2:33 That’s a wrap
The pros are due to check-in at 3:30 p.m. CT, and we’re putting a lid on the blog for the day. It’s going to be a tight race for the top 10, but it sure looks like Mr. David Williams is going to have a pretty good lead going into the final day. Weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. Ct, and the weather couldn’t’ be better to come out and watch.
Our final update is from Cody Hahner, who just called his shot for his tenth fish of the day to cull up a few more ounces.
2:29 Reyes get no. 4
Jason Reyes finally caught his fourth and it’s a solid 2+. One more keeper will get him in the top 10 considering the quality he’s been catching.
2:27 Bohannan culls
Greg Bohannan has struggled today for sure, but he just managed a cull to get up to around 10 pounds. He’s probably going to drop out of the top five, but he’s done enough today to avoid anything precipitous.
2:20 Arey misses one
Matt Arey’s kicker program has been all about his Lunkerhunt Fetch Swimbait, and he just had one follow it out, bite twice and not hook up. Still, that could be a really good sign for his chances at a kicker as the afternoon winds down.
2:12 Meyer solidifies
Cody Meyer’s bridges may be about tapped out, but he just made a small cull to get over 11 pounds. That fish will probably solidify his position in the top five for FLW Live tomorrow.
6:07 Becker limits
Matt Becker has finally finished a limit. Problem is, now he’s going to need to cull if he wants to fish one more day.
2:00 Collings and Kenney
The last 30 minutes or so have offered pretty good fishing. With a pair of 3-pounders, Sheldon Collings and JT Kenney have both culled up to or past 11 pounds. They’re both unlikely to make the cut, but the pair of them are going to bank a few extra AOY points for sure today.
1:55 Upshaw culls again
Andrew Upshaw just caught another big one to cull up into the teens. Weights are wicked tight, but he’s probably fishing one more day.
1:45 Cox culls, Upshaw goes big
John Cox just culled again – he’s got about 14 pounds in the livewell now. He’ll probably be in the top five tomorrow and ought to be a treat on FLW Live. Andrew Upshaw finally filled out his limit and did it in style with a 4-pounder.
1:30 Becker, Webster and Smith
Matt Becker just caught his fourth for about 2 pounds. He’s winding a swimbait slowly. Joseph Webster has culled slightly all day and is up to about 9 pounds now. Also, we’re a little foggy on the details, but we’re pretty sure Blake Smith has a limit.
1:12 Arey and Hahner
Matt Arey just culled by 3-ounces. He’s been pretty steady all day, but hasn’t really sniffed a 4-pound bite. Cody Hahner has a limit now – it's not much, but he filled it out with a 2-pounder.
12:55 Becker and Wendlandt
Matt Becker has really scuffled today, but he just put a 1-pounder in the boat for his third. Clark Wendlandt has been pretty steady and just busted out a frog to upgrade a little – he’s got about 10 pounds now.
12:40 Atkins and Kenney
Justin Atkins has been in spotty service all day, but he has now assembled a limit for around 11 pounds with a 4-pounder. JT Kenney just caught a 3-pounder and has almost 10 pounds now.
12:35 Another for Clent
Clent Davis just culled again to get over 13 pounds. He’s changed from a swimbait to a Ned rig and is really going well this afternoon.
12:25 Davis and Meyer
Clent Davis just culled up to about 12 pounds. He’s now inside the top 10 unofficially, and probably one cull away from locking in back-to-back top-10 cuts. Cody Meyer culled again as well, off a bridge, shockingly, and now has over 10 pounds.
12:20 So, about that Smith update
Actually, Blake Smith has four. Two of them are decent, but the others are pretty dinky.
12:18 Smith is finally on to something
Blake Smith was presumed lost for most of the morning, but he was actually just not catching fish. A minute ago, Smith caught a pair of 2-pound spotted bass to get back in the game.
12:08 The trash pattern, a weird note
Greg Bohannan has caught a limit flipping, and Jordan Osborne recently culled from a trash mat. Add in the big bites that David Williams got earlier and we could be seeing a new pattern develop.
As an aside, if David Williams wins, four of the first five Tour events this year will have been won by pros that aren’t running an Ultrex.
12:00 Cox culls again
John Cox just replaced a dink with one a bit bigger and is up over about 12 pounds now. He’s solidifying his spot in the top 10 for sure.
11:38 Man, this is fun
David Williams just had a spotted bass hit a frog three times – he hooked it on the third try and then lost it at the boat. Then, he threw back into the same bit of bushes, got another bite and then lost it. Per FLW Live, it looks like both would have culled for him.
11:28 Reyes is grinding
Jason Reyes has lost two good ones today, but he’s caught three good ones. He’s got almost 8 pounds and doesn’t have a limit yet. If he can grind out two more good ones he’ll make the cut.
11:18 Osborne and Cox go big
Jordan Osborne left his main deal a while ago and just caught a 3-pounder out of a sawdust mat in the back of a pocket to get him up into the teens. John Cox just smashed a 5-pounder to cull out a dink – he’s got over 11 pounds now.
10:05 Williams is hunting
David Williams is fishing new water and looking for something fresh for today or tomorrow now. He’s got more than 15 pounds in the boat and will probably broaden his lead going into the final day. He’s still slinging the swim jig on docks, but the bite has definitely slowed down.
10:42 Arey culls
Matt Arey just popped another on a wacky rig from a dock. He hasn’t busted out his swimbait pattern at all today, but he’s up into the teens now on the worm.
10:40 Becker, Davis, Reese
Matt Becker just caught his second keeper of the day – it’s been a slog for him. Clent Davis has four in the boat – a pair of 2-pounders and two dinks. Jimmy Reese made his second cull a bit ago to get up past 13 pounds.
10:19 Arey upgrades
Matt Arey just put another decent fish in the boat on the wacky rig. He’s up into the low teens now. Elsewhere, Cody Hahner and John Cox just boxed up their third keepers.
This happened a while ago, but Cody Meyer has a limit now. It isn’t anything too special, but five is five. He says the fishing is just starting to get good with the sun getting up more, so he may be about to box up his usual 15 pounds shortly.
10:00 Reese update
One of the day’s big movers, it looks like he’s going to make the cut from 24th. He’s running the backs of docks with a swim jig and a topwater up the Sipsey. It’s a pretty time-tested pattern on Smith, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him continue to improve.
9:45 Cox gets one
John Cox just caught a 2-pounder to get on the board. He’s only got the one, but Cox is always dangerous.
9:35 Our daily lull
We’ve ticked a few extra fish catches into the spreadsheet (Mark Rose has a limit now and Clark Wendlandt is up to three), but the fishing has gotten a little slow now. We’ll see how the rest of the day shakes out, but with so many folks with limits the time to hunt premium 3-pounders has come.
9:13 Arey culls, Cortiana limits
Matt Arey just culled up to about 11 pounds with a decent 2-pounder. Back a bit, Kyle Cortiana is doing well – he’s got three good ones and two skippers for about 11 pounds.
9:09 Reese is on ‘em
Jimmy Reese started the day in 24th and he’s really catching today. He put a 4-pounder in the boat a minute ago and has rocketed up into the top 10.
8:53 Two for Bohannan
Greg Bohannan has just two so far. He’s way up the Sipsey and flipping.
David Williams just culled with a doozy of a spotted bass and he’s got over 14 pounds now. Running up the leaderboard, Jimmy Reese just culled with a 4+ spotted bass to get up over 12 pounds.
8:26 Meyer and Williams
Cody Meyer just boxed up a 2+ for his third keeper and then added a small one for his fourth. He’s off to a slower start than normal today. So far, his best fish came on a swimbait he tossed on a shade line and the rest have fallen for a wacky rig.
David Williams is still crushing the dock game, and he just culled with a 3-pounder and then caught a non-culling keeper a few minutes later. The man is simply on fire, and he’s looking better and better for the win all the time.
8:20 Limits galore
As expected, we’ve got a pile of limits on the board now. The group with five fish includes David Williams, Jordan Osborne, Bob Behrle, Joseph Webster, Sheldon Collings, Jeff Dobson and Russell Cecil. There’s also a chance that a lot more anglers have fish, as the cell coverage on Smith certainly leaves something to be desired.
8:06 Osborne culls, Cortiana goes big
Jordan Osborne just culled up by about ¼ of a pound. He’s throwing a Ned rig (or something like it) and doing pretty well today.
Kyle Cortiana just caught a big one. He’s only got two, but his second spotted bass is over 3 pounds for sure.
7:56 Reese has four
Jimmy Reese is having a pretty good morning so far. He’s only got four in the ‘well at the moment, but one of them is 3+ and another is a solid 2+.
7:45 Osborne limits and culls
Jordan Osborne just filled out his limit and then culled with a 2-pounder. He’s got over 11 pounds in the boat now.
7:40 Williams culls
David Williams just boated a 2-pounder for his first cull of the day.
7:37 Meyer, Arey
Cody Meyer has two small keepers in the boat now. Matt Arey just caught his fourth decent fish – the last three have all come off the same dock.
7:24 Three for Arey
Matt Arey just put his third keeper in the ‘well. He’s got about 7 pounds now.
7:20 Williams, Osborne
David Williams has a small limit. We lost him in the fog, but he says he’s got about 8 pounds.
Jordan Osborne is cooking – he just put a 3-pounder in the boat for his third.
7:15 Auten and Osborne
Todd Auten just stuck a 2+ largemouth for his third. Jordan Osborne is also on the board now with a pair of 2-pounders.
7:05 Two for Auten
Todd Auten has been keying on a shad spawn and fishing up near David Williams. He says the spawn is going slower this morning, but he has boxed up two small keepers to start.
7:02 Arey starts strong
Matt Arey just put a nice 2+ in the boat to get things rolling. It’s big enough there’s a chance she rides back to weigh-in.
6:55 Reese, Dobson
Jimmy Reese’s has his first keeper – it’s a nice spotted bass, but not too special. Jeff Dobson just lost a 3-pounder at the boat – you don’t want to do that this week.
6:48 Rose and Wendlandt
The first fish of the day belong to Mark Rose and Clark Wendlandt, who have both boxed up a chunky spotted bass to get on the board.
6:40 A handful are starting close
Matt Arey, Mark Rose, JT Kenney and Andrew Upshaw have all started right at takeoff. Avoiding the fog is probably a little of the calculus, but the area around takeoff at Smith Lake is one of the best-stocked sections of the lake and usually good for a few bass.
6:30 Can anyone catch Williams?
Day three of the FLW Tour presented by T-H Marine on Smith Lake looks like another beauty. There’s some fog, but so much that we didn’t start on time, and it’s going to warm into a glorious day. Rolling out with almost a 4-pound lead, David Williams is in command – unlike his charge at Lanier, it sure feels like he can sustain through the weekend. If that’s the case, the folks chasing him will really need to catch ‘em.
The water has dropped again today, for the third day in a row, and though it is still high, the fish could be getting more used to it. That’s probably good news for the shallow guys, and we’ll see if the offshore guys like Cody Meyer see anything new. Williams has been skipping docks for the majority of the event, and it’s proven very successful, but that’s not the only way to catch them. From finesse to frogging, there are a wide variety of techniques playing right now.
Temperature at takeoff: 46 degrees
Forecast high: 79 degrees
Precipitation: 0 percent chance of rain
Wind: west at 8 mph
Water level: 513.28 Feet (tracker)
Folgers Morning Takeoff: 6:30 a.m. CT at Smith Lake Dam Access, 7482 Smith Lake Dam Road, Jasper, Ala.
Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m. CT at Smith Lake Dam Access and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Smith Lake Dam Access
FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Smith Lake Dam Access
FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. CT