That prediction is based, in part, on the field’s chances of hitting the spawn at the right time.
“We have a full moon coming, so there’s going to be a wave of fish coming in shallow, and a wave of fish that have already spawned will be moving back out. That could help split up the field between shallow and deep water, which will help everybody.”
Another factor could spread the field out: Lower water has encouraged growth of bushes as they follow the receding shoreline.
“Those green bushes keep fish in the shallow water longer,” he said. “That helps scatter the fish — and the field.”
Productive patterns could involve a wide array of techniques, Elias said, from spinnerbaiting, flipping, pitching, shallow and deep cranking, Texas rigging, jigging — name it, it could produce, he said.
Prince said that based on his research, he predicts the tournament title will be won by the angler who concentrates on offshore patterns, such as working the ledges.
Elias plans to give deep water a try. “I’m probably going to stay out,” he said. “It’s definitely my style of fishing. I’m comfortable with that and feel good about my chances to do well.”
Besides $100,000, the Slam’s first-place prize includes an instant entry in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic and 100 points toward the 2013 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award.
Fans who want to watch the second event of the Elite season can come to the Zapata County Public Boat Ramp (3079 County Road, Zapata, TX 78076). Fans can watch the pros take off at 7:15 a.m. CT and weigh their catches beginning at 3:15 p.m. CT. All Bassmaster events are free.
Bassmaster.com will provide extensive coverage of the event all four days. Features include streaming video of the weigh-ins, real-time leaderboards, the Lowrance War Room, blogs and BASSCam video from the water, Toyota Hooked Up! shows and BASSTrakk catch reports. Access to all Bassmaster.com content is free.
The event’s title sponsor is Rigid Industries of Mesa, Ariz., maker of LED lighting products for vehicles and boats; www.rigidindustries.com. The local sponsor is the Zapata County Chamber of Commerce; www.zapatachamber.com.