After three days of practice on the Tennessee River this week, some of the anglers who competed in the 2019 Bassmaster Classic were asked to make a comparison. The unanimous opinion was that this week would be tougher. The ’19 Classic was held March 15-17, and here we were in late February after a major cold front.
Generally, that prediction has come true. This has been a bear of a bass tournament for most of the field. Only 29 of the 100 anglers caught a five-bass limit on the first day, 39 of 100 the second day and 16 of 50 (32%) on Day 3.
It is interesting to compare the top 10 final weights of the three-day ’19 Classic and Day 3 on the Tennessee River this week: Ott Defoe won that Classic with 49 pounds, 3 ounces; Jeff Gustafson led after three days this week with 48-13. Fifth place in the Classic was 41-12; yesterday’s Day 3 fifth-place weight was 34-11. Tenth-place in the Classic was 34-15; 10th place yesterday was 32-5.
Finally, kudos to Brandon Card for his ability as a prognosticator. Here’s what he said Wednesday evening: “Somebody in this tournament is going to catch a 20-pound bag one day. I think it will take 60 pounds to win.”
Steve Kennedy caught a 20-pound, 14-ounce bag yesterday. Tournament leader Jeff Gustafson unofficially has 61-3 with four keepers so far today.