Windy predictions

It doesn’t take much wind to make Lake St. Clair—and any of the Great Lakes—turn into a frothy mess. That already happened during the three-day practice preceding today’s start of the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year tournament. Guys reported being unable to cross the plate-shaped lake. Practice plans were wrecked by the wind. And it hasn’t really even began to blow. 

Take a look at the National Weather Service forecast and it predicts the wind to shift from the northeast to the east. When the switch happens later this afternoon the winds are predicted to be 10 to 13 mph with gusts to 20 mph. 
This graphic gives you an idea of what is in store for the anglers. That is a rough ride all around. Safety is number one and we have 50 of the best boat drivers in the sport. But what it’ll come down is two things. One, being able to get to a good area. Two, if you get there boat control and lure presentation will be a huge challenge. 
What makes the wind a relative term up here, is unlike the manmade reservoirs in the South, this lake is wide open and exposed to the wind. When the wind rolls across this lake it causes the waves to build, and build, and build more. It’ll be interesting to find out how much the wind plays into the strategies of the anglers. 

Lake St. Clair forecast

TODAY:

We'll stay dry throughout the morning and into the start of the afternoon hour, but rain chances will start to creep up after 1:00 pm. Skies will start partly to mostly cloudy with temperatures around 56 degrees at take-off. Clouds will increase during the day and the daytime high will be around 65 degrees. It will be a breezy day at times as winds will be out of the northeast to east at 10-15 MPH with gusts up to 20 MPH at times. Dewpoints will stay in the mid-50s and the chance of rain tops out around 30% before the end of the fishing day.
MONDAY:
We'll have a chance of showers during the morning hours but those chances will diminish and the afternoon hours will be dry. Skies will start off mostly cloudy with the temperatures in the lower 60s. Clouds will decrease throughout the day and we'll end up with mostly sunny skies with a high in the upper 70s. Winds will be out of the southeast to south at 5-10 MPH. Dewpoints will be climbing from the upper 50s to the lower 70s as more humid air will be moving in. Chance of rain will be around 40% to start, but that will be decreasing through the morning hours.
TUESDAY:
A big difference in weather conditions as we'll start off the fishing day in the lower 70s at take-off along with dewpoints right around 70 degrees. With that being the case, we may have to watch for some fog during the morning hours. It will be a partly to mostly cloudy day with a small chance of showers and thunderstorms creeping in during the afternoon hours just before the end of the fishing day. Highs will top out in the lower 80s. Winds will be out of the southwest at 10-15 MPH with gust up to 20 MPH at times. The chance of rain only tops out around 30%.

St. Clair is three tourneys in one

It's an Elite Series three-ring circus on Lake St. Clair the next three days. The year-end Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship not only wraps up a) the Angler of the Year title, and b) Elite Series qualifiers for the Bassmaster Classic, but it's also c) a 50-angler tournament with a trophy and a $25,000 check for the winner.

We'll try to help you keep your eyes on all the prizes. Of course, the AOY championship race will be the No. 1 focus. But there's a whole lot of drama at the other end of the scale, where a half-dozen or so anglers are trying to get inside the Classic cut-off of No. 42 in the AOY points standings. Here's where that race stands entering this tournament: 

Rank    Angler                          Pts.      

39th       Todd Auten                    554       +18

40th       Cliff Prince                     552       +16

41st       Tyler Rivet                     538       + 2

42nd      Paul Mueller                   536       ---

43rd       Jake Whitaker                 534       - 2

44th       Kelley Jaye                     530       - 6

45th       Skylar Hamilton              530       - 6

46th       Derek Hudnall                522       -14

47th       Chad Morgenthaler          512       -24

Every Elite Series angler will tell you if he finishes the season by earning a Bassmaster Classic qualification, he considers it a success. To put it bluntly, we’re looking at the success/failure line here, and Paul Mueller is sitting on the hot seat. He’s that last man in the Classic cut now. 

“I’m fishing for a Classic spot,” Mueller said Saturday. “I don’t know what I need to catch per day. Well, 19 or 20 pounds will do it, but anything less than that and you’re jeopardizing your whole season.”

Mueller said he had one good day of the three-day practice period, where he could have weighed about 19 pounds. But the strong winds that churned Lake St. Clair every day of practice limited just how much of a game plan Mueller could put together.

“You always want to have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C,” he said. “I really don’t have a Plan B, and I certainly don’t have a Plan C.”

Detroit from above

Great view of Detroit and the south entrance to Lake St. Clair.

Update by Gregg Johnson

Surf St. Clair with Hunter Shryock

Hartman's practice

Zaldain's monster muskie

Day 1 practice a little windy for David Mullins

Hudnall starts practice

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