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1:30 – Signing off
We hit another lull in the action, so we're going to sign off the blog for the day. You can still stay up to speed on what's happening by checking the live leaderboard up until a few minutes before weigh-in starts. Weigh-in begins at 3 p.m. CT. We're cutting to the top 30 after today's weigh-in.
The sight bite is still on, but the fish are finicky. They're making every catch difficult. And pros are able to get bit doing a number of other things, including dragging Carolina rigs, throwing crankbaits and spinnerbaits, slinging topwater and pitching plastics or finesse baits. Spencer Shuffield and Matt Becker remain in the lead and might be poised for a weekend showdown. Once again, there's a whole ton of anglers with 6 to 9 pounds. One decent fish could be the difference in not making and check and making the top-30 cut.
So join us again at 3 p.m. to see how it all shakes out. Thanks for following along.
12:30 – Shuffield, Becker lead
Spencer Shuffield is our unofficial leader, but Matt Becker is only ounces behind him. They're still working the same pocket. Dylan Hays and Ron Nelson are only a pound and change off the lead as well.
Barron Adams is having a tougher day today. We have him with a limit for 7 pounds. He needs a couple of bigs to repeat his performance from yesterday.
12:21 – Shuffield, Becker catch simultaneously
Spencer Shuffield worked into the pocket where Matt Becker found the juice a little while ago. Now they're both in there together, and they hooked up simultaneously. Shuffield culled out a 2.09 with a 2.81, while Becker landed a 2 1/2. I guess our reporter will just stay right there for now.
"If you make the final day and I don’t, you want to look in here. There’s some bigguns," Becker told Shuffield.
"I plan on making it," Shuffield replied.
We like the confidence.
UPDATE: Becker culled again to get to 12 1/2 pounds. Shuffield landed another but it was too small to help him.
12:10 – Becker still working
The fish Matt Becker is targeting right now is a 3-pounder, but he saw some real giants in another pocket nearby. There's another boat snooping around the area making him nervous as he waits for those fish to set up right so he can try to catch them.
11:45 – Becker is on something
Spencer Shuffield is the unofficial leader at the moment, and we'll keep tabs on him best we can. However, we're running to Matt Becker now. He has 11 pounds and is apparently looking at the caliber of fish on beds to potentially weigh a 20-pound limit. Stay tuned because this is the most interesting development of the day thus far.
11:25 – Shuffield checks in with 12
Spencer Shuffield is having a big day. He has 12 pounds already. Shuffield is mixing things up between throwing a swimbait along the bank and pitching a drop-shot to fish he sees on forward-looking sonar. It's a cool strategy
“They’re in the drains like they get at Rayburn," he says. "There are a lot of good ones, but a lot of little ones too.
"The problem is so many of them have finished spawning. The males have come out here now. I’m catching a lot more 1 1/2s than I was in practice.”
11:00 – A couple of 4-pounders
Capt. Blake Smith and Casey Scanlon each checked in with a 4-pounder in the bag. That's a good sign that at least a few big fish are chewing today. For the most part, though, it's been a dink-fest today. It seems like everyone we've checked in with in the last hour has had 6 to 8 pounds.
10:40 – Barron Adams update
Yesterday's leader Barron Adams checked in a couple minutes ago. He has four fishfor 5.5 pounds, which puts him in the top 10 at the moment. Yesterday, Adams was all over some truly giant Lake Martin bass, but so far today he hasn't enjoyed the same luck. We're about to have a photographer on him to get a deeper dive into how his day is going.
10:30 – Fishing tough, but consistent
Big bass are still hard to come by, as today is looking like it'll be another contest of ounces. Here's a look at the current unofficial top 10 at 10:30 a.m. We haven't heard from Barron Adams yet, however. We're on our way to him right now.
10:08 – Floyd, Strickland have 10
Cole Floyd and Laramy Strickland are the fourth and fifth pros to crack 10 pounds today. They both should be making the cut.
After a brief window of sunshine, the clouds are back.
9:30 – Osborne up to 12
Jordan Osborne has the heaviest limit thus far today at 12 pounds. We still have him unofficially in second place, but he's "trending up."
9:15 – Nelson moves to the top
AOY leader Ron Nelson is on a roll again today. Despite losing a 4-pounder, the Michigan pro has about 11 pounds in his livewell, moving him into first place and pretty well sealing his fate for making the top-30 cut.
Nelson is known as a stellar sight-fisherman, and he's on the sight game again today. Expect him to be a contender all week long.
Jordan Osborne is the only other pro to check in with double-digit weights so far. He's got 10-14 and is unofficially in second place.
UPDATE: Kurt Mitchell now has 10 pounds, too.
9:00 – Niggemeyer gets on the board; Becker takes the lead
James Niggemeyer says that yesterday, when he was working fish on beds, he either caught them in five minutes or it took forever. He had very few "in-between fish," so to speak. Today, it's been tough. He finally caught a small keeper, but the better fish he's seen haven't been interested in cooperating.
Meanwhile, Matt Becker is the unofficial leader with a limit of about 8 pounds to go with 13-10 yesterday. No one has cracked double-digits, but Grae Buck has come close with 9 1/2.
8:30 – A few more limits
Ryan Salzman, Josh Douglas, Kyle Cortiana and Tom Redington all have 6 to 7 pounds in the livewell, so maybe things are picking up just a little bit. Overall, updates have been slow to come in.
Still overcast with minimal breeze on the lake. Not much has changed with the conditions.
8:15 – Niggemeyer struggling with a bed fish
James Niggemeyer started the day in 17th place, easily within the cut line and with a chance to move up into the top 10. Catching the spawner that he was working for about 20 minutes or so would have really help. He got her to bite once but couldn't hook her. She would've been his first keeper. Now, it's looking like she isn't going to bite, so he's slinging around a floating worm while giving her a little time.
8:05 – Limits already
Tom Redington has a limit for 5 pounds, and Ryan Salzman has a limit for 6 pounds. That didn't take long. There are probably others with limits already, too. We'll keep you posted when we hear more reports.
7:35 – Shaw gets on the board first
Alvin Shaw is the first to check in with a fish. He caught a 2-pound largemouth on a crankbait outside the weigh-in area where he's targeting release fish. Shaw started here yesterday, too.
Kerry Milner has also reported a catch. It's a 2-pound, 5-ounce fish. After that, he went into a lull, which is unfortunate because he was throwing back small keepers for the first few minutes of the morning.
“I threw back a limit and a half of keepers because I knew I didn’t need to mess with them," he says. "But now I can’t get a bite.”
He's since added another small keeper.
7:10 – It's cut day
Clear night skies gave way to a cloudy morning in Alexander City, Ala., as the pros prepared for the second day of competition on Lake Martin. Today is cut day, and only the top 30 will go on to fish tomorrow.
It looks like it's going to be a beautiful day, with a high around 81 degrees, mild winds and partly cloudy skies. Of course, it'll be pretty tough to top day one's results. Everyone in the field weighed a limit yesterday.
Weights are stacked throughout the field. The only thing that really separates the top anglers from the rest is that they were able to catch kicker largemouths. Many of them came sight-fishing or burning down the bank with topwater. Conditions should be just fine for both of those approaches today. We'll have to wait and see if more fish are coming to the bank, or if pros have already picked off most of the easy spawners.
Ron Nelson, who ended day one in third, says the water has been falling, and that's why some pros struggled to get bedding fish to cooperate yesterday. Maybe they'll be a little more interested in biting today.
Stay tuned here and on the FLW Live Leaderboard to find out.
Temperature at takeoff: 58 degrees
Forecast high: 81 degrees
Sky: Partly cloudy
Precipitation: zero percent chance
Wind: mild from the south
Hosted by Alexander City Chamber
Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Wind Creek State Park, 4325 Alabama Highway 128, Alexander City, AL
Weigh-in: 3 p.m. CT at Wind Creek State Park
FLW Live weigh-in show: 3 p.m. CT to end of weigh-in