Not just frogs at Upper Miss

The Elites were at the upper Mississippi River in Wisconsin the exact same week last year, so they have a lot more confidence this time around – meaning they have expectations. They think they know what the fish will be doing and how to catch them. Let's see what BassGold tells us about that.

The Best Baits

From that graph you can see that topwaters – frogs and similar baits – are most effective on the river this time of year. But that graph also tells us other things, like:

  • Many different baits and techniques work, a useful reminder particularly when you skim the pattern details and see how the top five Elites fished last year: Only three focused on the topwater bite.
  • Moving baits seem to be more prevalent.

Where to Catch 'Em

The sheer variety of baits that can do well could indicate that the fish aren't concentrated in any one particular place, but the Macro Factors graph tells us the opposite.

That shows most anglers have done well in backwaters and along the shoreline, which can also mean backwaters depending on how the pattern info is reported.

The Habitat Factors graph in a BassGold Pattern Report for this time of year on the upper Miss shows that it's mostly about grass, though wood is good if you can find it. Word is there may be less grass this year due to a late spring, but one great thing about BassGold is that it shows cumulative info over time – meaning different conditions are automatically taken into account.

Mid-Teens Needed

Last year's Elite Series tournament was tight weight-wise, with only a 0.75-pound per day difference between first and fifth place. So far there's nothing to indicate it won't be tight again, with anglers needing to average around 15 pounds a day to do well.

As always, we have to bear in mind the X factor: Elite fishermen. Occasionally Elite fishermen win doing things outside the norm (though most of the field is right in line with trends BassGold shows) and win with weights that are higher than average. Those possibilities are just one reason these tournaments are so great.

Check out, a B.A.S.S. partner. The more time you spend with it, the more you'll get out of it. Save 15 percent on the one-year subscription price by using code BASS132 (case sensitive) when you sign up. Note that BassGold offers a three-day free trial.

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