Staying sharp with Mueller

“Any cast could be a giant here,” Paul Mueller said Day 2 of the 2020 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. John’s River.

As he continues to ply a creek that’s north on the river towards Jacksonville, Fla., the bite is far from fast, but he’s ready to set the hook at any moment.

“I know there are plenty of fish in here — big ones, too. With the spawn so near and the moon full last night, I guarantee you fish are staging along the edge preparing to move in and spawn,” he said. “It’s about keeping a bait in the water and keeping your mental game on track. It could happen any second.

“The funny thing is, and something you have to mentally prepare for, you could likely get key bites in specific areas that you’ve already fished once. Going back over that sort of stuff can mess with your mind.

“Again, stay sharp,” he added.

As he was working down the edge of the pads, he mentioned that two of his larger fish today came from the outer edge of the vegetation.

“As the day goes on and more water is pushed in here with the rising tide, the fish will move shallower and the bite will improve,” he surmised. “Most of my fish yesterday came in the afternoon, and things are just about right today. The water temps are just about where I need them, 59-60 degrees. I’m feeling good and ready to put a kicker or two in the livewell.”

Mueller pulled up his trolling motor and quickly moved deeper into the creek.

“When I get into a few spots up the creek here, I’m going to slow down and punch,” he said. “That’s how you get a big one to bite, and that’s what I need.”