Few followers of the Bassmaster Elite Series will be surprised to see Edwin Evers (3rd unofficially, as of this posting) towards the top of the leaderboard today. Nor will those who have competed against him in February tournaments on riverine reservoirs. Aside from a bomb here in 2004 (119th place), Evers has been aces in February on this kind of water – third in a late-February 2005 Bassmaster Tour tournament; 5th and 8th in the late-February Classics on the Red River.
Take a walk around with us for an insider's view at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo.
We made a run up the lake on a search for several anglers near Saulty Creek, only to see numerous boats heading back down the lake. It looks like the late scramble to find a few more fish is on.
Watch Fred Roumbanis bring in a 9-pound Guntersville monster on this GoPro video.
There's no shortage of American coots on Guntersville. I almost ate one at 50 mph when a flock flushed in front of the boat earlier today. But the odd black waterfowl, which give the appearance of walking across the water when flushed, also are an indicator of potentially good fishing spots. Coots eat aquatic vegetation, so it's typical to see them congregating near areas of thicker concentrations of grass. I've noticed several large flocks near areas where anglers have been fishing throughout the day. Find the coots, and you may find the bass.
Most of the spectators have been very respectful of the anglers, but there has also been some gray area activity. Fred Roumbanis finally left his area and before he was a mile away four boats went in where he'd been fishing and started graphing. Four of them left, but one went in and started fishing. There's nothing that says he can't do that, but it seems shady to me. Five minutes later Fred buzzed back in past him and started fishing the far end of his stretch.
If unofficial Classic co-leader David Walker didn’t jump out at you as a favorite in this Classic, you’re not alone – his Fantasy Fishing ownership was right around 5 percent. But data indicates Walker was a great pick – the best in Fantasy Fishing Bucket B, for sure. He finished sixth and ninth here in two previous February tournaments, and fourth and 13th on two comparable riverine reservoirs in a similar time period. He also placed fourth here on Guntersville in a summer tournament.
We've caught up with Gary Klein again. Usually when we see him his Triton is doing 70-plus. He ran way up the lake this morning and it must not have paid off. He's dragging a jig at the moment, making short casts and hopping it. He's been hung up once which leaves us to believe that he's fishing specifc targets. The spot is a perfect prespawn location with grass and easy access to both deep and shallow water.
I just picked up James Overstreet from shooting in Fred's boat. Turns out the on-the-water scuttlebutt was wrong and BassTrakk was right -- he DOES have 5 fish. Two of them are small, though, just 2-pounders. Culling with a good one would be huge.
We went back where we saw Casey Ashley fishing this morning. He is still there and he has the place to himself. He also has 19 to 20 pounds in the box. He's fishing the same type of bait, looking confident, fishing methodically with steady hands. We watch him for quite awhile before he catches one about 2 pounds. He tosses it back. "I got into a pack of them around 11 o'clock," he says. "I need a big one bad."