A look at Elite venues A look at Oahe Posted on June 29, 2018 Photo: B.A.S.S. - Ish Monroe was the surprise winner at La Crosse, Wis., and should have plenty of momentum for the quick turnaround this week. The Elites venture west to South Dakota for the seventh stop on tour, the Berkley Bassmaster Elite at Lake Oahe presented by Abu Garcia. Photo: Courtesy Wesley Strader - Before making the eight-hour trek, Wesley Strader and wife, Stephanie, have some fun Sunday at the huge bluegill statue at Onalaska Lake. Strader, who won an Elite and an Open this season, finished 12th on the Mississippi River. Photo: Courtesy Zona's Awesome Fishing Show - With back-to-back events, the start at Oahe was pushed back to Friday, with Monday serving as a travel day for most. Not Minnesota angler Seth Feider. Nope. He was a willing victim, er, participant on Mark Zonaâs popular Zona LIVE day of fishing on Bassmaster.com. They figured out the fish on a lake near Feiderâs home then Zona displayed his hair-cutting skills (not sure if he practiced on his twin boys, his dachshund or his shrubbery) on a consenting Feider, whoâs wife wanted to clean it up afterward. Photo: Courtesy Steve Kennedy - Steve and Julia Kennedyâs crew had a normal family experience, turning this northern swing into somewhat of a sightseeing vacation. Here the kids, Sophia and SJ, look over La Crosse from the observation area on Granddad Bluff, almost 600 feet above the city. Photo: Courtesy Steve Kennedy - On the 530-mile trip from La Crosse to Pierre, S.D., the Kennedys made a few stops, one of which was at the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth, Minn. The 55.5-foot-high statue erected in 1979 was meant to draw visitors off the new I-90 that went around town. Still works. And eat your vegetables. Photo: Courtesy Steve Kennedy - Another piece down the road is the Corn Palace in Mitchell, S.D., which is a multi-purpose arena of unique design. The building is decorated with murals made from corn and other grains, and it attracts 500,000 people a year. Such âcrop palacesâ began in the late 1800s on the Great Plains as areas promoted themselves and their âgrains.â Sounds corny. Photo: Courtesy Steve Kennedy - Here the Kennedy kids are caught in silhouette around sunset, which happens to be 9:30 p.m. this time of year. And itâs also just an awesome photo, another capture of what the family should remember for some time. Photo: Courtesy Ott DeFoe - Ott and Jennie DeFoe also made some memories with their children, Abbie, Parker and Lizzie. Ott, who narrowly missed the Top 12 cut for the third time this season, overshot Lake Oahe by a couple hours to visit the famous Badlands and take shots with spectacular backgrounds like this. Photo: James Overstreet - James Overstreet, whoâs been taking incredible photographs of the Elites for more than a decade, is known to take jaw-dropping landscapes. This one here was created when he woke up way before the sun rose so he could get into position âfor the juice.â Ah, freshly squeezed. He said it was âkinda like hanging out on another planet.â Photo: Courtesy Marty Robinson - The Robinsons also followed the Elites western expansion with a visit to the Badlands National Park, where Marty photographed his wife, Iris, in the one of the most unique and beautiful places the Elites have ever visited. Photo: Courtesy Marty Robinson - Inside the Park is Mt. Rushmore, and Marty just had to get a shot of his rig with the national landmark in the background. âMount Rushmore wasnât really on the way to Lake Oahe, but it was close enough! South Dakota is amazing!!â Just wish he would have gotten closer. Photo: Courtesy Marty Robinson - Oh, wow, they did get closer, and sons Marshall and Mitchell join mom and dad for a shot in front of the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, which offers majestic carvings of (from left), George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Itâd be that much cooler if there was an even closer shot. Photo: Courtesy Eric Lopez - And there it is. Leave it to Eric Lopez, the B.A.S.S. director of events, to get as about as close as visitors can get, and for taking a nice shot. Lopez said it was âdefinitely cooler than the hall of presidents at Disney.â Photo: Courtesy Steve Kennedy - Oh yeah, almost forgot thereâs a derby this week. The Kennedys made it to Oahe after getting plenty of eyefuls, and theyâre getting plenty more at the fourth largest reservoir in the United States. Oahe, pronounced oh-WAHâ-hee, is a 370,000-acre reservoir of the Missouri River that has 2,250 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 205 feet. Steve reported the kids said âit looks like the ocean.â Photo: The action this week starts north of the South Dakota capitol of Pierre. The Spring Creek Resort & Marina serves as site for the 6 a.m. daily takeoffs, which begin Friday on Day 1 of the tournament. All B.A.S.S. activities are free of charge. Fans are welcome to come watch the anglers launch their boats, take off and return to take their rigs to Pierre for the weigh-ins. - The action this week starts north of the South Dakota capitol of Pierre. The Spring Creek Resort & Marina serves as site for the 6 a.m. daily takeoffs, which begin Friday on Day 1 of the tournament. All B.A.S.S. activities are free of charge. Fans are welcome to come watch the anglers launch their boats, take off and return to take their rigs to Pierre for the weigh-ins. Photo: Visitors can follow the anglers from Spring Creek into town to Steamboat Park, a 17-mile trip, where the weigh-ins will be held daily at 3 p.m. Again, free. The Outdoor Expo will be held at Steamboat on Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. The field will be cut to the top 50 after Saturday and then only the Top 12 go out on Championship Monday. - Visitors can follow the anglers from Spring Creek into town to Steamboat Park, a 17-mile trip, where the weigh-ins will be held daily at 3 p.m. Again, free. The Outdoor Expo will be held at Steamboat on Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. The field will be cut to the top 50 after Saturday and then only the Top 12 go out on Championship Monday. Photo: Here’s a NASA view of Oahe, and why many say it looks like a dragon. The Elites should breath some fire into the fishing there, which helped Oahe get ranked 20th in the Central Division of Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes this year. - Hereâs a NASA view of Oahe, and why many say it looks like a dragon. The Elites should breath some fire into the fishing there, which helped Oahe get ranked 20th in the Central Division of Bassmaster Magazineâs 100 Best Bass Lakes this year. Photo: Courtesy Corps of Engineers - Oahe Dam, part of which is an earthen dam, backs up the Missouri River for some 231 miles up to Bismarck, N.D. Named for the Oahe Indian Mission that was established by the Lakota Sioux in 1874, the power plant provides electricity for much of the north central U.S. Photo: While Oahe is famed for walleye, here an angler shows off a 30-plus pound king salmon caught on the lower lake and weighed at Lynn’s DakotaMart. - While Oahe is famed for walleye, here an angler shows off a 30-plus pound king salmon caught on the lower lake and weighed at Lynnâs DakotaMart. Photo: Courtesy Chad Pipkens - Chad Pipkens did some pre-practicing on Lake Oahe and was kind enough to give us a report. Photo: Courtesy Chad Pipkens - Pipkens' initial reaction to seeing the lake for the very first time was that it was ârad looking.â Agree. Photo: Courtesy Chad Pipkens - As he cruised around, he came to the conclusion that âLake Oahe is insanely unique and very secluded â¦ with zero cell service and rarely a boat in sight.â Uh-oh. That doesnât bode well for Bassmaster LIVE. Photo: Courtesy Chad Pipkens - But he did say the fishing should be off the hook. Or on it. âI got a feeling this Lake Oahe is going to be something special! Got bored of driving around and graphing so put the trolling motor down for about 10 minutes and had three or four about this big on or in the boat.â Reports are the lake is loaded with smallmouth, and there are some largemouth, and the best five-fish limits are expected to top 20 pounds. Photo: Courtesy Chad Pipkens - Pipkens had to leave us laughing. âAny thoughts what these rare northern albino water buffalos are thinking? Haha. Pretty sure these beasts havenât seen too many bass boats!â Photo: Courtesy Matt Herren - The 107 Elites were allowed to practice all day Tuesday and Wednesday but were required to come in Thursday afternoon for registration and the angler meeting. From the looks of the light Matt Herren reported at 10 p.m. at night, many of the Elites got in full days. Photo: Wikipedia - On Friday, the best of B.A.S.S. will take on a new fishery, and the event is certain to garner great interest. Even if cell service if limited, the Bassmaster LIVE crew hopes to put on good shows Saturday through Monday beginning at 9 a.m. ET. Be there.