Palatka, Fla., resident Cliff Prince likes warm, sunny weather as much as anyone. However, Prince was disappointed to see it arrive this week on the St. Johns River for one simple reason: It took away his edge over the 74 other anglers in the Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite.
“If it would have stayed cold, I feel like I would have had a pretty good advantage,” Prince said. “I wasn’t planning on 80 degrees three days in a row. The nastier the better for me.”
The warm weather brings the spawning bass factor into play in a big way. Prince was banking on his years of fishing the St. Johns and knowledge of deep structure like shell bars giving him an advantage in pre-spawn conditions.
“I know 50 places offshore, where some of these guys might know two,” he said.
Now everyone is on a level playing field, with a chance to swing for those home run 8-pounders on spawning beds, which always decide these St. Johns River events.
“It’s going to take a heavier weight than I originally thought to win this tournament,” Prince said. “Someone will have over 25 pounds on the first day and back it up with 18 the second.”