Palatka native son Cliff Prince appears to be a longshot, at best, going into Monday's final of the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at the St. Johns River. Prince was the last man in the final, taking 20th place with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 6 ounces. He trails leader Paul Mueller by 11 pounds, 4 ounces.
But this is the St. Johns River, where Rick Clunn was 11 pounds, 13 ounces behind the leader going into the last day a year ago and came back to win. In other words, everybody's got a shot Monday. Granted, it will take something like the 34-pound, 14-ounce bag the Clunn caught on the final day last year for someone like Prince to win. But it's not unprecedented.
The were four limits weighing 30 pounds or more caught in the four-day event last year. The big bag after two days this year is Patrick Walters' 22-15 today. But the St. Johns River is oh so close to breaking out in full spawning mode. Water surface temperatures climbed into the mid and upper 60s on Sunday. And more big bass hit the scales, topped by Kyle Welcher's 10-1, followed closely by John Cox's 9-13.
Monday should make for a fun day.