A Professional's Approach: Peter Thliveros On The Harris Chain

Peter Thliveros on the Harris Chain of Lakes

Sunshine Showdown follow-up: What happened with Thliveros?

 "I'd rather not divulge that information at this time."When you hear those words from a politician it usually means that they've been caught with their fingers in the cookie jar. But when you hear them from an Elite Series angler it usually means he's on fish.And so it is with Peter Thliveros at the Harris Chain, site of the first 2008 Elite Series event. When asked about his prefishing on the Harris Chain some 36 hours before the first cast, he'll admit to "putting together a pretty consistent pattern that's as plain as the nose on your face. It's slow and doesn't cover a lot of water but I think it'll put some bass in my livewell. I think it'll hold."OK, but what about the details, Pete?"I'd rather not divulge that information at this time."There may be good reason for his secrecy. The Harris Chain has been good to this man. In 2005 he won a Bassmaster Tour event here with a four-day total of 69 pounds, 4 ounces. That's no small feat on this collection of lakes and interconnecting canals that cover 76,000 acres. Fishing the Harris Chain over the years has been feast, famine and then feast again.Twenty years ago it was considered one of the premiere bass fisheries in the nation. Its central Florida, shallow and weed choked greenish waters harbored true giants, and plenty of them. But then disaster struck in the early 1990s. For reasons never fully understood, catch rates and average weights dropped — fast. It didn't look good.But that was then and this is now. The Harris Chain is back.This is a good fishery. There are plenty of bass here if you can figure out how to catch them. I'm impressed with the number of bites I've been getting. The trick is to find the right combination of water and technique," Peter T opines. "That might sound obvious, but that's the way it is here. If my pattern holds and I stay focused on the details, I should be OK."Well, Pete, what are those details?"I'd rather not divulge that information at this time."But then he goes on to point out that most of the fish are in the spawn or postspawn stage. He believes plastics are the key under those conditions, especially in a place like the Harris Chain."If they were all postspawn it'd make more sense to throw hard baits — something like a lipless crankbait. But that's not what's happening here. I'll be fishing with plastics."Of course, that tells us absolutely nothing about what he's going to do. Peter T mostly fishes with plastics anyway. That's hardly news. His name is virtually synonymous with the Carolina rig, and there's a never ending array of soft plastic bass baits on the market.Give us the details, Pete. What will be your go-to bait on Thursday morning?"I'd rather not divulge that information at this time."And when asked if he's having any problems with the surrounding landowners — that's been a problem in the past on the Harris Chain — his reply is cryptic."They get my blood pressure up, and so I avoid them."Does that mean he's fishing open water away from the shoreline and canals?Come on Pete, details! Are you fishing against the shore, in the canals or in open water?"I'd rather not divulge that information at this time.But he will divulge information about the weather.

 "Shallow Florida waters are front sensitive. The bass can turn off quickly with unstable weather here. But I think these bass are so committed to the spawn that the weather won't affect them. And besides, it's supposed to be fairly stable through Sunday. I'm not concerned with the weather. It won't affect my pattern."And he'll divulge information about what he thinks it'll take to win this one. "Based on what I'm seeing, I'd say it'll take maybe 25 pounds to make the first cut and another 15 or so to get to the final day. On Sunday you'd better have another 17 pounds of bass in your sack if you expect to win. OK Pete, if you won't tell us anything else, at least tell us if your pattern will put those pounds in your livewell?"I'd rather not divulge that information at this time."

 

Sunshine Showdown follow-up: What happened with Thliveros?

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