In April, the Southern Opens move to Dandridge, Tenn., and Douglas Lake, April 4-6, where a 2012 Elite tournament that brought “long lining” to the attention of the bass fishing world. Opens anglers will be there during the prespawn this year, so the bass should be shallower and the catches even heavier.
The final event of the Southern Opens season will be held on Lake Logan Martin out of Pell City, Ala., May 16-18. It will be the first time B.A.S.S. has visited the lake since 1998. Prior to that, it was the site of three Bassmaster Classics, including the closest in history — the 1997 world championship that was won by a single ounce.
The legendary James River out of Richmond, Va., is the site of the first Northern Opens of the 2013 season, June 13-15. Three consecutive Bassmaster Classics (1988-90) were held on the James, and it has been a regular stop on the Opens schedule since 2011. This year, Joshua Wagy earned his berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic with a win on the James.
From Virginia, the Northern Opens trail travels to New York’s Oneida Lake out of Syracuse, Aug. 1-3. This will be B.A.S.S.’ ninth visit to Oneida — all since 2003 — and the reason is simple: The bass fishing is outstanding. Anglers have the choice of world class smallmouth or largemouth fishing, and limits are usually plentiful.
The Northern Opens wrap up on big water — Lake Erie out of Sandusky, Ohio, Sept. 12-14. Erie is not just a Great Lake, it’s a great lake! Five-pound smallmouth bass are seemingly everywhere, making it arguably the best bronzeback water in the world. Big brown bass, big water and big waves will make this a great finale.