Warm weather hurt Prince

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.”