GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. — Predictions of 20-pound bags being enough to win at Lake Guntersville was reinforced after Day Two. There was some movement in the standings, but what's the real lowdown on the lake?
Bassmaster.com asked Troy Jens, one of the top guides on the lake with more than 11 years of experience. Here's his analysis of the second-day's action of the CITGO Bassmaster Elite Series Southern Challenge:
The weatherman threw a curve to Jens, who believed the storms would inhibit those who did well bedfishing on Day One.
"The weather was mis-forecast. They missed it by about 200 miles," Jens said of the storm front that moved north.
"It turned out to be pretty nice. The winds weren't bad. We had periods of sunshine, which played into the hands of the guys bedfishing. They did better than expected.
"And the topwater bite is remaining strong. Those guys are starting to catch some pretty good fish, so the weights might turn out to be a little higher than expected."
Jens likes the leaderboard, and said he believes the winner should come from the top competitors, despite a Day Three forecast of more storms.
The weather, it might slow some of the guys down," Jens said. "Those in the top 6 to 8 are going to remain strong. They've probably got their adjustments.
"I still think there will be some 20-pound bags. It will be somebody in the top-six that stays strong and pulls this thing out to win it. I'm looking at the experience of these guys, Alton Jones, Todd Faircloth, Mike Iaconelli, Kevin VanDam, Timmy Horton, Dean Rojas; that's great experience. They're great with adjustments."
Adjustments will be key today, Jens said, especially for those counting on bedded fish.
"I still think someone on bedding fish, is going to plummet," he said. "Two days maybe, three and four days, I don't think so."
That's why Jens likes the chances of Horton, who is fishing humps and ledges.
"I still like Timmy. What he's doing on open-water fish, he's real strong. I know the fish that Timmy and Alton Jones are catching are pretty consistent in weight," Jens said. "I know Iaconelli had a big fish that jumped him up, but you can't count on that.
"VanDam made a pretty good comeback. He must have figured things out today. I think Dean Rojas has a shot, too. He's really good at putting things together on these grass lakes."
Storms were expected overnight and through Day Three, which could complicate fishing for some who aren't prepared to make the right moves.
"They're just going to have to play the weather by ear, minute-by-minute, and I mean minute-by-minute," Jens said.
"We have variable winds, and they'll have to make adjustments. With the wind, they'll have to have places to go to be able to catch fish."