Estimated leaderboard: click here
2:25 p.m – That's it from the blog
Thanks for tagging along for day three of the FLW Tour event presented by Mercury on Lake St. Clair. We're signing off the blog now. A few anglers are already heading in. They might need the early start to navigate rough waters caused by heavy boat (very large boats) traffic on the lake. Others, such as David Williams, are gambling in hopes of finding a couple key bites that could get them to Sunday's top 10. Williams is moving into a large no-wake zone and trying to reach a spot where he'll only have about 30 minutes to fish, and where he'll only have about 30 minutes to get back. He hopes that's enough time. We have Williams at 10th place in the standings, though he doesn't know it. We'll see how the gamble pays off.
As for the rest, you can expect to see some mammoth bags at weigh-in. Scott Dobson has culled a few times recently, for ounces at a time. He's working on something big. And Scott Martin, the AOY hopeful, by our estimates is in 12th place and less than a pound from 10th. He needs to make the cut to keep his chances alive.
Join us for weigh-in at 4 p.m. ET at Lake St. Clair Metropark or on FLW Live.
1:40 p.m. – Martin trying to stay in the hunt
Scott Martin caught a nice fish moments ago to cull up to 18 pounds. He just needs to make the top-10 cut to stay alive in the AOY race. Our estimates have him in 11th place right now. One more fish might do it.
Matt Becker has a limit for 14 pounds.
Jeff Dobson culled up by 1 pound. He has 13. UPDATE: He now has 13 1/2.
Zack Birge just broke off what looked to be a 5-pound-class fish.
Jeremy Lawyer also upgraded. He now has 21-plus.
David Williams culls up to 19 1/2.
Hahner also culled up again with a 4 1/2. He has 22 pounds now.
1:20 p.m. – Knight has a mega-bag
Well, we got some more reliable intel on Brad Knight just a moment ago, and apparently he's got a mammoth catch. His smallest is a 4.8-pounder. Yikes, that spot he's sharing with Dylan Hays is gangbusters.
Here's a rundown of more recent updates:
David Williams just landed No. 5 – a 3-pounder. He has 18 pounds.
Todd Castledine culled up to 18 pounds with a 4-pounder.
Miles Howe has a limit for 18.
Chris Johnston just culled up to 19 1/2.
Zack Birge has 16 1/4.
Scott Martin has 16.
Jeff Dobson has 12.
Bryan Thrift has 20.
Shane LeHew upgraded to 17 1/2.
1:05 p.m. – We're slowing down now
Several pros have begun to lay off their primary fish in hopes of saving them for tomorrow. Elsewhere, the fishing action has eased a bit. The wind has also slackened off. Maybe that has something to do with the change.
Regardless, a few more updates:
Wes Logan just culled out a 2.9 with a 3.9. He's got 23-plus. What a giant catch.
Shane LeHew has landed four keepers in the last 45 minutes. Only one helped to get him to 16 1/2.
Cody Hahner made a small improvement to about 20 1/2 pounds.
Joe Cifuentes has just two keepers.
The drop-shot seems to be the deal for many pros now. They're just trying to coax up any last bites then can get before it's time to head in.
12:22 p.m. – Lots of updates coming
Scott Canterbury has 17. One of his keepers is a nice largemouth.
Scott Dobson went back to the spot where he caught his 6, and he just landed another 4. We'll tally up his total and report momentarily.
Dylan Hays improved by about a quarter pound.
Todd Castledine has his limit now for 15 3/4 pounds.
Clent Davis added a pair of 3-pounders and a 2 1/2. He now has four for 11 pounds.
Stand by. There's more to come.
Jeremy Lawyer just landed a 5-pounder for a nice cull. He has around 20 pounds now.
Shane LeHew upgraded to about 15 pounds. UPDATE: LeHew upgraded again, now to 16 pounds, and saw a couple other giants follow up his last fish. Maybe good things are to come.
11: 50 a.m. – Dobson catches again, LeHew catching fast, Grigsby up to 18
Scott Dobson has been camped on the same small flat for an hour. He caught one in the first couple minutes and finally caught his second for what looks like another small cull. Fish seem to be following his baits because he keeps going on point.
Shane LeHew is catching fish pretty quick. A 3 3/4-pounder gives him 14 1/2 pounds.
We also heard from Chad Grigsby again. He has 18 pounds now. That gets him back into third place in the unofficial standings.
11:40 a.m. – Martin struggling
Scott Martin has about 12 pounds. That's not going to be good enough to make the cut. He needs some serious upgrades to keep pace with the hammerfest going on today.
11:18 a.m. – Robertson is flipping shallow grass
Maybe it's a last-ditch effort to get something going, or maybe Darrel Robertson planned to make a change, but he's now flipping grass up on the bank. He says there are some good fish there. We'll see.
JT Kenney just caught three keepers in a hurry. He's up to nearly 16 pounds now.
Shane LeHew improved to 13 pounds.
Matt Arey has 17 1/2.
11:10 a.m. – It's slowing a little
The fish-catch reports are starting to slow down. We just heard from Cody Meyer. He's chucking a spy bait and has about 18 pounds.
Shane LeHew is sitting at 12 1/2 pounds.
Cody Hahner just made a big-time improvement with his latest cull. He's up to 16 pounds.
Scott Dobson made a small cull. He gained a half-pound or so.
Wes Logan is having a big day. A 4 1/2-pounder gets him to 19 pounds.
Matt Arey has around 17 pounds.
10:45 a.m. – A few more updates, the fishing is strong
Wes Logan landed a nice 5 3/4-pound keeper to improve to 17 pounds.
Craig Rozema has four fish. His total is 13 1/2. UPDATE: He has a limit now.
Cody Hahner has an 18-pound limit, which he caught from Canadian waters.
Clark Reehm also has a limit. He has two babies to get rid of.
Carl Jocumsen culled up over 17 pounds.
Not much has changed conditions-wise. There was a massive mayfly hatch overnight. The bugs covered the sidewalk down at takeoff, and clung to all of the equipment set up for weigh-in. It's sunny and breezy, but not overly rough.
10:26 a.m. – Dobson lands a giant
FLW Live fans rejoice at what you just saw. After a prolonged fight and an awkward net job, Scott Dobson has a 6-pounder in the livewell and was able to cull out a 3 3/4. "What I just saw back there is enough to win the tournament," he said, referring to the school of fish in the area. He has 24-plus. He's still behind Hays by a pound and a half by our count. Interestingly, he caught that big one on a bait that Chris Johnston gave him this morning.
Chris Johnston has a nice limit of fish. It'll weigh about 18 1/4 pounds.
Clark Reehm has four keepers. His last was pretty small – just 1 1/2 pounds.
Brad Knight has a small limit but isn't getting the quality bites he got earlier in the week. He's not sure where the big fish have gone. Yesterday at this time he was culling 3-pounders.
Todd Castledine has four keepers for 12 1/2 pounds. He's winding a swimbait over shallow grass in 4 feet of water.
Shane LeHew found himself a school. He caught four fish in four casts. One of them gave him a good upgrade to about 12 pounds.
Clent Davis has one keeper for around 2 1/2 pounds.
Matt Arey has a limit for about 16 pounds.
10:21 a.m. – Dobson might have more than we thought
Scott Dobson's cameraman is calling the pro's weight at 22 pounds. If that's the case, he's just 3 pounds behind Dylan Hays' unofficial weight. These smallies are tough to estimate, but we're confident in that estimate.
10:15 a.m. – Dobson upgrades, still trails Hays by 5
Scott Dobson upgraded with a 4-pounder, but he needs a lot more to keep pace with Dylan Hays. Hays leads by 5 pounds. Dobson is in second.
10:10 a.m. – Johnston is climbing
Chris Johnston now has 17-plus pounds. He's going to climb pretty far with that update.
Cody Hahner has five fish for 12 1/2 pounds.
10 a.m. – Hays advances his lead UPDATED
Dylan Hays is really having a great day. He just culled up to 18-plus. He's the unofficial leader by a couple pounds over Scott Dobson. UPDATE: Hays actually has more than originally reported. He has close to 22 pounds. He's crushing it.
9:45 a.m. – Updates, updates
Justin Atkins has three fish for 7 1/4 pounds. He caught all those fish first thing this morning but hasn't had much action lately.
JT Kenney has a limit for 14, which has him in contention to make the top 10.
Matt Arey landed his fourth keeper. He's fishing a shallow spot. This fish goes 3 1/4.
9:35 a.m. – Grigsby fires back
Chad Grigsby just put a near-4-pounder in the boat. He's unofficially in fourth place.
Miles Howe filled his limit with a little keeper.
Thrift culled up a half-pound to about 20 pounds, or just shy of it.
Shane LeHew also has a limit for about 10 1/2 pounds.
9:30 a.m. – Here comes Dobson
A 5-plus-pounder for Scott Dobson has him unofficially in second place now with an estimated weight of 19 3/4 pounds. Dylan Hays is the unofficial leader with 17 1/4 today and 67-plus for the derby.
Ryan Chandler landed a 3 1/2 to move up to 11 1/2 today.
Todd Castledine now has four. He added a 2-pounder.
9:18 a.m. – Grigsby has a limit now
Grigsby is stroking a 3/4-ounce tube, stroking it off bottom to get reaction bites. If you're watching FLW Live, you already know he just landed a 4-pound, 10-ounce bass to fill his limit for 12 3/4 pounds. It took a long fight to get it in, but he's using a 7-6 rod and lett the fish do what it wanted and was able to keep it hooked up.
Dylan Hays culled up to abuot 17 1/2 pounds. He's certainly in the hunt and continues to push Grigsby.
Clent Davis hasn't landed a keeper yet.
Scott Dobson managed his fourth keeper – a 4-pounder. He landed it on a jerkbait.
Jeff Dobson has a limit for 11 1/2 pounds.
Zack Birge has five keepers for 13 pounds.
9:10 a.m. – Grigsby update
Chad Grigsby has three keepers for 8 pounds.
Carl Jocumsen has five keepers for 16 1/2 pounds.
Shane LeHew has four keepers for 9 pounds.
Wes Logan has a limit for around 13 pounds.
Ryan Chandler has been burning a crankbait about 50 yards from Darrel Robertson. He’s got five “babies” and just switched to dragging a tube.
Scott Dobson is in the hunt, but his week probably hasn't gone as well as he'd hoped so far. He was aiming to catch a couple more pounds per day. Rightn now he's working shallow flats near indents in the shorline and just had one jump off.
8:54 a.m. – Thrift going big
Bryan Thrift is drifting across a shallow flat on the main lake. He's fishing what appears to be a Ned rig. That finesse rig catches everything, including another 4 1/4-pounder that culls him up. He for sure has more than 18 now.
8:50 a.m. – More, more, more
Jeremy Lawyer's limit weighs 15 3/4.
JT Kenney's fourth weighs 2 3/4. Update: Now he has a limit thanks to a 3-pounder.
Cody Hahner has four in the livewell for about 10 pounds. Unfortunately he's lost a pair of 4-pounders.
Dylan Hays' limit weighs 16 pounds.
Matt Arey's third keeper is a 3 1/4.
Scott Dobson has three for 9 1/2.
A quick bait adjustment led to a 3 1/2-pounder for Jeff Dobson.
8:42 a.m. – Thrift is crushing it
Bryan Thrift is up to about 18 pounds now. He's the unofficial leader and is looking to win his second FLW Tour event of the year.
8:35 a.m. – Lotsa updates
Cody Meyer has three fish for 9 pounds. His biggest is a 4-pounder.
Scott Dobson has two fish for 6 1/2 total.
Miles Howe has four fish for 14 pounds.
Shane LeHew has four for 9.
Jeff Dobson has landed about 10 fish, but only three keepers. He's wondering where his bigger bass have gone.
JT Kenney has three for 8 1/4.
Carl Jocumsen has four for 14 1/2.
David Williams landed a 3-pounder for his third. He has 12.
Wes Logan has three for 6 pounds.
FLW Live is up and rolling. Chad Grigsby is currently fishing outside of cell range, so they're not able to broadcast him at the moment, but they'll get him up at some point this morning. Log on to see some action from the rest of the top five.
8:25 a.m. – Thrift has a limit
Bryan Thrift has a limit of smallies for about 12 pounds.
8:05 a.m. – Martin trying to catch up in AOY
Scott Martin has three in the box now for 9 1/2 pounds. He's got to make the top-10 cut today if he wants to have a chance at AOY. If he misses the cut, Mark Rose wins AOY. Martin can win it if he finishes first, second or third, but if he finishes third the AOY comes down to a tiebreaker. He'll need about 44 pounds of fish over the next two days to win the tiebreaker, which goes to the person with the most weight all season.
Funny update to Martin's story: He cast off a hair jig, and it landed on a homeowner's dock. The homeowner is now looking for it for him. Talk about a friendly fishing fan. Martin is casting into an inlet surrounded by seawalls where the current is ripping by.
Miles how has three for 10 pounds. Lawyer has a limit with a couple good ones. We're waiting on a weight estimate. Castledine has three for 9 3/4. JT Kenney has two fish for 5 1/2. Bryan Thrift is up to four keepers. Waiting on his total weight estimate.
7:55 a.m. – Smallmouth slugfest …
Chris Johnston is considering a move, but he's not having a bad day. He has four fish for 14 pounds. He and Cody Meyer are fishing the same spot, and they're chatting about how to manage these fish. It's a friendly discussion. Meyer has three fish total for about 8 pounds.
Jeff Dobson has two fish for 4 1/2 pounds. Arey landed his second. It's a 2 3/4-pound fish. He lost a pair of keepers in between that one and his first.
AOY hopeful Scott Martin has two in the box now for 7 pounds total. He's ripping a jerkbait and has missed a few bites in the process.
7:45 a.m. – Smashfest continues
Carl Jocumsen is getting things started. He has a 3 1/2 and one that's just shy of 4 pounds.
Scott Dobson, the local favorite, has a 3 1/4-pounder in the box.
Shane LeHew is sacking up 2 1/2-pound fish. He has three of them now for 7 1/2.
Reehm has two 4-pounders. He actually landed them on his first two casts.
Bryan Thrift has left the St. Clair River and is headed into the lake.
7:41 a.m. – Not too windy yet
There's a breeze, but the wind isn't terrible yet. It could get pretty choppy as the day goes one though.
Thrift just landed another keeper, a 2 3/4-pound fish, after making a move farther up the river.
Rozema added his third. It's a 3 1/2.
Right now, top baits are swimbaits, drop-shots and tubes. Pretty standard smallmouth stuff.
7:22 a.m. – Tracking update
We have very little service in the area east of the mouth of the St. Clair River, around Mitchell Bay, which is a popular spot. We've lost our signal from the trackers that are in a few boats, and likely won't get updates from some of those anglers. But for the most part we have decent service and should be able to keep you pretty well updated. If you want complete estimates for the top 30, check out the estimated leaderboard link at the top.
A few updates:
Scott Martin is on the board with a 3 1/2.
JT Kenney has a 2-pounder.
Chris Johnston has three fish for 9 3/4 pounds.
Craig Rozema's second fish is a 3-pounder.
David Williams adds a 5 1/2 for his second. He has 9 pounds.
7:10 a.m. – The fish just keep on coming
Bryan Thrift swapped out his jerkbait for a swimbait and landed a 3 3/4-pounder. Then he landed a 2-plus. David Williams' first is a 3 1/2. Dylan Hays now has three for 7 1/2 pounds. Cody Meyer landed his first, a 3-pounder, on a swimbait. And Shane LeHew has two for 5 pounds. Todd Castledine has a pair of keepers. His second was a nice 4 1/2-pounder. Matt Arey has a 3 1/4-pounder.
We'll do our best to keep this blog updated with all the fish catches today, but with 30 anglers and 30 marshals, they roll in pretty fast. You can always check the estimated leaderboard (link above) to see a full rundown of the catches.
7 a.m. – They're biting this morning
Nothing big to report yet, but the fish are probably going to be chomping all morning. Scott Martin jumped off a 4-pounder on his first cast. He's throwing a swimbait. Chad Grigsby's first cast led to a short fish. Clark Reehm landed a 4-pounder on his first cast. Jeremy Lawyer landed a 2-pounder right off the bat, then followed with a 3 1/4. Bryan Thrift is up the St. Clair River chucking a jerkbait. Dylan Hays has two in the box – a 2 3/4 and 1 3/4. He's working a drop-shot. Craig Rozema popped a nice 4 1/2-pounder for his first. Shane LeHew's first is a 2 1/2. Cody Hahner's first is a 3-pounder, landed five minutes after arriving at his starting spot in Canadian waters.
6:50 a.m. – The top 30 are on the water
It's Saturday at St. Clair, and we're now just two days of fishing away from putting a big bow on the 2018 FLW Tour season and wrapping up another great year of fishing.
Today's action promises to be great. The forecast is for a scorcher of a day – hot, humid and, unfortunately for the pros, windy. They're calling for southwest winds at 10 to 20, which ought to make St. Clair awfully lumpy.
Regardless, the best bass pros in the world will surely sack 'em up today on what quite possibly is the greatest tournament smallmouth fishery on the planet.
There's also some serious AOY drama in store. Scott Martin, who starts the day in 11th place, can win AOY if he finishes first or second in the tournament. If he finishes third, it'll be decided by a tiebreaker between him and Mark Rose. The tiebreaker is based on most total weight for the season, and Rose leads by about 43 pounds, which is about what Martin caught on the first two days of this tournament. It really can't get much closer than this.
Temperature at takeoff: 77 degrees
Forecast high: 95 degrees
Precipitation: 10 percent chance of rain
Wind: SW at 10 to 20 mph
Folgers Morning Takeoff: 6:30 a.m. ET at Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI
Weigh-in: Thursday and Friday at 3:15 p.m. ET at Lake St. Clair Metropark and 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Lake St. Clair Metropark
FLW Expo: 12 to 4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday at Lake St. Clair Metropark
FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. ET to 12:30 p.m. ET