By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor

Jeff Gustafson has had a pretty erratic campaign in his first season on the Bassmaster Elite Series with three finishes of 13th or better and four of 48th or worse. And in the tournament in which he placed 48th (Lake Lanier), he led the field after the first day.

There's nothing uneven about what he's done over the first two days at Cayuga Lake, however. After boxing 23-11 on day 1, the Canadian stepped it up a notch in the second round with a 25-06 haul that put him atop the standings at the midway point with a 49-01 total.

He'll go into the weekend with a 3-pound edge over day-1 leader Chris Zaldain, who weighed 21-11 on day 2 for a 46-00 aggregate. David Mullins climbed from 6th to 3rd with a 23-13 stringer that gave him a 45-14 total.

Angler of the Year points leader Scott Canterbury had yet another solid day, catching 22-04 or a 45-02 total that left him in 4th. Seth Feider rounded out the top 5 with a 21-05 bag for a 42-13 total.

Stetson Blaylock leads the lower half of the top 10 with 41-04 (19-07 on day 2). He's followed by Drew Cook with 40-12 (21-10), Brandon Card with 38-09 (20-07), Keith Combs with 38-00 (21-05) and Chad Pipkens with 37-15 (15-07).

Combs made the biggest move to get into the top 10, climbing 24 places. The other newcomers were Card (up 17 slots) and Cook (up 11).

Moving out were Steve Kennedy (5th to 64th with just one fish for 2-05), Clifford Pirch (8th to 34th, 11-12) and Paul Mueller (10th to 32nd with 12-12 on four fish).

Gustafson's tournament-best haul notwithstanding, conditions were slightly tougher on day 2 as the 75-angler field was cut to the top 35. There were 11 bags that exceeded 20 pounds (down from 14 on day 1) and 15 anglers failed to catch a five-fish limit (nine had that dubious distinction in the opening round).

The pleasant weather in the Union Springs, N.Y. area appears as if it'll continue through the weekend Saturday's forecast predicts a partly cloudy sky, a high temperature of 71 degrees and a northerly breeze topping out at 7 mph. Only the top 10 after the day-3 weigh-in will move on to Sunday's final round.



B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Chris Zaldain caught a couple of big fish early in the day, but also farmed two quality bites.

Gustafson's bag contained a 6-pounder and two other fish that exceeded 5. He handled about 15 keepers on the day.

"I caught two big ones early off a couple different spots and I had a limit that was 16 pounds or so until lunchtime," he said. "Then I got a 3 1/2 and a 4 off a place and in the afternoon I caught the 6 and one of the 5s of another spot.

"It wasn't like it was fast and furious, and I knew it wouldn't be, but I got the right bites."

He's fishing deep water exclusively and alternating between a jig a crankbait and a Ned Rig. He's also throwing a Neko Rig, but it didn't produce anything of consequence on da 2.

"I don't have a lot of company, but there were a lot of locals out there watching today. Hopefully they don't go and jack on those spots, but it is what it is there's nothing I can do about it if that happens.

"I'm pretty well committed to what I'm doing after what's happened the last couple of days. I don't have a lot of spots, but maybe some of them will reload a little bit."

Zaldain caught two big fish early in the morning and also lost two. He ended up weighing three fish in the 5-pound class and a pair of 3-pounders. One of his fish was dead on arrival at the weigh-in site, which cost him a quarter-pound.

"I'd say my execution today was an 8 1/2 out of 10," he said. I had to run down and burn a spot today, but I have to keep mixing it up. I have to keep rotating and I have to do it all before 9 o'clock because after that it gets tough.

"More of the quality's starting to come out deep. I won't say what depth range yet, but that bite's turning out to be stronger than the shallower stuff. I'm still around fish, but I have to execute on every opportunity that's given to me."

Mullins, who's fishing in the 10- to 14-foot depth range, lost a 5-pounder that he figures would've helped him by half a pound or so. He also boated one that size and four others that weren't a lot smaller.

"It took me a little longer to catch a decent bag today yesterday I was done at 8:30 and today it took until right around 10," he said. "I don't know how many fish I have left or how many are coming. I'm just trying to fish some isolated places and it seems to be working so far.

"I did learn that one place I'd been saving, Keith Combs was on it today and caught a big bag. That's a little unfortunate, but for the most part I haven't been fishing around anybody."

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

David Mullins' 23-13 stringer was the second-biggest of the day behind Gustafson's.

Canterbury's bag was just 10 ounces lighter than the one he produced on day 1, but he said his action was a bit slower. His biggest fish was a 5 1/4-pounder.

"I'm sharing my spot with (Blaylock) and it took me longer to get a limit," he said. "I caught three in the first 30 or 40 minutes, then I had to leave it alone for an hour before I pulled back up and caught two more. I had all of my by 8:45.

"I stayed there and guarded the place for a couple hours, then I went out in the middle of the lake and didn't catch any bass, but I did catch some pickerel. After that I went and flipped a lot of stuff and caught some more bass, but I never culled again."

He's stayed in deep water to this point, but might try some shallower stuff on day 3.

"I practiced on some boat docks and other things and I may have to change up a little bit tomorrow."

Notable

> Day 4 stats 75 anglers, 60 limits (4 fewer than day 1), 5 fours, 3 threes, 4 twos, 4 ones.

Weather Forecast

> Sat., Aug. 24 Partly Cloudy 71/54
- Wind: From the N at 7 mph

> Sun., Aug. 25 Mostly Sunny 77/57
- Wind: From the SE at 6 mph

Day 2 Standings

1. Jeff Gustafson -- Keewatin, ON -- 10 -- 49-01 -- 100
Day 1: 5, 23-11 -- Day 2: 5, 25-06

2. Chris Zaldain -- Fort Worth, TX -- 10, 46-00 -- 99
Day 1: 5, 24-05 -- Day 2: 5, 21-11

3. David Mullins -- Mt Carmel, TN -- 10, 45-14 -- 98
Day 1: 5, 22-01 -- Day 2: 5, 23-13

4. Scott Canterbury -- Odenville, AL -- 10, 45-02 -- 97
Day 1: 5, 22-14 -- Day 2: 5, 22-04

5. Seth Feider -- New Market, MN -- 10, 42-13 -- 96
Day 1: 5, 21-08 -- Day 2: 5, 21-05

6. Stetson Blaylock -- Benton, AR -- 10, 41-04 -- 95
Day 1: 5, 21-13 -- Day 2: 5, 19-07

7. Drew Cook -- Midway, FL -- 10, 40-12 -- 94
Day 1: 5, 19-02 -- Day 2: 5, 21-10

8. Brandon Card -- Knoxville, TN -- 10, 38-09 -- 93
Day 1: 5, 18-02 -- Day 2: 5, 20-07

9. Keith Combs -- Huntington, TX -- 10, 38-00 -- 92
Day 1: 5, 16-11 -- Day 2: 5, 21-05

10. Chad Pipkens -- Lansing, MI -- 10, 37-15 -- 91
Day 1: 5, 22-08 -- Day 2: 5, 15-07

11. Skylar Hamilton -- Dandridge, TN -- 10, 37-03 -- 90
Day 1: 5, 20-04 -- Day 2: 5, 16-15

12. Ed Loughran III -- Richmond, VA -- 10, 37-00 -- 89
Day 1: 5, 16-01 -- Day 2: 5, 20-15

13. Bill Lowen -- Brookville, IN -- 10, 36-15 -- 88
Day 1: 5, 14-14 -- Day 2: 5, 22-01

14. Cory Johnston -- Cavan, ON -- 10, 36-13 -- 87
Day 1: 5, 16-10 -- Day 2: 5, 20-03

15. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 10, 36-12 -- 86
Day 1: 5, 17-00 -- Day 2: 5, 19-12

16. Jamie Hartman -- Newport, NY -- 10, 36-07 -- 85
Day 1: 5, 16-14 -- Day 2: 5, 19-09

17. Bernie Schultz -- Gainesville, FL -- 10, 36-02 -- 84
Day 1: 5, 16-15 -- Day 2: 5, 19-03

18. Patrick Walters -- Summerville, SC -- 10, 35-15 -- 83
Day 1: 5, 20-11 -- Day 2: 5, 15-04

19. Mike Huff -- Corbin, KY -- 10, 35-12 -- 82
Day 1: 5, 19-01 -- Day 2: 5, 16-11

20. Brett Preuett -- Monroe, LA -- 10, 35-04 -- 81
Day 1: 5, 20-04 -- Day 2: 5, 15-00

21. Hunter Shryock -- Newcomerstown, OH -- 10, 35-04 -- 80
Day 1: 5, 15-07 -- Day 2: 5, 19-13

22. Clent Davis -- Montevallo, AL -- 10, 35-01 -- 79
Day 1: 5, 15-08 -- Day 2: 5, 19-09

23. Hank Cherry Jr -- Lincolnton, NC -- 10, 34-15 -- 78
Day 1: 5, 19-06 -- Day 2: 5, 15-09

24. Brock Mosley -- Collinsville, MS -- 10, 34-14 -- 77
Day 1: 5, 18-14 -- Day 2: 5, 16-00

25. Derek Hudnall -- Baton Rouge, LA -- 6, 34-09 -- 76
Day 1: 3, 15-14 -- Day 2: 5, 18-11

26. Cliff Prince -- Palatka, FL -- 10, 34-08 -- 75
Day 1: 5, 18-13 -- Day 2: 5, 15-11

27. Jason Williamson -- Wagener, SC -- 10, 34-04 -- 74
Day 1: 5, 19-09 -- Day 2: 5, 14-11

28. Drew Benton -- Panama City, FL -- 10, 34-01 -- 73
Day 1: 5, 15-01 -- Day 2: 5, 19-00

29. Shane LeHew -- Catawba, NC -- 10, 34-01 -- 72
Day 1: 5, 15-14 -- Day 2: 5, 18-03

30. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 10, 33-14 -- 71
Day 1: 5, 16-11 -- Day 2: 5, 17-03

31. Chris Johnston -- Peterborough, ON 10 -- 33-11 -- 70
Day 1: 5, 15-04 -- Day 2: 5, 18-07

32. Paul Mueller -- Naugatuck, CT -- 9, 33-10 -- 69
Day 1: 5, 20-14 -- Day 2: 4, 12-12

33. Mark Menendez -- Paducah, KY -- 10, 33-07 -- 68
Day 1: 5, 14-12 -- Day 2: 5, 18-11

34. Clifford Pirch -- Payson, AZ -- 10, 33-06 -- 67
Day 1: 5, 21-10 -- Day 2: 5, 11-12

35. David Fritts -- Lexington, NC -- 10, 33-06 -- 66
Day 1: 5, 19-05 -- Day 2: 5, 14-01

The following anglers did not make the cut and will not fish on day 3.

36. Caleb Sumrall -- New Iberia, LA -- 10, 33-03 -- 65 -- $5,000
Day 1: 5, 17-05 -- Day 2: 5, 15-14

37. Chad Morgenthaler -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 10, 32-14 -- 64 -- $5,000
Day 1: 5, 16-03 -- Day 2: 5, 16-11

38. Clark Wendlandt -- Leander, TX -- 10, 32-09 -- 63 -- $5,000
Day 1: 5, 16-01 -- Day 2: 5, 16-08

39. Luke Palmer -- Coalgate, OK -- 10, 32-03 -- 62 -- $5,000
Day 1: 5, 16-03 -- Day 2: 5, 16-00

40. Matt Herren -- Ashville, AL -- 10, 32-01 -- 61 -- $5,000
Day 1: 5, 15-15 -- Day 2: 5, 16-02

41. Randy Sullivan -- Breckenridge, TX -- 10, 31-15 -- 60 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 18-14 -- Day 2: 5, 13-01
42. Lee Livesay -- Gladewater, TX -- 10, 31-14 -- 59 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 20-02 -- Day 2: 5, 11-12

43. Shane Lineberger -- Lincolnton, NC -- 10, 31-10 -- 58 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 16-13 -- Day 2: 5, 14-13

44. Gary Clouse -- Winchester, TN -- 10, 30-12 -- 57 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 17-09 -- Day 2: 5, 13-03

45. Jay Yelas -- Lincoln City, OR -- 10, 30-11 -- 56 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 17-06 -- Day 2: 5, 13-05

46. Tyler Carriere -- Youngsville, LA -- 10, 30-11 -- 55 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 15-11 -- Day 2: 5, 15-00

47. Matt Arey -- Shelby, NC -- 10, 30-00 -- 54 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 14-15 -- Day 2: 5, 15-01

48. Carl Jocumsen -- Queensland, AUS -- 6, 29-10 -- 53 -- $2,500
Day 1: 3, 10-15 -- Day 2: 5, 18-11

49. Ray Hanselman Jr -- Del Rio, TX -- 10, 29-07 -- 52 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 14-14 -- Day 2: 5, 14-09

50. Randy Pierson -- Oakdale, CA -- 10, 29-06 -- 51 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 14-05 -- Day 2: 5, 15-01

51. Koby Kreiger -- Alva, FL -- 9, 28-14 -- 50 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 19-15 -- Day 2: 4, 08-15

52. Brian Snowden -- Reeds Spring, MO -- 10, 28-05 -- 49 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 13-05 -- Day 2: 5, 15-00

53. Kelley Jaye -- Dadeville, AL -- 10, 28-00 -- 48 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 14-14 -- Day 2: 5, 13-02

54. Garrett Paquette -- Canton, MI -- 10, 27-11 -- 47 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 14-05 -- Day 2: 5, 13-06

55. Todd Auten -- Lake Wylie, SC -- 10, 27-09 -- 46 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 13-11 -- Day 2: 5, 13-14

56. Greg DiPalma -- Millville, NJ -- 10, 27-08 -- 45 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 12-13 -- Day 2: 5, 14-11

57. Chris Groh -- Spring Grove, IL -- 10, 27-03 -- 44 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 12-05 -- Day 2: 5, 14-14

58. Jake Whitaker -- Fairview, NC -- 7, 26-13 -- 43 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 19-08 -- Day 2: 2, 07-05

59. Brad Whatley -- Bivins, TX -- 9, 26-09 -- 42 -- $2,500
Day 1: 4, 11-10 -- Day 2: 5, 14-15

60. Quentin Cappo -- Prairieville, LA -- 9, 25-15 -- 41 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 15-12 -- Day 2: 4, 10-03

61. Rick Morris -- Lake Gaston, VA -- 10, 25-14 -- 40 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 15-09 -- Day 2: 5, 10-05

62. Yusuke Miyazaki -- Forney, TX -- 10, 25-11 -- 39 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 09-00 -- Day 2: 5, 16-11

63. Micah Frazier -- Newnan, GA -- 6, 24-13 -- 38 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 16-04 -- Day 2: 3, 08-09

64. Steve Kennedy -- Auburn, AL -- 6, 24-09 -- 37 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 22-04 -- Day 2: 1, 02-05

65. Tyler Rivet -- Raceland, LA -- 7, 23-00 -- 36 -- $2,500
Day 1: 2, 09-09 -- Day 2: 5, 13-07

66. Frank Talley -- Temple, TX -- 7, 18-10 -- 35 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 13-01 -- Day 2: 2, 05-09

67. Kyle Monti -- Okeechobee, FL -- 5, 18-06 -- 34 -- $2,500
Day 1: 1, 02-11 -- Day 2: 4, 15-11

68. Rob Digh -- Denver, NC -- 6, 17-02 -- 33 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 11-02 -- Day 2: 3, 06-00

69. Robbie Latuso -- Gonzales, LA -- 7, 15-09 -- 32 -- $2,500
Day 1: 5, 11-09 -- Day 2: 2, 04-00

70. Harvey Horne -- Bella Vista, AR -- 5, 14-10 -- 31 -- $2,500
Day 1: 4, 10-09 -- Day 2: 1, 04-01

71. Jesse Tacoronte -- Kissimmee, FL -- 5, 13-07 -- 30 -- $2,500
Day 1: 4, 09-10 -- Day 2: 1, 03-13

72. Rick Clunn -- Ava, MO -- 5, 12-00 -- 29 -- $2,500
Day 1: 3, 06-02 -- Day 2: 2, 05-14

73. Brandon Cobb -- Greenwood, SC -- 6, 11-08 -- 28 -- $2,500
Day 1: 3, 05-07 -- Day 2: 3, 06-01

74. Dale Hightower -- Mannford, OK -- 5, 11-07 -- 27 -- $2,500
Day 1: 1, 01-13 -- Day 2: 4, 09-10

75. Bill Weidler -- Helena, AL -- 4, 10-05 -- 26 -- $2,500
Day 1: 3, 07-15 -- Day 2: 1, 02-06