Guntersville is truly one of America’s all-time great big bass factories, and it’s played host to B.A.S.S. events with about the same frequency Vegas hosts prize fights. And when the Elite Series was here in 2010, it was an absolute post-spawn slugfest and longtime Toyota Bonus Bucks participant John Crews was right in the thick of the boxing match.
Skeet Reese threw the final punch in 2010, catching 100 pounds of bass in four days to win, but Davy Hite and John Crews stayed squarely in the fight.
So as the Elites blasted-off for Day 1 Friday morning, Crews reflected clearly on how it all went down nine years ago, and how he expects it to go this week in 2019.
“The offshore bite in 2010 would have scored a 9 out of 10, but this year, for Guntersville, I’ll rate it a 3 out of 10 -- which is about the equivalent of a 5 out of 10 on most reservoirs,” says the Salem, VA pro who owns Missile Bait Company.
In other words, Crews is by no means saying it’s terrible here where the Tennessee River carves a bass infested path through the Southern Appalachians. Twenty-pound limits will still be plentiful, but fans probably shouldn’t expect the megabags pros like him pulled from these waters nine years ago.
“I caught 99% of my bass that week on a Spro Little John DD which hits bottom in 16 to 18 feet of water, and most of the bass were positioned at about 12 feet,” he recalls fondly.
Crews weighed in a jaw-dropping 28 pounds on Day 3 of the 2010 event, and says he fished a very clean and efficient derby with no regrets, despite a bass that was well over 10 pounds jumping off ---an image that’s still hooked clearly in his memory.
“I’ll commit to fishing deep today, but I’m only on a couple schools of fish, not the strong schools we saw here nine years ago. You could catch 12, 15, 20 bass off one spot that year, but this week, I think it will be a ‘one here-one there’ kinda deal,” predicts Crews.
He netted $20,000 for his high finish nine years ago, plus a fat Toyota Bonus Bucks check, maybe this week Crews will have to fight a little harder but don’t bet against him landing his share of leaderboard busting jabs, and a shot at the $100,000 top prize.