By BassFan Staff

Native Philadelphian Mike Iaconelli told BassFan a couple of weeks ago that tournaments on the Delaware River are "always a game of ounces." Well, he's put more than a hundred of those between him and everybody else in the seventh Bassmaster Elite Series event of the season.

The 2006 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year and '03 Classic champion thrilled a big, raucous Philly weigh-in crowd on day 3 with a 12-13 stringer that gave him a 37-00 total. He'll go into the final day with a lead of a little more than 6 1/2 pounds (precisely 105 ounces) over 2nd-place Bill Lowen.

"There were some ups and downs today, but the ups made it a good day," he said. "It's so funny how these little windows (of time to get bites) are created here, and you've got to be there when they happen.

"They're so small that if you misjudge it just a little bit and your timing's off, you can go hours without a bite. But when everything lines up and your timing's right, it happens so quick."

Lowen, who can be counted on to fare well on any riverine venue, weighed 8-10 to move up two places with a 30-07 total. Scott Rook, another moving-water maven, boxed 8-14 and climbed four spots to 3rd with 29-10.

Jason Christie, the No. 1-ranked angler in the world who catches quality bags wherever bass swim, catapulted from 13th to 4th with a 10-11 stringer for a 28-03 aggregate. Shaw Grigsby completed the Top 5 with a 28-01 total despite failing to catch a limit today – his four-fish sack weighed 9-00.

Here are the totals for the dozen anglers who'll return to the water on day 4 (red numbers in parentheses signify how far they're behind the leader):

1. Mike Iaconelli: 37-00
2. Bill Lowen: 30-07 (6-09)
3. Scott Rook: 29-10 (7-06)
4. Jason Christie: 28-03 (8-13)
5. Shaw Grigsby: 28-01 (8-15)
6. Kevin Short: 28-00 (9-00)
7. Skeet Reese: 27-08 (9-08)
8. Chris Lane: 27-00 (10-00)
9. Chad Pipkens: 26-06 (10-10)
10. Byron Velvick: 26-06 (10-10)
11. John Crews: 25-04 (11-12)
12. Boyd Duckett: 25-01 (11-15)

Reese made the day's biggest move (20 places) with a 13-03 haul that was tops for the 50-angler field. Lane (9-07 on day 3) and Velvick (8-02) returned to the Top 12 after falling out on day 2.

Morizo Shimizu, Todd Faircloth, Matt Herren and Andy Montgomery exited the Top 12. Herren boated three keepers while the remainder of that quartet managed just one each.

B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

Bill Lowen moved up to 2nd in the standings on day 2, but fell further behind Iaconelli in the total-weight department.

Greg Hackney, who concluded the event in 48th place, will take a 1-pound lead in the AOY race into the final regular-season event at Cayuga Lake the week after next. His closest pursuer is reigning points champion Aaron Martens, who ended up 28th this week.

Mostly sunny skies are on tap for the final day, with a high temperature of 88 degrees and an east/southeast breeze topping out at 7 mph.

Ike Got 'Cureveball'

> Day 3: 5, 12-13 (15, 37-00)

Iaconelli said his confidence was sky-high when he launched on day 3, but the conditions quickly threw him for a loop.

"I thought I had a great strategy for where to go based on the tide, which was an hour later (than on day 2)," he said. "When I got there, I realized it was what we call a blowout tide, which is caused by the 'super moon' we're having right now. I couldn't even get to where I wanted to start.

"I took a second to regroup and came up with a strategy based on the super-low tide, and once I did that I had a pretty nice morning. I had a flurry between 7:30 and 9 where I caught five or six fish and that gave me about 10 pounds."

He had a second hot spell in the afternoon during which he culled up about a pound, then added his best fish of the day (a 3 1/2-pounder) in the final hour when the tide had begun to recede again. That last stage is one that the field won't see on the final day – competition hours will have concluded by then.

"On this river you've got to be on your toes all the time about what the current and the tide are doing," he said. "As much as I'd like to say I've got it dialed in, Mother Nature is likely to throw something wild at me again.

"That extreme low might be even lower tomorrow, but we'll have an extra hour in the morning before it gets to that. That gives me more of a comfort cushion and doesn't limit me as much as to what I can do."

B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

A big crowd turned out to cheer on native son Iaconelli.

He was highly appreciative of the huge throng of fans at the weigh-in, many of whom chanted "Ike! Ike! Ike!" at several junctures.

"I've seen crowds that big before, but I've never seen that kind of energy anywhere. That was a totally different level."

2nd: Lowen Alters Program

> Day 3: 5, 8-10 (15, 30-07)

Lowen is the only angler other than Iaconelli who's averaging 10 pounds per day. He moved up two places in the standings on day 3, but fell 3 pounds behind Iaconelli.

His bag would've topped double-digits for the third straight day had he not lost a 2 1/2 pounder.

"My deal changed," he said. "I'd been catching them (late in the day) on the incoming tide, but we're no longer getting that. Today I had to learn to catch them on the outgoing and it was a trial-and-error thing.

"I caught them on the exact same (stage) of the outgoing that I'd been catching them on the incoming. I've got about a 3-hour wind when I can catch them, and that should be a little bit longer tomorrow."

He's fishing way up an adjoining river – it takes him an hour to reach it from the mouth. He's bouncing around and pitching to woody cover.

Despite his big deficit, he thinks he stands a chance to win on day 4.

"(Iaconelli) could easily have a bad day and it could all work out."

3rd: Rook Staying Positive

> Day 3: 5, 8-14 (15, 29-10)

Rook knows that making up a 7 1/2-pound deficit on this venue is a tall order, but he's nonetheless optimistic about day 4.

"I wouldn't say it's insurmountable," he said. "Iaconelli could have a bad day and I could catch some big ones – that's been done a couple of times this week with the 15- and 16-pound bags we've seen. I'm looking at it as a cup half full rather than half empty."

He's working a single creek that he has to himself. With a longer period of the optimal low tide on day 3, he boated 11 keepers.

B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina
Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

Scott Rook caught all of his weight early and then went the last 6 hours of the day without a bite.

"You have that one window of opportunity and then it's over – at least for me," he said in reference to the tide. "I went the last 6 hours without a bite."

"I'm just trying to make the best of the low-tide situation. My marshal was watching BASSTrakk today and when it went dead for me, it was dead for just about everybody else, too."

4th: Christie Grinding

> Day 3: 5, 10-11 (13, 28-03)

Christie's day-3 stringer was his best of the week.

"I'm just not getting many bites," he said. "I get two or three on the right tide and then the rest of the day is just a grind.

"I'm no tide expert – in fact, I'm probably the most ignorant guy out here when it comes to that. I'm just putting myself in an area and keeping the trolling motor down and covering a bunch of water."

He landed just the five keepers today, the best of which was a 2 1/2-pounder.

"I don't know how to catch a good one – I've had one 3-pounder since I've been here. I feel like on this place, the best way to catch the better fish is just get as many bites as you can and hope to come across a big one. That's all I can do.

"This tournament is about AOY points – I want to get as many as I can. Anything's possible, but Iaconelli's going to be tough to beat. I'll go out and try to catch five and that's all I can do."

21st: Just 1 for Faircloth

> Day 3: 1, 1-03 (10, 21-08)

Faircloth got just three keeper bites on day 3 and landed only one of them. He'd enticed eight the previous day.

"I'm not sure what happened," he said. "I felt better about the tide today than I did yesterday, but maybe I just ran out of fish. There were some guys farther back in the creek that caught some, but it wasn't happening where I was.

"After practice my goal was to get a check, and I did that. Then after yesterday I had high hops about today. Looking back, I don't know what I could've done differently. I could've tried to fish new water, but other guys have been trying that and it hasn't been working out real well.

"At a place like this, you need to put yourself in an area where you know there's some fish and try to beat it out," he continued. "I did that today and it just didn't materialize."

He caught the majority of his fish on a black finesse worm.

Notable

> Day 3 stats – 50 anglers, 12 limits, 3 fours, 9 threes, 8 twos, 13 ones, 5 zeroes.

> Aaron Martens never caught more than three fish on any of his 3 competition days, but still managed a 28th-place finish that moved him up to 2nd in the AOY race. To read his competition wrap-up, click here.

Weather Forecast

> Sun., Aug. 10 – Mostly Sunny - 88°/69°
- Wind: From the ESE at 7 mph

Day 3 Standings

1. Michael Iaconelli -- Pittsgrove, NJ -- 15, 37-00 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 09-02 -- Day 2: 5, 15-01 -- Day 3: 5, 12-13

2. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 15, 30-07 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 11-01 -- Day 2: 5, 10-12 -- Day 3: 5, 08-10

3. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 15, 29-10 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 10-15 -- Day 2: 5, 09-13 -- Day 3: 5, 08-14

4. Jason Christie -- Park Hill, OK -- 13, 28-03 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 09-12 -- Day 2: 3, 07-12 -- Day 3: 5, 10-11

5. Shaw Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 12, 28-01 -- 96
Day 1: 3, 04-02 -- Day 2: 5, 14-15 -- Day 3: 4, 09-00

6. Kevin Short -- Mayflower, AR -- 14, 28-00 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 11-06 -- Day 2: 5, 10-01 -- Day 3: 4, 06-09

7. Skeet Reese -- Auburn, CA -- 14, 27-08 -- 94
Day 1: 4, 07-09 -- Day 2: 5, 06-12 -- Day 3: 5, 13-03

8. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 13, 27-00 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 10-09 -- Day 2: 3, 07-00 -- Day 3: 5, 09-07

9. Chad Pipkens -- Holt, MI -- 14, 26-06 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 11-04 -- Day 2: 4, 07-02 -- Day 3: 5, 08-00

10. Byron Velvick -- Boenre, TX -- 12, 26-06 -- 91
Day 1: 4, 10-05 -- Day 2: 5, 07-15 -- Day 3: 3, 08-02

11. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 12, 25-04 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 09-13 -- Day 2: 5, 11-14 -- Day 3: 2, 03-09

12. Boyd Duckett -- Guntersville, AL -- 9, 25-01 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 16-14 -- Day 2: 3, 06-07 -- Day 3: 1, 01-12

The following anglers did not make the cut and will not fish on day 4.

13. Edwin Evers -- Talala, OK -- 13, 24-09 -- 88 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 06-09 -- Day 2: 4, 08-13 -- Day 3: 5, 09-03

14. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 10, 24-08 -- 87 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 06-10 -- Day 2: 5, 11-15 -- Day 3: 3, 05-15

15. Morizo Shimizu -- Osaka, Japan -- 11, 24-02 -- 86 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 12-02 -- Day 2: 5, 10-04 -- Day 3: 1, 01-12

16. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 11, 24-01 -- 85 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 09-12 -- Day 2: 2, 03-11 -- Day 3: 5, 10-10

17. Fred Roumbanis -- Bixby, OK -- 13, 23-12 -- 84 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-05 -- Day 2: 3, 04-01 -- Day 3: 5, 08-06

18. Jeff Kriet -- Ardmore, OK -- 11, 23-04 -- 83 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 06-11 -- Day 2: 3, 06-04 -- Day 3: 5, 10-05

19. James Elam -- Tulsa, OK -- 12, 23-00 -- 82 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 11-12 -- Day 2: 4, 06-05 -- Day 3: 3, 04-15

20. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 9, 21-14 -- 81 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 04-01 -- Day 2: 3, 08-06 -- Day 3: 4, 09-07

21. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 10, 21-08 -- 80 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 08-10 -- Day 2: 5, 11-11 -- Day 3: 1, 01-03

22. Alton Jones -- Lorena, TX -- 12, 21-01 -- 79 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 07-04 -- Day 2: 3, 05-03 -- Day 3: 5, 08-10

23. Ott DeFoe -- Knoxville, TN -- 11, 20-13 -- 78 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 08-15 -- Day 2: 5, 09-03 -- Day 3: 2, 02-11

24. Jacob Powroznik -- Port Haywood, VA -- 10, 19-13 -- 77 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 04-01 -- Day 2: 5, 10-11 -- Day 3: 3, 05-01

25. Cliff Crochet -- Pierre Part, LA -- 13, 19-13 -- 76 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 09-04 -- Day 2: 5, 06-14 -- Day 3: 3, 03-11

26. Zell Rowland -- Montgomery, TX -- 11, 19-12 -- 75 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 05-03 -- Day 2: 5, 09-13 -- Day 3: 3, 04-12

27. Andy Montgomery -- Blacksburg, SC -- 9, 19-09 -- 74 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 09-14 -- Day 2: 4, 08-11 -- Day 3: 1, 01-00

28. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 8, 19-02 -- 73 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 07-12 -- Day 2: 3, 07-09 -- Day 3: 2, 03-13

29. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 11, 19-02 -- 72 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 05-14 -- Day 2: 4, 07-05 -- Day 3: 3, 05-15

30. Derek Remitz -- Grant, AL -- 10, 18-01 -- 71 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 07-15 -- Day 2: 5, 07-01 -- Day 3: 2, 03-01

31. Kotaro Kiriyama -- Moody, AL -- 9, 17-07 -- 70 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 10-04 -- Day 2: 2, 02-10 -- Day 3: 2, 04-09

32. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 11, 17-00 -- 69 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 08-00 -- Day 2: 4, 06-01 -- Day 3: 2, 02-15

33. Ish Monroe -- Hughson, CA -- 10, 16-07 -- 68 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 05-13 -- Day 2: 4, 06-06 -- Day 3: 3, 04-04

34. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 9, 16-06 -- 67 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 08-13 -- Day 2: 4, 07-09 -- Day 3: 0, 00-00

35. Kenyon Hill -- Norman, OK -- 9, 16-05 -- 66 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 07-06 -- Day 2: 4, 07-10 -- Day 3: 1, 01-05

36. James Niggemeyer -- Van, TX -- 7, 15-09 -- 65 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 09-03 -- Day 2: 1, 01-13 -- Day 3: 2, 04-09

37. Kevin Hawk -- Guntersville, AL -- 9, 14-14 -- 64 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 08-15 -- Day 2: 3, 04-00 -- Day 3: 1, 01-15

38. Brett Hite -- Phoenix, AZ -- 9, 14-11 -- 63 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 07-02 -- Day 2: 3, 05-05 -- Day 3: 1, 02-04

39. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 8, 14-10 -- 62 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 06-04 -- Day 2: 2, 05-07 -- Day 3: 3, 02-15

40. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 6, 14-04 -- 61 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 09-06 -- Day 2: 2, 04-14 -- Day 3: 0, 00-00

41. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 8, 14-03 -- 60 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 07-08 -- Day 2: 2, 03-10 -- Day 3: 2, 03-01

42. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 7, 14-02 -- 59 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 09-12 -- Day 2: 1, 01-13 -- Day 3: 1, 02-09

43. Britt Myers -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 7, 14-00 -- 58 -- $10,000
Day 1: 5, 09-02 -- Day 2: 2, 04-14 -- Day 3: 0, 00-00

44. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, FL -- 7, 14-00 -- 57 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 06-14 -- Day 2: 3, 07-02 -- Day 3: 0, 00-00

45. Gerald Swindle -- Warrior, AL -- 8, 13-15 -- 56 -- $10,000
Day 1: 4, 07-03 -- Day 2: 3, 04-13 -- Day 3: 1, 01-15

46. Terry Scroggins -- San Mateo, FL -- 5, 13-14 -- 55 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 09-03 -- Day 2: 2, 04-11 -- Day 3: 0, 00-00

47. Stephen Browning -- Hot Springs, AR -- 8, 13-10 -- 54 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 06-07 -- Day 2: 4, 05-10 -- Day 3: 1, 01-09

48. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 7, 13-07 -- 53 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 04-00 -- Day 2: 4, 07-15 -- Day 3: 1, 01-08

49. Brandon Palaniuk -- Hayden, ID -- 6, 13-06 -- 52 -- $10,000
Day 1: 2, 05-02 -- Day 2: 3, 06-01 -- Day 3: 1, 02-03

50. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, AZ -- 6, 12-13 -- 51 -- $10,000
Day 1: 3, 08-01 -- Day 2: 2, 03-06 -- Day 3: 1, 01-06