12:15 p.m. – Signing off
That's all she wrote for the day 2 coverage blog. As the lack of updates attests, catching fish was a challenge today. Still, there's a lot at stake at today's weigh-in, which begins at 3:30 p.m. CT. We'll probably award a couple of Forrest Wood Cup slots this afternoon, and, of course, we'll determine a top 10. If you're in the area, come join us at Paris Landing State Park. Otherwise, follow along on FLW Live.
1:25 p.m. – Checking in
Chris O'Brien has a 6-pounder in the livewell. That's the biggest fish of the day thus far.
Jason Lambert has a couple of dinks. Fishing this week is a far cry from when Lambert won the Central Division event on Kentucky Lake earlier this season, during the peak of the ledge bite.
Co-angler Robbie Bartoszek has two keepers, including a 3-pounder. He's fishing with Brandon Perkins.
12:50 p.m. – Thrift is on the board … finally!
Tournament leader Bryan Thrift has a mountain to climb if he wants to match his 27-8 catch from day one, but at least he's finally on the board today. He just landed a 2-pounder. The Shelby, N.C., pro really isn't in danger of missing the top 10, but with the fluctuating conditions on Kentucky Lake, and the challenging fishing, he doesn't want to give up much of his lead. As he showed yesterday, a big bag is still quite possible on this pond.
12:30 p.m. – Thrift on the move
Bryan Thrift worked a few spots way down south for about a half-hour without any luck – other than a couple of short fish – and he's now working his way back north. He's fishing main-lake flats in search of his first keeper.
12:10 p.m. – The gloom continues
The "gloom" referenced by the heading above isn't necessarily describing the fishing; it's referring to the hazy pea soup that's hanging over parts of Kentucky Lake today in the wake of this morning's storms. The fishing is actually picking up. Sixth-place pro Kurt Mitchell has three keepers in the boat. Interestingly, he's flipping laydowns way up the Tennessee River.
It appears that it's going to take all day for some guys to catch a limit, but probably many will be able to scratch out five. In fact, we've just now reached the time of day when the action started to pick up yesterday. That means, hopefully, better things are to come.
One storyline to watch is the lack of current today. Several top pros have complained about it to our on-the-water crew. A little flow would be a big help if we could get it.
11:46 a.m. – Bradford Beavers tries to climb the ladder
He came into the day in fifth place and almost 12 pounds behind tournament leader Bryan Thrift, but Bradford Beavers is scratching and clawing his way up the ladder with three keepers. That doesn't sound like much, but we haven't heard of a limit yet.
Zack Birge has a nice 4-pounder in the livewell.
Thrift's only fish so far have been short. He still doesn't have a keeper.
11:15 a.m. – Thrift is running way, way south
Bryan Thrift has passed under the Hwy 70 bridge in New Johnsonville and is still going south. He's covering some serious water, though he's not at typical Bryan Thrift one-cast-and-you're-gone pace.
Here at Paris Landing State Park, there's a blanket of fog settling over the water. It's not overly dense, but it's definitely hazy. The wind also has picked up just a tick.
Brent Shores, who started the day in 15th place, has a 5-pounder and another small keeper in the boat. He's primed for cut contention.
10:40 a.m. – The action is finally picking up
Travis Manson has his second keeper – nothing special. He's bemoaning the lack of current. Yesterday the water was flowing pretty steadily. Rick Carter also has a keeper.
Our reporters have left the top pros in search of more action, so we should be providing more updates in the next hour or so. Stay tuned.
10:19 a.m. – A couple more updates
Cory Johnston is on the board with "one decent one" this morning. He weighed in three for 5 pounds and change yesterday. At the rate things are going today, he's still not out of contention for the top 10.
Brandon Perkins, a Tennessee River expert, has a 2 1/2-pounder. He's running points right now but plans to shift to flats later in the day. According to him, the flats turn on in the afternoon.
The biggest bass of the day so far belongs to co-angler Colby Miller, who's fishing with Brent Greek. He's got a 5-pounder in the livewell.
9:53 a.m. – Gautney gets on the boards
After moving to another bar, Cameron Gautney missed a fish, then finally connected. His first keeper was a 2-pounder. He added another 1 1/2-pounder about 10 minutes later. That puts him about 3 1/2 pounds back of Thrift, who still hasn't caught a keeper.
9:35 a.m. – Still zip for the leaders
Thrift and Gautney are still keeperless. Apparently the storm that rolled through just before takeoff has really made an impact. For one, the water is dirtier (the Blood River is straight chocolate milk), but the slow fishing is probably more a factor of the fluctuating conditions that have plagued the region in the last week. We've had everything from freezing temperatures to highs in the mid-70s, frost to thunderstorms, and it's all been combined with a massive transition of bait and bass that takes place every fall about the time they start drawing down the water. It'll probably pick up this afternoon, but you can bet that the only pros who are going to catch 'em are the pros willing to adapt and fish the moment. Of course, it's tough to figure out the pattern of the moment when just getting a bite is so difficult …
9:15 a.m. – Active bait, inactive bass
We're seeing more baitfish activity this morning compared to yesterday morning, but it's not translating into fish catches. In fact, the fishing is downright ice cold right not. Just about everyone we're watching is chucking a topwater, with a couple exceptions.
The closest thing to a big fish caught so far was a 5-pound drum caught by Sheldon Collings. He landed a short fish, turned to the cameraman and said he was going to catch a 5-pounder in five minutes. Five minutes later he proved himself right, but was wrong about the species.
8:40 a.m. – The rain has returned
A steady ran has begun to fall south of takeoff. Meanwhile, up north, it's just a light mist – enough to be an annoyance.
Thrift's first spot was a main-lake bar. He's since moved to a flat main-lake bank. Thrift is throwing a big walking plug and a River2Sea Whopper Plopper.
8:15 a.m. – Thrift lands a short
Bryan Thrift is still chucking a big topwater. The only action he's seen so far is a short fish that he quickly pitched back. It's another slow start to the day for just about everyone. The rain has quit here in Paris. Today's forecast calls for the wind to shift around to the east, and here at Paris Landing State Park, it looksl ike the swing is already starting to happen.
7:45 a.m. – A new day, a new set of conditions
Downed leaves, puddles and soggy ground aren't the only result of overnight thunderstorms and heavy rains that swept through west Tennessee overnight and early this morning. There were also quite a few stragglers to takeoff this morning – pros who took their time making it down to the ramp because of lingering weather, and possibly the lingering effects of a tough first day of fishing. Some boats were still launching as the first flight was taking off into Kentucky Lake.
As for the storm's effect on the fishing, that's yet to be seen. The wind performed a major flip-flip, and is now blowing gently out of the north. At least the air temperature is stable and forecast to remain that way throughout the day, with a projected high of 69 degrees.
Bryan Thrift, the day one leader, made his first stop on the same area where he began his day yesterday about halfway between Paris and New Johnsonville. He's launching a pencil popper.
Most of the field is fishing south, including Thrift and second-place pro Cameron Gautney. Fourth-place pro Sheldon Collings was reportedly running about 10 miles north of takeoff.
Check in every 30 minutes or so for more updates throughout the day.
Temperature at takeoff: 66 degrees
Forecast high: 69 degrees
Precipitation: 55 percent chance of rain, with the possibility of thunderstorms later in the day
Wind: N at 6 mph
Format: All pros and co-anglers will compete for two days. The field will be cut to the top 10 pros and co-anglers after day two, with the winners determined by total cumulative weight for three days. Forrest Wood Cup berths go to the top pro finishers from each of the five U.S. Costa FLW Series divisions, as well as the top finisher from the International Division. The next five highest finishing pros, regardless of division, also make the Cup.
Takeoff Time: 7:30 a.m. CT
Takeoff Location: Paris Landing State Park, 16055 Highway 79 N, Buchanan, TN
Weigh-In Time: 3:30 p.m.
Weigh-In Location: Paris Landing State Park