Lake St. Clair is a massive body of water, yet it seems one stretch along the southern Canadian side is where everyone’s focus will be on Sunday.
Dylan Hays, Chad Grigsby and Brad Knight are all fishing within sight of one another, with Hays and Knight essentially sharing the same area. In first, Hays put 22 pounds, 6 ounces in the boat to get up to a total of 72-3. Slipping slightly, Grigsby is just 15 ounces back in second. Busting 25-5, Knight moved up to third and is less than 2 pounds off the lead.
“Basically, one of us is going to bring in 24 to 25 pounds tomorrow between the three of us,” says Hays. “And whoever does is going to win.”
While the tournament set the two-day FLW record for most weight weighed in, there have been only four 24-plus-pound bags. All of them have been caught by the top three. Grigsby did it day one and day two. Hays also did it day two, bringing in the heaviest bag of the event at 26-7. Today it was Knight with 25-5.
Combined, the three have brought in 213 pounds, 13 ounces of fish from the area. If that isn’t ridiculous enough, all three say they haven’t laid into their best places as hard as they can, and all three say they’ve lost some giant fish that could have pushed their weights higher.
For now, Hays holds the lead, something the second-year pro has never done at an FLW Tour event. Yet, as excited as he is, day three was his worst day of the tournament thanks to losing some really big fish.
“The area has the quality to make up for losing big fish, but if I’m to win it I’ll have to keep them all buttoned up tomorrow,” Hays says. “I wish I had today, because it would’ve been nice to have more than a 15-ounce cushion.”
Top 10 pros
1. Dylan Hays – Sheridan, Ark. – 72-3 (15)
2. Chad Grigsby – Maple Grove, Minn. – 71-4 (15)
3. Brad Knight – Lancing, Tenn. – 70-6 (15)
4. Scott Dobson – Clarkston, Mich. – 68-10 (15)
5. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 66-2 (15)
6. Todd Castledine – Nacogdoches, Texas – 65-10 (15)
7. Ryan Chandler – Hebron, Ind. – 64-0 (15)
8. Cody Hahner – Wausau, Wis. – 63-11 (15)
9. Joey Cifuentes – Clinton, Ark. – 63-7 (15)
10. Jeremy Lawyer – Sarcoxie, Mo. – 62-15 (15)