With one more day to go, the lead is packed with great fishermen, and their livewells have been packed with big fish.
There's a new leader atop the competitors in the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK'S Sporting Goods, but Jacob Wheeler has his work cut out for him defending the lead in the third and final day of the biggest bass tournament of them all.
A 14-pounds, 11-ounce bag on Day 1 set Wheeler up for a big second day, and his 17-11 weigh-in Saturday evening tallied 32 pounds, 6 ounces total for the first two rounds.
Ironically, his entire five-fish bag on Saturday was filled with nothing but smallmouth bass.
That was enough to keep him above Mark Daniels Jr. and his Day 2 catch of 17-6. Daniels totaled 31-14 and sits in second, followed by Texas pro Chris Zaldain who caught a tournament-best limit of 21-12 on Day 2. That bag jumped Zaldain from 28th place to 3rd with a two-day total of 30-12.
The leader after Day 1 Ott DeFoe sits in fourth, and Mike Iaconelli is fifth in his 20th Classic appearance.
Here's Wheeler briefly reflecting on what a Classic championship would mean:
Jacob Wheeler leads the field going into Championship Sunday at the 2019 Bassmaster Classic. A win today would mean everything to him. #bassfishing #bassmasterclassic #bassmaster #dreambig
Posted by Bassmaster on Sunday, March 17, 2019
After Ott DeFoe turned in a 20-pound bag after Day 1, it became clear that there were big fish to be caught in the Tennessee River, and specifically in Fort Loudoun Lake, which produced by far the most fish for Classic competitors. Virtually nothing came out of Tellico Lake, another portion of the river that's fair game for the tournament.
If the first two days were any indication, Tellico won't see a single boat all day Sunday.
Sunday will serve as the final round for Classic anglers to catch a limit, and will air online and on ESPN from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 12 p.m.-3 p.m. ET.
The Day 3 weigh-in to decide the Bassmaster Classic champion, and is set to begin between 4:15 and 4:30 p.m. ET.