Yesterday Darold Gleason, the full-time Toledo Bend guide and veteran national level tournament pro, made the prediction that the Championship Saturday roster of 12 anglers will be dominated by local anglers. Or local, as in guys fishing regional events like the popular Bass Champs circuit.
So far he is right on target. Joey Nania of Alabama (third place) is the only regular fishing the Central Opens who is from outside the Texas/Louisiana zone of domination in the leaderboard. Gleason is 14th and moving up.
Of the Opens held thus far this season, this event has the most pros not fishing all four Central Opens. What that means is a potential leader faces the loss of qualifying for the 2021 Bassmaster Classic, a missed opportunity given the skills of those anglers.
The scenario also proves just how valuable time on the water is here, and especially when largemouth are concentrated in specific areas of the 114,500-acre impoundment. Local knowledge goes a long way toward eliminating water in a two-day elimination round leading to Championship Saturday.