Crews grinding it out on tougher Day 2

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Crews grinding it out on tougher Day 2

Working under the classic slick calm post-frontal conditions, Day 1 leader John Crews has struggled with a tougher second round. He found a 4-pounde

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Working under the classic slick calm post-frontal conditions, Day 1 leader John Crews has struggled with a tougher second round. He found a 4-pounder at 8:42, but as of noontime, the rest of his limit comprised a 2-6 and three in the 1 to 1 3/4—pound range.

According to BassTrakk, Crews’ limit of 10-9 keeps him atop the leaderboard with 38-9 and nearly a 5-pound margin over Bob Downey. (Weights unofficial until weigh-ins.)

So far, Crews is missing the big bite. Yesterday, he caught an 8-1, along with several other quality fish that tallied approximately 24 pounds when he locked out of Rodman at 1 o’clock. After grinding through a second morning on Rodman, Crews left a little earlier than Day 1 and started working the banks of the access canal.

Crews plans to transition to the St. Johns River soon and give himself about three hours there to try and capitalize on the afternoon bite, which typically offers big opportunities this time of year. Day-1 saw Crews adding a 4 1/2-pounder at 2:45.

Elsewhere, mechanical issues forced Downey off the water at 11:30 yesterday, but he sacked up a second-place limit of 27-4 by 10 o’clock. Today, he boated a 6 1/2 around 9, but has yet to add another keeper.

Notably, a few anglers have experienced stronger productivity today. By noon, Patrick Walters, 13th on Day 1 with 17-12, had a limit of 12-2 that moved him up to third. Austin Felix (37th with 12-12) has moved up to fifth with 15-12, while Caleb Sumrall (63rd with 8-11) has made a huge move up to eighth.

If those with better morning efforts can score big this afternoon, we could see significant leaderboard movement. At this point, Crews is in good position, especially if he can find his afternoon upgrades.

However, every one of these anglers knows that one swing on the St. Johns River can dramatically change their reality. Gain some momentum and trade a small limit for quality fish and life is good.

The recent cold front put the brakes on spawning activity, but the week is warming up a little faster than expected and that’s a good thing for these hyper-sensitive Florida bass. Also, with another weather system arriving by Sunday, the stage is set for something significant.

Nothing’s certain, but if nature drops the checkered flag and a wave of Florida fatties decide to park their big booties on the bank, we could see fireworks. Even if a full-blown spawning movement does not occur, one good round of afternoon chewing will light up the leaderboard.

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