anglers within eight places of 25 pounds have yet to register a fish today (Menendez, Murray, Bobby Lane, Martens and Howell).
I've actually been excited all morning about Takahiro's big fish.
It would be nice to see him make a big move. We all know he's capable.
That fish was originally scored at 6-11, but after a time out of range we've verified a closer weight to that fish at 2-5.
We have to ask the question — WTH? How do you get a 2-5 and key in a 6-11?
Stranger things have happened. Re-score Takahiro in the 17-pound range, comfortably in the top 15, but a pound shy of the top 10.
Kriet has been on a roll as of late. He's boated about nine keepers today, but the last two have allowed him to cull up.
He now sits with 12-8 and 28-15 overall, a full pound or more above Faircloth and VanDam.
If you're looking for insight on how VanDam is approaching this day and the patience he showed this morning on the spot that gave him 19 pounds yesterday, you need to take a few minutes and watch Marty Stone on BASSCam.
Stone has almost 15 minutes of analysis on VanDam alone.
There are a couple fish catches in BASSCam as well.
And if you want a visual of just how close these guys are in Beeswax, Robbie Floyd jumps from angler to angler after the Kriet fish catch.
To answer some comments from below, Iaconelli still has just one fish for 3-pounds and is in 14th overall. Biffle, though, has caught his limit (8-11) and has just moved into the to five with 22-14.
Still no work on Short. He's down the lake and we have him with no fish. Biffle is up the lake and Ike is, as you would expect, every where, running like his ass is on fire and his face is catching.
Todd Faircloth has finished his limit. He has 9-12 for a 27-14 total and the lead.
That's two ounces ahead of VanDam and three ahead of Kriet.
Obviously too close to call, but we like how tight things are getting.
Stephen Browning and Billy McCaghren are up the lake and Pete Robbins has gone with them.
He said the water is dingier and cooler, which might be why the bite is tougher. But that's also where Takahiro is fishing.
The sun, though, will warm that area quicker so things could start accelerating by the end of the day.
The creek is crowded, really crowded, and you have to think there will be other areas that could turn on.
This time yesterday we were paying a lot of attention to Billy McCaghren.
Today, he's dropped off the map a bit. He only has two fish for 3-7 and sits in seventh place. He's not dropped out of his standing, but things sure have slowed for him.
He had a limit yesterday by this time and was battling with VanDam.
There's still time for him to make a move, but we'd like to see it sooner than later.
On down the list, Skeet is still fishless, as is Hackney, Brauer, Aaron Martens and Bobby Lane.
And Takahiro still only has the one 6-11.
Marty Stone says that VanDam isn't fishing in a secret area. He's just able to go to those places many of us would settle on and catch a few fish, but VanDam can pull up and "just wear them out."
His magic isn't in special knowledge. It's in his extra-special positive attitude and knowing what it takes to win in these circumstances.
Kriet just boated a 3-pounder and is edging up.
That puts him at 27-11, just an ounce behind VanDam.
Still waiting for Faircloth to catch his fifth.
Marty Stone who is providing commentary on BassCam lets us know that KVD is primarily throwing a lipless crankbait.
We will tell you more on some other things he's doing in tomorrow's blog.
Some of the anglers are jockeying around in other parts of the creek.
Russ Lane, who was in there yesterday, hit a stretch that Faircloth had just left and boated a "nice" keeper, according to Pete Robbins. Lane currently has two in the boat and is a little off the pace.
But it still puts him in ninth overall with 18-6 for two days.
Iaconelli, who was in the creek yesterday, is back. He is also hitting some of the same water as Faircloth. Currently, he only has one keeper for 3 pounds, putting him in 14th place with 14-9.
With limits in the boat for VanDam and Kriet and with four in the boat for Faircloth, this event is starting to take shape as a three-horse race.
There are other anglers who have an opportunity to move into the mix, because there is still a ton of time left. But with those three it starts to boil down to who will get the big bite.
VanDam obviously had those yesterday. Kriet lamented the fact that he didn't get the thumper that he knows he's around.
Given they are all fairly close and the area has served up giants in the past, how those guys shake out from here on will depend on who gets that bite.
At the moment, KVD's bites seem to be smaller, so you would think he may have taken all his area had to offer. But with things changing with the water temperatures (now 48 degrees) anything can happen.
Other factors to consider are the spectators and the falling water (if it really is falling). Those things could play into the hands of Kriet and Faircloth, who are not fishing as far back in the creek.
But it could work against all of them and right into the hands of several guys who have areas to themselves.
VanDam will not go away quietly. He's finished his limit and has about 8-4, which just moved him ahead of Kriet and Faircloth.
His total is about 27-12.
He's still in the middle of hundreds of spectators and his best fish is reported to be no better than 2 pounds.
Faircloth and Kriet don't seem to be bothered by much. They keep turning up the heat.
Faircloth now has four in the boat for 8-12 and has taken the lead with 26-14.
Kriet has finished his limit and has 9-12 and he's in second with 26-3.
VanDam still has four and sits in third with 26-0.
Not much else has changed in the top of the standings for the top anglers.
Hot off the press! Photos from the Day Two launch are on the
photo galleries page
One of the things that killed VanDam in 2007, after he lead the event on Day Two and lost to Reese and Duckett, was falling water levels.
We are trying to find out if something like that has taken place overnight.
Pete Robbins, who is sitting in the spectator contingent, says he overheard VanDam mention "falling water," while directing spectator boats around the area with hand signals.
We are working on a report for that now. There should be some additional video updates on BassCam.
If this were Day One, the standings would look totally different.
Wipe out Day One's weight and it would look like this:
1. Cliff Crochet 10-0
2. Jeff Kriet 9-12
3. Stephen Browning 9-0
4. Matt Herren 8-12
4. Todd Faircloth 8-12
6. Pam Martin-Wells 8-1
7. Kelly Jordon 7-3
8. Jason Quinn 6-13
9. Takahiro Omori 6-11
10. Kevin VanDam 6-8
The top 25 cut is currently at 8-11. Aaron Martens holds that position.
Those hovering around it include Randy Howell in 24th with 8-15 and Frank Scalish in 26th at 8-4.
With Kevin VanDam back on track, things are starting to get a little interesting. It hasn't changed much even with him catching a few. Four bass that weigh 6-8 is really light.
He will have to start catching a better quality of fish to hold off Kriet, Faircloth and apparently Takahiro.
Of course our BASSTrakk had him a little light yesterday. That same scenario might be playing out. But it's a good bet you don't mistake a 4-pounder for a 1-5.
Kevin VanDam is back on the score sheet and back in the lead. That's how he works, look away and he'll sneak up on you.
All of a sudden, he has four in the well for about 6-8 and a total of 26-0, which puts him in the lead above Kriet at 25-15.
Faircloth is still in third with 24-10 and Takahiro is fourth with 22-2.
Cliff Crochet rounds out the top five with 19-5.
If you missed the concert before the weigh-in yesterday, you can see photos from Darryl Worley on the
photo galleries page
There's a lot of moving go on elsewhere on Lay Lake with anglers who didn't fare well yesterday and didn't establish themselves in Beeswax, looking for an opportunity to move up.
According to photographer Larry Towell, there are a lot more boats in Paint Creek than yesterday. He said Mark Menendez caught a limit there yesterday and when he came into the creek, he was none too happy that he didn't have it to himself anymore.
A little more clarity on Faircloth. He has three in the well for about 6-8 and is now in second with 24-10, behind Kriet with 25-15.
Takahiro hasn't put anything with his 6-11 and VanDam is still scoreless.
On down the list Duckett is still scoreless, as is Skeet Reese.
Todd Faircloth is hooked up with a "wild" fish that took a few minutes to land. Reports are it's in the 4- to 5-pound range.
That will move him and should give him the lead if in fact that is true. Once we get verification, we'll update the standings.
Our reports may not be moving as fast as the BASSTrakk. We have him boating a 3-pound fish at about the same time as that report came in. So he could actually still be in third.
The standings look like this at the moment:
1. Kriet 23-15 (my math was bad on the last blog)
2. Takahiro 22-2
3. Faircloth 21-10
4. VanDam 19-8
5. Crochet 19-5
6. McCaghren 18-11
7. Niggemeyer 18-9
8. Matt Herren 18-3
9. Biffle 17-11
10. Chapman 16-10
11. Cliff Pace 16-3
12. Russ Lane 16-1
13. Iaconelli 14-9
14. Scroggins 13-0
15. Browning 12-13
Kriet's fish is decent enough. He added another like it and now has a limit weighing about 9-5. That gives him 25-15 and moves him back in the lead, three pounds ahead of Takahiro.
KVD is still scoreless.
Pete Robbins just reported that Kriet has a big one on and is babying it to get it in. As soon as we get a weight we'll let you know.
But Takahiro Omori has supposedly just boated a 6-11. That rockets him to the front with 22 pounds and change. We will work on verifying that catch, but that's the kind of fish that will certainly shake up things on the leader board.
I had an opportunity to visit some with VanDam last night.
The interesting thing about where he is fishing this event is that it's the same place he fished in 2007 and lead that event going into the final day.
Things were changing that year as well. But VanDam doesn't expect that big changes will affect his performance. The little area seems to be a magnet for bass when things get cold.
He said when he found it in 2007, he had the opportunity in practice to catch 28 pounds.
"They live there,'' he said.
After a full day of sunshine and a warming trend, the fish may start scattering and moving shallow. That may be happening now, but VanDam expects he will be able to find them if they do.
Kriet and Faircloth echoed those sentiments.
One of the reasons they settled in the creek they are sharing is because the water temperature was a little warmer (47 degrees now) and the clarity a little clearer.
They all said, if they had the creek to themselves they would have no doubts about winning the event there.
Be sure and watch yesterday's action at 10 a.m. EST on ESPN2.
That show will be really good, with a lot of excitement.
Crochet keeps turning up the heat. He now has 10 pounds and is flirting with catching VanDam, who has yet to catch a keeper.
While VanDam struggles, most of the angler's in Day One's top 10 have boated at least one keeper.
Kriet has three, Faircloth has two and both have passed him. McCaghren has two, Biffle has two and Chapman has two.
Cliff Pace is having the same struggles as VanDam, but he started slow on Day One.
For the day, the only two limits belong to Crochet and Martin-Wells.
Matt Herren has four in the box for 8 pounds and change.
Steve Kennedy had a sub-par day on Day One. But he's started off nicely today with a 4-pound keeper.
That doesn't rocket him to the top of the standings, but it's a good start and virtually assures that with a limit he could move into the top 25 and fishing on the final day.
For several of these guys that will be the focus today: Catching enough to fish tomorrow. As the day progresses we will be watching that 25 cutline, almost as much as the leaders.
Currently this is the way the standings look:
1. Jeff Kriet 21-15
2. Todd Faircloh 21-0
3. Kevin VanDam 19-8
4. Cliff Crochet 19-1
5. Billy McCaghren 18-11
6. Tommy Biffle 17-11
7. Matt Herren 16-15
8. Brent Chapman 16-10
9. Cliff Pace 16-3
10. Russ Lane 16-1
Cliff Crochet has finished his limit and moved at the top of the list for the day's catch. He has about 8-12. But he seems to be catching a lot of fish.
BASSTrakk has him with 11 caught fish, so he's smoking in the early hours of this day.
That gives him about 17 pounds total and moves him into the top 5.
It's getting crowded in Beeswax Creek. Shaw Grigsby, Russ Lane and Brent Chapman are all about 100 yards apart.
Add in the throng of boats that are following KVD, the ones on that trio and the ones on Kriet and you can bet that some serious vibrations are hitting the water in that area.
Will it have an impact on the fish caught there? Probably. On the outcome of the tournament? There's no way to know, yet.
But it is Saturday and folks in Alabama love their fishing, so there will be much more boat pressure than yesterday.
There are a lot of anglers with single fish and a few with two in this first hour of the tournament.
I'm thinking the catch rates are much higher than yesterday. There were quite a few being caught and we were a little surprised by that. But they seem to be rolling in now.
For the most part out BASSTrakk system was pretty close yesterday. Although we missed KVD's big sack.
I kind of chastised him a little bit by turning in too small of weights on the BASSTrakk and discovered what happened. As the reigning AOY, he automatically gets a cameraman in his boat on Day One, which means the Marshall paired with him was punching in the information from a far. A 4-pounder can look smaller at 200 yards away than right in the boat with him. Thus one of the small flaws of the system.
KVD has a cameraman with him again, which puts the Marshall at a distance once again.
Pam Martin-Wells has the first limit on Day Two of the Classic. For the second day in a row she's captured the first limit.
In terms of numbers, only Cliff Crochet is anywhere close with four.
As for Martin-Wells, it appears she's doing much better on the weight side as well. Yesterday, her limit was in the 6-pound range. Today, she's already eclipsed the 8-pound mark.
Kriet still has three and regardless of what the BASSTrakk says, I'm calling his weight at 5 pounds. So Martin-Wells is leading the day with 8 pounds.
Crochet just finished his limit and now has 7 pounds. VanDam is still scoreless.
Pete Robbins is our roving reporter on the water. He's out there not doing a whole lot of roving, but sitting and watching VanDam.
He just reported that VanDam is expanding his area some and appears to be getting fidgety. VanDam hasn't had a bite.
My guess is everyone around there is getting fidgety. VanDam is going to stick with his area, at least a little while longer.
I know he wishes the fish were biting better, but he also knows there are a lot of fish out there. He ain't moving, yet.
It was cool driving out of Beeswax Creek this morning. Vehicles lined the road as you would expect. But all the people were walking by them and heading out into the woods.
In no time, KVD, who was fishing just a few hundred yards from the take off was surrounded by people sitting in the woods, standing on the bridge and even several in boats on the water.
In years past, anglers have all thought of ways to take the impact of the spectators out of the picture at the Classic. There's not many ways to do it. VanDam, by design or accident, may have figured it out.
He has the largest spectator contingent out there and for the most part the biggest impact they are having is to the chipmunk nests on the side of the hill.
I'm sure that wasn't by design. But as things always seem to do, it's working out nicely for VanDam.
Pam Martin-Wells is representing well. She has caught two more fish in the last five minutes and is well on her way to a solid limit. After catching a 7-pound limit quickly on Day One, she failed to upgrade for the rest of the day. If she wants to make a move on the leaders, she will need to do something different this afternoon.
Todd Faircloth, second after Day One, is fighting it out in the crowd near the launch and made it happen quickly, putting a 3-pound, 8-ounce fish in the boat. That is the kind of fish he needs to keep the pressure on VanDam.
Jeff Kriet jumped out to an early lead this morning with a little over 15 pounds. His observer keyed in an 11-pounder at 8:18 a.m. ET, so if that's an error (and I'm guessing it was) and it was supposed to be a 1-pounder, it looks like he has more like 5 pounds. That still puts him in the lead, with three quick fish.
There is a lot of boat traffic in the area he and VanDam are sharing — nine boats right now and we know more will be moving in later.
Jason Quinn has boated the biggest fish of Day Two so far with a 3-pound, 5-ounce bass and is in second place. Quinn's fish came from the lower end of Lay Lake, a place that was silent on Day One. If the big fish start biting down there, the leaderboard could flip-flop in a hurry.
Kevin Wirth has a 2-pound, 10-ounce bass in the well and Pam Martin-Wells got off to another good start early with a 2-pound, 9-ouncer. Martin-Wells was the first angler to boat a limit on Day One and she looks like she has continued to capitalize on a good morning bite.
guvnerwl wanted to know about things to do at the lake or expo. The launch is definitely a spectacle to see, but it has been over for some time now, so people generally clear out. Be sure to come out tomorrow if you can — you can find directions here. Then again, KVD is fishing within sight of the launch, so you could watch the tournament leader if you get there soon.
After you are done at the lake, head over to the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, just keep in mind the distance from the launch to the Expo in downtown Birmingham is a good 50 minutes.
It appears no one wanted to move in on KVD. He took another hard left and is starting where he bagged his Day One limit. There are easily 100 people around the bank watching VanDam and probably 25 boats. It should make for an interesting gallery when the photos start rolling in.
Also overheard at the launch was Mike Iaconelli. He thought 14 pounds, 9 ounces would be enough to win the event over three days, but after seeing the rest of the weights, reevaluated his game plan. He heads into Day Two knowing he needs to find a few bigger fish, although I'm sure that's what the rest of the 49 anglers not named VanDam are thinking as well.
The anglers are just getting started on Day Two and so is the live coverage. Right now, Bassmaster.com is at the docks with a live feed from the launch. Sure, it might be a little choppy, but I just heard Kevin VanDam say, "If there was a baby around, I would kiss one." Then Denny Brauer muttered, "If I caught a fish, I would throw it back." He was a little grouchy this morning. Good stuff.
Check it out here, then click below the video player where it says "Classic Live."
BASSCast is about to start and you can follow Jeff Freeman and Mark Tucker all day on the water as they try to qualify for the final day of competition.
As soon as they hit the water, we will start updating weights here and on BASSTrakk.
Hooked Up starts at 10 a.m. ET.
As always, the blog is your answer to all the action on the water. We will try to answer your questions, so comment below at will. Let the surprises continue."
Day Two of the 2010 Bassmaster Classic on Lay Lake will soon be underway. Catch up with all of the Day One coverage you might have missed:
• Day One lead story: Lay Lake lights up
• Robbins: No flippin way?