Cobb holds on to Day 3 lead

ANDERSON, S.C. — For three days, the field has been waiting for Brandon Cobb to stumble.

It hasn’t happened yet — and now, they’re almost out of time.

Cobb caught five bass today that weighed 18 pounds, 5 ounces and held on to the lead for the third straight day in the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Hartwell. His three-day total of 55-6 gives him more than a 5-pound cushion over his closest competitors going into Championship Sunday and a chance at a rare wire-to-wire victory in an Elite Series event.

“I don’t know how many fish I went through today that weighed from about 2-4 to 2-11,” said Cobb, whose thumbs were red and raw from handling bass today. “I caught so many fish, but I just couldn’t find any big ones in the area I had been fishing.

“That’s why I finally decided to change areas.”

Cobb went to an area that he said was “new for this tournament, but certainly not new” to him as a bass angler on Lake Hartwell. He grew up fishing the lake and was actually a member of the bass fishing team for Clemson University, which is positioned on the banks of Hartwell.

Once he changed locations, he quickly caught his biggest fish of the day — a largemouth in the 5-pound range.

“I actually caught two pretty good ones out of that area,” Cobb said. “So, I might just change things up and spend all day in there tomorrow or at least go there a little earlier.”

Coming into the week, Cobb was afraid his history on the lake would serve as a detriment because a string of unusually cold nights and a steadily falling lake level has had the fish behaving strangely.