OKEECHOBEE, Fla. – Known for its monstrous bass, Lake Okeechobee in late March looks to be prime and ready to exceed expectations. Bassmaster.com decided to take a poll at the Day One launch of the 2012 Elite Series Power-Pole Slam to see if the Elite anglers think it will take under or over 100 pounds to win the event.
Here's what they had to say:
Kevin VanDam: "Under, it's not fishing even close to that good and it's not even a question in my mind."
Brandon Palaniuk: "Under, it'll be close but I think with the wind it’s going to fish real small where the big ones are. So, with the crowding and all, it will cause it to be under."
Chris Lane: "Over. The winds will cause the fish to group up a little bit. I think the guy that makes the right decisions to hit the milk runs can bust 25 pounds or more real quick."
Skeet Reese: "I have no idea; I'm from California."
Charlie Hartley: "Over, I fish here quite a bit. I know what lives here and I know how good these guys can fish."
Alton Jones: "I'm going to say under, but just under. I think it'll be in the 90-pound range. We're on the tail-end of the spawn, and the fish are going to be skinnier."
John Crews: "Under, but barely. It's really hard to catch 100 pounds in four days. You have one bad day where things don't happen then you have to set records almost to put it together for four days."
Mike Iaconelli: "I think it's going to take right at 100 pounds, but if I had to take a guess I'd say just a hair under 100. We're dealing with postspawn fish right now, and they can be moody. If this was a little earlier or little later, I'd say over for sure."
Brent Chapman: "Under for this event because that's a big feat to beat. It may happen, but I haven't seen it. I'll take my chances with 90 pounds."
Fred Roumbanis: "That's hard to say. You know, the wind really has a lot to do with it but I think the 100-pound mark is possible. I came in with 62 pounds in two days last year and still didn't break that mark because I had one bad day. Doing it for four days is tough, but I'll say over."
Chad Griffin: "I think there's probably going to be eight to 12 guys who really whack ‘em. I don't know if we will break the 100-pound mark, but it could be close. I just think we have too many postspawn fish right now. There are still some bass on beds but we should see a lot of 13- to 15-pound bags brought in."
Chris Zaldain: "I've never been here before, but I would say under right now. A couple of big bites a day mixed in with some 2- to 3-pounders puts you right at about 21 pounds; I think it's going to fall under.”
Fletcher Shryock: "Under, absolutely under with this weather. Not because I'm not catching ‘em; it's just a lot of weight."
Dustin Wilks: "Yes, over. There are so many big fish in this lake; someone is going to find them. It might even take 120."
Kyle Fox: "It'll be close but I think it'll take over 100 pounds. This lake has ‘em; it's just a matter of stumbling across the right ones."