As the tour makes its way to West Point Lake in LaGrange, Ga., the southeastern-based anglers will get some relief ... at least from all the long-distance driving.
The tour visited West Point in 2010, and though the lake is known to be stingy on big fish, I had one of my best single-day Elite Series catches there. This reservoir may appear small, but in reality it's quite large. There are countless coves and creeks to explore; and at that time of year, the fish could be almost anywhere.
Determining the most productive depths and tactics will be the first order of business. But anglers will have to keep an open mind, as patterns can change quickly in a postspawn event.
From there the field will move just south to the Alabama River near Montgomery. With limited backwaters and a narrow river channel to work with, it could fish small. Fortunately, the patterns vary. Dean Rojas caught them frogging along shaded banks in the backwaters, while others cranked or flipped the main river. This is likely to be one of those keep-your-head-down-and-grind tournaments.
Weather could also play a factor here, as violent summer thunderstorms frequently pound this part of the country. The last time I fished this section of the river my boat was struck by lightening. The bolt was strong enough to fry my electronics and knock me off my feet. Alton Jones watched it all in disbelief from across the river.