2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Northern Divisional
Mississippi River - Ft. Madison, IA, Aug 10 - 12, 2011

It’ll be over when it’s over

Ed Harp
Greg Heindselman (Illinois) is all smiles as he heads towards the spot that’s put him in first place. Regardless of what happens today, he’ll almost certainly win his state’s individual angler race. He’s currently leading by nearly 13 pounds.

The fellows who predicted that weights would be cut in half the second day weren’t that far off. Click here to view the Day Two Team standings. Limits dropped from 17 to seven, total fish from 230 to 177 and the gross weight went down almost 100 pounds to 345 pounds, 1 ounce. But that was then. This is now.

The water’s not dropping as fast as it was; and the fishing pressure, although still a factor, isn’t any heavier than it was Wednesday or Thursday. Add to that the fact that weather changes are on the way, and you’ll quickly realize this one is far from over.

“I think the most important factor in catching them today will be having different water depths available,” says Greg Heindselman (Illinois), currently leading the pack by the slim margin of 1 pound, 5 ounces. “You need to be in a place where there’s deep water and shallow water. That’ll give you — and the bass — options.

“When the water drops, or the pressure gets heavy, or they move shallow with the front, the bass will have a place to go that’s nearby but still close enough that you can find them. I have no problem telling you that my spot goes from the shore to 15 feet. I’ve had to hunt around for them every day but they were there. As near as I can tell, none of my fish left. All they did was pull off the bank a little ways. They’ll still be there today.”

Heindselman’s not especially concerned about falling water or angler pressure — unless he has a handful of boats sitting on his spot when he gets there — but he is taking note of the weather changes that are on the way. In his opinion, they could be a big factor as the day rolls along.  

He points out that for the first two days the weather was stable. But today there’s a front moving in, and it’s supposed to start raining this afternoon. That could change things by scattering the bass, putting them on a feeding frenzy, or by shutting them down.”

“Predicting bass behavior when the weather changes is almost impossible. I’ve seen it go every way imaginable. There’s always one thing you can count on, however. When the weather changes, the bass change. If that happens today, it could be anybody’s tournament.

“Let’s face it: There are enough anglers within striking distance that just a few pounds could allow any of a dozen of us make a big move. A lot of guys can win this thing. It’ll be over when it’s over.”

Click here to view the Day Two Team standings.

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