DEL RIO, Texas — The 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series tour begins its fourth event of the season Thursday with a second-straight stop in Texas, this time at Lake Amistad.
The Battle on the Border presented by Mahindra Tractors challenges the 109 Elite Series pros with different conditions than they've seen the last two years at Amistad and clear water, unlike what they found in the slugfest at Falcon Lake last week.
In the first two seasons of the Elite Series, the tour started on Amistad in March. Pre-spawn fish were the major factor then. However, post-spawn is the dominant pattern now at Amistad, although sight-fishing will also be a factor here.
The field will be cut to the top 50 after Friday's weigh-in and the top 12 after Saturday. The 9 a.m. ET take-offs and 5 p.m. weigh-ins will be held at Diablo East Marina.
Fifteen pros were asked to pick the three most likely winners of the $100,000 first-place prize in the fourth of 11 Elite Series tournaments this season.
1. Dean Rojas — He might have some on the beds, but the wind may hurt him.
2. Kelly Jordon — There's some out deep, plus he can catch them pretty well anywhere.
3. Fred Roumbanis — The swimbait bite.
1. Kevin VanDam — He can win anywhere. He's awesome with a reaction bait in the wind. Somehow he gets a bigger bite than everyone else on the same bait.
2. Alton Jones — He knows these waters really well.
3. Aaron Martens — In deep, clear water, he's very good. Plus, I think he's still mad about last week.
1. Kevin VanDam — A spinnerbait and wind, he's tough in those conditions.
2. Kelly Jordon — He's got great eyes, and he can catch big fish.
3. Steve Kennedy — He's got a great thought process around here. He's just been rock solid.
1. Kevin VanDam — Because we're supposed to get a lot of wind and he can figure them out in that situation.
2. Steve Kennedy — Because the swimbait is always king here.
3. Jimmy Mize — Because if anyone can find a school of toads out deep, it's Jimmy Mize.
1. Mark Davis — The same reason he caught them last week. It's going to take an offshore, post-spawn bite to get the bigger fish.
2. Derek Remitz — Because he's fishing offshore. The way he caught them last year will work out well this year.
3. Fred Roumbanis — There's going to be some caught on a swimbait, and if anybody is going to catch them on a swimbait, it's him.
1. Fred Roumbanis — Swimbait.
2. Steve Kennedy — Swimbait.
3. Me — Swimbait.
1. Kevin VanDam — Because he's so versatile. It's going to be a matter of adjusting, and he does that better than anybody else.
2. Aaron Martens — He's a good deep water fisherman.
3. Derek Remitz — Because he won here last year and he knows this lake.
1. Derek Remitz — The man can fish a jig, and he's patient.
2. Todd Faircloth — He made the cut here last year, and he's been catching 20-something pounds a day.
3. Mike Iaconelli — He's working hard, and the harder you work the better you're going to do with the way the bite is.
1. Mark Davis — He's a real good post-spawn fisherman, and this lake isn't fishing anything like last year.
2. Kevin VanDam — The wind is going to be blowing, and he catches them when it's like that.
3. Steve Kennedy — He has history here.
1. Jared Lintner — He's a real good spawn fisherman, and he's real good at everything else too.
2. Guy Eaker — Because I've got a feeling. He's found some good fish.
3. Dean Rojas — Spawning fish.
1. Kevin VanDam — Because of the way he fishes. He adjusts as good as anyone out there.
2. Aaron Martens — He's a good clear-water fisherman.
3. Edwin Evers — He's another good clear-water fisherman. He can catch them on a drop shot or a jig in clear water.
1. Aaron Martens — He's just good in clear water.
2. Fred Roumbanis — This place fishes like those California waters, and he's done well with a swimbait here.
3. Jared Lintner — Again, this is like California waters, and he can catch them here.
1. Byron Velvick — He's hot, and being local he'll have an advantage here.
2. Kevin VanDam — Because when the wind starts blowing it sets up for how he likes to fish.
3. Kenyon Hill — Because he's on a roll, and it might set up well for him too.
1. Derek Remitz — Because he won here last year.
2. Aaron Martens — He's a good deep-water fisherman.
3. Dean Rojas — He's always done well here.
1. Steve Kennedy — I know he's going to catch some swimbait fish.
2. Ish Monroe — He's won here before, and he's throwing a swimbait.
3. Jason Quinn — Because I know the area he's fishing.