EVANS, Ga. — On the opening morning of the Pride of Georgia presented by Evan Williams Bourbon, emcee Keith Alan apologized on a loudspeaker for waking up campers near the dock, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Casey Ashley belted out a surprisingly good rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and ESPNOutdoors.com hit the pros with three questions.
The queries were, How much weight will be required to lead the first day of the tournament? To what extent will sight fishing be a factor in this tournament? And what percentage of the 107-man field will weigh five-fish limits on the first afternoon?
Lead weight? I'd say 20 pounds.
Sight fishing? Like a 50 percent factor. Some guys will catch them doing that, if they target them.
Limits? There will be a lot of limits. I'd say 80 percent.
Lead weight? I'll be looking for 20 pounds. I'll be happy with 17 or 18.
Sight fishing? Today there will be some caught. After today, it's going to go down. It'll be a factor, but they'll be small fish.
Limits? Fifty. Well, it's 12 inches. Sixty.
Lead weight? I'll say 19 pounds.
Sight fishing? I think it'll be a small factor.
Limits? Seventy-five percent will catch limits.
Lead weight? I think the lake will give up one of those mid-20-pound bags. Maybe low 20s.
Sight fishing? It's gonna be a factor, but not the factor it could have been if we didn't get tha
40 mph wind on Monday.
Limits? I still have to believe that the confidence we have, fishing the places we've fished, that 85 percent will have limits.
Lead weight? Nineteen, 19 ½.
Sight fishing? Today it may help some guys out with some bigger bites, but I haven't seen enough fish to last three days.
Limits? Ninety percent.
Lead weight? Somebody will catch 20 pounds.
Sight fishing? No.
Limits? Half. There will be a lot of threes and fours. This place is subject to turn on, and 80 to 90 percent may have limits.
Lead weight? With this caliber of fisherman, you'll probably see an 18 to 20 pound bag — maybe even bigger.
Sight fishing? It will definitely be a factor but not as much as people had anticipated.
Limits? I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't have 90 limits today
Lead weight? Somebody will catch 20 pounds, but it will drop off big time after that
Sight fishing? There will be some sight fishing, but there just aren't many big fish on the beds.
Limits? There will be a lot of limits caught, they'll just be small
Lead weight? 18 to 20 pounds
Sight fishing? I think somebody in this tournament will get on the sight fishing bite. Some of the bigger ones that got pushed down by the storm should move back up and somebody will find them.
Limits? I think about 50 percent of the guys will catch limits. I'm not confident I'm going to be one of them.
Lead weight? After today, I'll 18 or 19 pounds will be leading. Somebody will get a few good bites in an area or a spot.
Sight fishing? There are bed fish., but I've looked hard this week and I haven't seen any big ones. And the ones that are there are very spooky.
Limits? I'll say there will be 73 limits.