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June 25, 2013

BASSMASTER blog - Brandon Card - Mississippi River Rumble 2


Brandon Card in sight
8:57 am CDT, Jun 23, 2013 | By Mark Hicks

We ran south out of Stoddard Bay, where the water was much clearer and more fishable. We continued to the main river which is muddy.
The Mississippi is wide down here with expansive shallow flats. We're idling across one now to reach Brandon Card. He is still a few hundred yards away, fishing a large grass field.

The closer we get to him the clearer the water gets. That bodes well for Card. The sun is still shining and there is coolness in the air. So far, the weather is very different from what it has been. That could change how the bass are biting.

We see Card catch a small one and toss it back. Lonnie just raised the height of his trolling motor to help it slice through the grass. The motor is bogging down every 20 feet or so. Lonnie has to lift it to clear the prop.

We're close enough to Card to see that he's working a frog for the moment. He suddenly jumps to the driver's seat, dons his life vest and idles past us. His prop is kicking up mud and grass.
The BASSTrakk guy who has been tailing Card tells us that Card has three fish in the box. He estimates that Card's biggest bass will go 3 pounds.

Card culling
9:13 am CDT, Jun 23, 2013 | By Mark Hicks

We followed Card out to a rocky point that he is fishing with some type of cast-and-wind bait, maybe a swimming jig.

Card tells us he just caught his fifth bass, a small keeper. Then he sets the hook on a better fish, promptly boats it and puts his Power-Poles down, so he can cull while staying put. Card says he has over 11 pounds in the box.

He culls a bass and hooks another one on his first cast. It allows him to upgrade by a few ounces.

Card culls again
9:22 am CDT, Jun 23, 2013 | By Mark Hicks

There's a narrow band of clearer water around the rocky point that Card Is fishing. That band is getting narrower by the minute as the wind is pushing muddy water toward it.
Card boats a smallmouth that had him culling. He likely has more than 12 pounds now. He confirms that he is throwing a swim jig.
Card catches two more keeper smallies on consecutive casts, but neither is big enough to cull. "My frog area is trashed with mud," he says.

Steady as she goes
9:35 am CDT, Jun 23, 2013 | By Mark Hicks

Card is retrieving his swim jig at a slow to medium pace. He rarely twitches the rod.
He just hooked a small one and lost it at the side of the boat.
TJ tells me that four or five Elite Series pros made the Top 50 cut fishing in this general area. Apparently, Card is the only one of them to make it to the Top 12.

Toothy critter
10:53 am CDT, Jun 23, 2013 | By Mark Hicks

Brandon Card fishes his way around to another rocky point. A big fish hammers his jig and bows the rod over. It turns out to be a pike.

Card grabs his long nose pliers and unhooks the pike while it is still in the water. The pike's teeth must had damaged Card's line because he reties before making another cast. A keeper smallmouth soon winds up in Card's hands, but it is too small for culling.

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