Bassmaster Southern Opens To Kick Off On Lake Kissimmee

Three-Tournament Series Provides Avenues to Classic, Elite Series

What's at stake: $166,250 in cash and merchandise to the top 30 pro anglers and valuable points towards qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic and Bassmaster Elite Series. The top 30 co-anglers will compete for $69,700 in prizes. This is the first event of the Bassmaster Southern Opens.

 The Pros Said It

"There are still a few fish that are spawning, but the big bulk of the spawn is done. There will still be a ton of fish caught this weekend and I believe that most anglers will be using post-spawn patterns. I would say that 17 to 18 pounds a day could put you in good position, but it could take more." — Mark Davis, 43, Ida, Ark., three-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year"It's freezing back in Indiana and I'm certainly happy to be fishing in my shorts and sandals here. This is my first time fishing in Florida so I will have to keep an open mind out there and just continue to search for new water. I do have a pattern that I could catch a limit on but certainly haven't developed anything yet to win the tournament." — Terry McWilliams, 57, Greenfield, Ind., recently finished in fourth-place at the 2007 Bassmaster Classic."It's much tougher than I thought it would be out here. With the full-moon phase approaching, a lot of anglers figured there would be fish on beds, but there just isn't that much. I think for an angler to finish well in this tournament, they will need to develop a supplementary pattern if they are going to sight-fish." — Clark Reehm, 27, Leesville, La.

 The Strategy

Davis said that he will primarily use a crankbait in 6 to 8 feet of water to fill his limit. While he figured larger fish would be available to catch on beds during the practice period, he still thinks that it will take a significant amount of weight, probably 25 pounds over two days, to make it in the top-30 cut.

 McWilliams: A Federation Nation representative in the Classic, the Indiana angler is working a similar pattern that he used at the marquee event where he scored a fourth-place finish. He is throwing a tube with a spinning reel and feels confident that he can catch a limit with the pattern. The Indiana angler is fishing for his first time in Florida, so he will search for new water during the competition days.

 Reehm: Reehm said that frogs and worms are effective baits on Kissimmee. He feels that 23 pounds over two days will be enough to land safely in the top-30 cutline. Reehm, much like many other anglers in the field, is still aware of the possibility conditions could change and make sightfishing more of a primary pattern. Reehm will remain adaptable and will change his pattern to match the conditions.

 Location and Field

 Bassmaster Southern Open

 Lake Kissimmee

 Polk County, Fla.

 March 1-3

 Field

 

Cut to top 30 after Day 2

 Launch & Weigh-in

 

14900 Camp Mack Road

 

Lake Wales, Florida 33898

 

6:45 a.m./2:45 p.m.

 

 

Background

 

Previous BASS events

 

2006 Bassmaster Tour

 

2005 Bassmaster Tour

 

1972 Bassmaster National

 

 

Previous winners on lake

 

Terry Scroggins, 39-9, 2006

 

Takahiro Omori, 50-11, 2005

 

Tom Mann, 47-15, 1972

 

 

Weather

 

Temperature

 

73 degrees

 

 

Lake level

 

11.6 feet above mean sea level

 

 

Local Sponsors: Local sponsor is Polk County Sports Marketing.

 

 

Bassmaster Southern Open sponsors: Toyota Tundra, Triton Boats, Mercury Marine, Purolator, Berkley, Advance Auto Parts, Lowrance Electronics and MotorGuide

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