Benton's early departure for an early arrival

I write this watching Drew Benton kick dust up behind his truck driving across an open pasture in front of Elite Series pro and Palatka resident Cliff Prince’s house. Benton is headed north to his new Georgia home in a big hurry. He has family business to attend to.

His boat is covered, unhooked and parked awaiting his return.

Day 1 of the 2020 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River was cancelled due to high winds that would have made for very dangerous boating conditions. This is especially true during the afternoon when the pros would have been landing their boats at a launch that will be receiving the brunt of the blustery winds.

The right call was made by B.A.S.S. officials, as no bass is worth risking lives.

That means a day off for the 88-angler field. Well, for the most part anyway. Many of the Elite Series anglers will take advantage of the free day by rigging more rods, finish rigging their boats for the season, a nap or a round of golf, perhaps. Regardless of what activity consumes their time while boats are on trailers, the tournament will carry on when conditions allow.

For Florida native Drew Benton, the day might provide an opportunity for him to be by his wife’s side during the early birth of their second son.

“Amanda was originally due on February 28th, which would have worked well between the second Elite event on Chickamauga and the Classic,” he laughed. “She has been dealing with high blood pressure during this pregnancy, and last night the doctor decided it would be best to bring Colt Joshua Benton into the world a little early. She was given the medication to induce delivery early this morning.

“I haven’t been thinking about anything else since.”