Saturday, May 5, 2012

Bassmaster Elite Douglas Lake Day 3: Britt Myers Keep Cranking on the Lead

 Fast and furious is Britt Myers’ nature.
He showed that Saturday by fishing up to 50 different spots, quickly jumping from one to another, for the bass he needed to pin down the lead for the second consecutive day — this time by almost 6 pounds — in the Douglas Lake Challenge.
Myers keep cranking them in.
(Photos: BASS Staff)
Myers of Lake Wylie, S.C., posted 64 pounds, 10 ounces, over three days of the Bassmaster Elite Series event. Going into Sunday’s final round, he was 5-13 ahead of Jeremy Starks, who moved up from third into second place with 58-13.
Myers also fended off Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., who led on the first day, dropped behind Myers the second day, and on Saturday fell another spot to third with a total of 57-12.
The Top 12 from Saturday’s competition will battle Sunday for $100,000 and a guaranteed berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
“I’m running around,” Myers said. “That’s my style. I pull up, catch one real quick, and move on to the next spot. I don’t have any luck sitting on a spot for hours.”

Myers, who owns a shop that customizes vehicles —- a trick-your-truck kind of place — is used to living in the world of speed. He said he is always moving, juggling two careers, and he fishes that way, too. He even fished right through a Saturday morning squall, refusing to stop.
Cranking has been the main technique this week.
“I had to go to my knees. I felt like one of those mates on the crab ships on TV. It was blowing that hard,” he said.
He used his big motor to position the boat, the trolling motor useless in that kind of wind. But the storm passed quickly and he got moving again. Hooking into one or two key bites was the charm.
“I got five of those good bites. It was just another magical day,” he said.
Myers is trying to rewrite the outcome of last month’s Elite event, where he finished second, trailing winner Brandon Palaniuk by almost 12 pounds.
Now it’s Myers who has a strong lead, but he wasn’t confident it would be enough to secure his first Bassmaster win.
“Everything’s going good,” Myers said. “I do have a decent lead, but this isn’t like the last lake where everybody was catching them the same way. I could stumble and catch 10 or 11 pounds and Jeremy Starks could have a 20-pound day and win.”
Most of Starks’ Saturday catch was in his livewell by 10 a.m. He weighed 19-11, and contended it might have been more if his trolling motor had not quit on him, and if he had not failed to boat three bass he hooked into.
“I’ve been without a trolling motor since 12 o’clock , and got too tired trying too hard to fish without it,” he said as he checked in an hour early.
He flipped a 4-pounder into the boat, and it flopped right back into the water. “And I jumped off two giants, maybe in the 5-pound range. I probably lost 10 fish today, and I don’t know why.”
Starks is working a huge school of bass on a hump, the mother lode of the week for him. He estimates the school to be in the hundreds.
He’s making long casts, and he moves the fishing line, it brushes against bass. The proof, he said, is that the line comes back to him slimed.
Even after boating 25 or 30 Saturday, he is confident that the school will produce again for him, and is capable of producing 25 to 30 pounds on Sunday.
Martens is working to reclaim an advantage. He’s 6 pounds, 14 ounces, out of first, but he can make that up, he said.
“It’s getting harder to catch them, but I will have to to catch up,” he said.
He limited by 9:30 and culled up throughout the day. He’s making casts of over 200 feet to reaching what he called “a magical depth” within 30 to 50 feet deep.
“The most important thing we have to do is get the bait to the school. The schools are breaking up — they were tight in practice — and scattered into pods. You have to get the bait right to them.”
The day’s largest sack was the 22-6 by Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C. It moved him up one spot into fourth place. Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., secured fifth place with 56-4.
Dean is cranking them too.
Local favorites Ott DeFoe of Knoxville and and Brandon Card of Caryville both made the Top 12. DeFoe was in sixth place and Card in ninth.
The third local pro, David Walker of Sevierville, fell out of the competition, finishing in 24th place.
“I know I was fishing the right way in the right places, and that’s all I could do,” Walker said. “I just didn’t get the big bite. You just can’t make that happen. I went through 30 catches today, but they were all the same-looking fish.”
The largest bass brought to the scales on Day 3 was a 5-11 by DeFoe — big, but not quite enough to topple Byron Velvick’s 6-10 of Day 2 and take over the lead the Carhartt Big Bass competition. The Carhartt Big Bass of the Tournament is worth a $750 bonus, plus another $750 if the angler was wearing Carhartt clothing.
Still leading the Berkley Heavyweight competition was Britt Myers’ Day 2 bag of 24-1. If that holds, he’ll collect a bonus $500 for the best five-fish limit of the tournament.
The Douglas Lake Challenge continues Sunday at The Point Resort in Dandridge. Fans are invited to the free Bassmaster Elite Series Fan Festival, beginning at noon and continuing until the start of the 3:15 p.m. ET weigh-in show. is providing extensive real-time coverage throughout the day. In the lineup are the new-for-2012 War Room show with live, on-the-hour competition updates and interviews; all-day blogging; BASSCam videos shot on the water; and BASSTrakk catch estimate data, which is constantly relayed from the water.
Streaming video of the weigh-ins and a real-time leaderboard will begin at 3:15 p.m. ET. After the weigh-ins, also will post new photo galleries, results and standings.

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