Zell Rowland yanks his bait out of the water after just missing a fish Friday on the Fox River during the Bassmaster 2012 Elite Series Green Bay Challenge. Rowland moved farther south after two near-misses. / Corey Wilson/Press-Gazette
Day 2 leaders
|1.||Dean Rojas||37 lbs., 12 oz|
|2.||Aaron Martens||36 lbs., 15 oz|
|3.||Jonathon VanDam||35 lbs., 2 oz|
|4.||Brandon Palaniuk||35 lbs., 0 oz|
|5.||John Crews||34 lbs., 1 oz|
|6.||Greg Hackney||34 lbs., 1 oz|
|7.||Chris Zaldain||33 lbs., 9 oz|
|8.||Ishama Monroe||32 lbs., 2 oz|
|9.||Yusuke Miyazaki||31 lbs., 12 oz|
|10.||Ott DeFoe||31 lbs., 6 oz|
|11.||Tommy Biffle||30 lbs., 13 oz|
|12.||Terry Scroggins||30 lbs., 11 oz|
|13.||Chris Lane||30 lbs., 11 oz|
|14.||Takahiro Omori||30 lbs., 1 oz|
|15.||Russell Lane||30 lbs., 0 oz|
|16.||Bernie Schultz||29 lbs., 10 oz|
|17.||Stephen Browning||29 lbs., 9 oz|
|18.||Scott Ashmore||29 lbs., 8 oz|
|19.||James Niggemeyer||29 lbs., 6 oz|
|20.||Kevin VanDam||29 lbs., 6 oz|
After two days of the B.A.S.S. Masters Green Bay Challenge, it has become increasingly noticeable the name of this tournament is accurate: this is going to be a challenge for these guys.
Fourteen fishermen registered zero or one fish Friday afternoon and less than half of the anglers came in with bag limits. The wind increased Friday, which became a major factor for boaters heading to and from Little Sturgeon Bay and anyone else treading through the big water of Lake Michigan. Weekend forecasts show the wind is supposed to subside a little bit, which could help these anglers break through over the next two days.
Not everyone had such a terrible time out on the water, however, and big fish kept piling up on the scale all afternoon.
Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., is the leader with 37 pounds, 12 ounces with Day 1 leader Aaron Martens of Leeds, Ala., right on his heels with 36 pounds, 15 ounces.
Rojas credits a switch he made Friday as well as a little help from a fellow angler to tune him in to the bigger fish.
“Terry Scroggins helped me out today; he got me dialed in to what I needed to do, so kudos to him and now hopefully I’m dialed in today and for Sunday,” Rojas said. Scoggins, of Palatka, Fla., sits in 12th place with 30 pounds, 11 ounces.
Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, sits in fourth place with 35 pounds of fish, but also is the Carhartt Big Bass leader, pulling in a 5-pound, 10-ounce behemoth Friday.
Seven-time angler of the year Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., is in the chase in 20th place with 29 pounds, 6 ounces as well as points leader Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira, Kan., who sits in 23rd with 28 pounds, 8 ounces.
Wisconsinite Travis Manson sits in 26th with 27 pounds, 8 ounces after a smaller limit of fish on Day 2 (11 pounds, 1 ounce) dropped him out of the top 20.
Manson has loved all the support from local fans throughout the week, and he knows he still can bring in a big bag today to get himself to Sunday.
“I’m going to need 20-plus pounds and they’re out there, they live there, it’s a great fishery,” Manson said. “I’m on some good fish, it is just about getting the right bites and (Friday) I didn’t.”
— email@example.com and follow him on twitter @jvancamp32.