The crowded scene in Banana Cove on Days 1 and 2 reminded me of scenes in the canals at the Sabine River when boats were lined end to end with angry-looking anglers on every bow. I know it’s unavoidable sometimes — and there didn’t seem to be any real animosity between the Banana Cove dwellers — but it’s hard to imagine being comfortable fishing in such close proximity to so many others.
- It’s hard to be too terribly doomy or gloomy over a 10th-place finish. But Scott Martin is one of several anglers who must have left Harris Chain wondering what might have been. It seemed almost like a tournament of destiny for him on Day 1 when he waited forever to lock into Lake Apopka and then immediately found the big bass he had waited for so patiently. But that destiny faded quickly — and no more clearly than when he had his hands on a 9-pounder, only to watch it come unbuttoned and swim away.
- It’s early yet, but Louisiana pro Derek Hudnall has some serious work to do after finishing 90th and 94th in the two Florida events. Counting a 94th-place finish in last year’s event at Lake Champlain, Hudnall has now placed 90th or lower in three out of his last four events. But here’s the upside: Prior to Champlain 2021, he had fished 30 straight events without finishing that far down in the standings. He has the ability. He just needs a break here and there to get back on track.
- Speaking of guys who could use a break, what about Paul Mueller? Not counting his 20th-place finish at last year’s Classic, Mueller has finished 71st or lower in five straight Elite Series events. This comes after he notched a second-place finish at Neely Henry Lake in an event when it was foolish to expect anyone to beat hometown hero Wes Logan.
- Harris Chain was officially a back-to-earth event for rookies Matty Wong and Masayuki Matsushita. After an ultra-impressive third-place finish at the St. Johns River that landed him the early lead in the Falcon Rods Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race, Matsushita tumbled to 83rd at Harris Chain. Wong, after stellar 21st-place debut at St. Johns, fell all the way to 92nd at Harris Chain. The race is long, gentleman. Just ask veteran Virginia pro John Crews, who won the St. Johns event only to be admittedly humbled by a 76th-place clunker at Harris Chain.
Life’s not all doom and gloom, so click this link for 5 happy thoughts from Harris Chain.