2012 Elite Series Green Bay Challenge Lake Michigan - Green Bay, WI, Jun 28 - Jul 1, 2012

Lake Michigan fishing small

Boundary makes for some tough decisions

The weather, in particular, the wind, will determine just how unsettling.

"Yesterday it was beautiful," McClelland said. "I ran across the bay at 68 miles-per-hour. But if the wind is blowing, you can't average but 12 to 20 miles-per-hour.

"There goes half your day, and that's if you don't make any mistakes."

Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., is third in the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Year points race, 23 points behind leader Brent Chapman of Lake Quivera, Kan. This is the seventh of eight Elite Series events that will determine the AOY title. Howell has spent a lot of time trying to determine a game plan for these unusual circumstances.

"It's very concerning, for sure," Howell said. "It's nerve-wracking. Everybody is fishing the same area. The last two miles of the boundary, it seems like that's where everybody has been (in practice)."

Howell has added all the gear necessary to handle rough water, including a 50-inch-shaft trolling motor and a five-blade prop. He has also spent considerable thought about lure selection, believing it might be the difference in what will become the heavily-pressured waters south of Sturgeon Bay.

He has also considered fishing closer to Green Bay, in the Fox River. But Howell, like most everyone else, doesn't really believe the tournament can be won there.

"Right now, I really don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow," Howell said.

When B.A.S.S. announced a "mystery lake" as the next-to-last stop on this season's tour, it was an acknowledgement of founder Ray Scott's early concept of taking the anglers to compete where they'd have no chance to practice or study the patterns of previous tournaments.

But it seems the mystery now is how to make the best of a bad situation.

Daily 6:30 a.m. take-offs and 3:15 p.m. (Central Time) weigh-ins will be at Metro Bay Launch, 102 Bay Beach Road, Green Bay. On Saturday and Sunday, the Green Bay Challenge Family Festival will open at Noon.

All Bassmaster events are free.