You have to appreciate the mind of Minnesota Elite Series pro Seth Feider, who creatively announced the birth of his child last week.
In his Facebook post Aug. 11, he wrote wife, Dayton, and Violet Callahan Feider, were doing fine, and he welcomed his second daughter into the world as his “new PB (personal best) human.”
“She’s a little bigger than the first one,” he said. “I think Rose was 8-3. This one was 8-12.”
Feider kissed all the girls goodbye Friday as he left for this week’s YETI Bassmaster Elite at Lake St. Clair, site of his victory last year in the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship. After leaving the stage, trophy in hand, Feider fulfilled his promised offseason goals to kill some greenheads and expand his family, but there’s one landmark mentioned there that might not come to fruition … at least not yet.
With the top three bags of the AOY event, Feider totaled 77 pounds, 15 ounces, which put him on pace to become the first to top 100 pounds of smallmouth, if it were a four-day event. This week’s event is four days, but the prospects of a Century Belt are slim, he said.
“It’s not happening,” Feider said. “I’m just basing it off local tournaments, taking 23, 24 pounds to win a one-day team tournament. You stretch that out over four days, and that don’t add up to 100.
“It’s not impossible, but I doubt it. You’ll see a 25-pound bag, but you won’t see four from the same dude. There’s going to be a couple 24s, but you mix that with a 19, an 18, and then you’re back to reality.”
While he’s still shooting to defend his title, Feider said it’s a different St. Clair this time, starting with being held six weeks earlier. Also, Canada’s waters are off limits due to its Quarantine Act compelled by COVID-19. More than half of St. Clair is out of play, although B.A.S.S. will allow anglers to venture into U.S. waters in Lake Huron. The southern boundary is the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit.
“We don’t have that much water this time,” Feider said. “Lake Huron is a big ol’ wild card. It might get won out of there, but I’ll never know because I’m not going. From my understanding, there’s some fish around the mouth, but the truly good Huron stuff is farther than I want to drive.”
With many areas in St. Clair not considered fishable, Feider believes the lake will fish small. He expects many in the field to find the same groups of fish but beat up those areas the first two days. He thinks the winner will need to have other areas in his back pocket.
“I think you’ll have to find some sneaky things. I think there’s going to be a couple of big schools that have half the field sitting on them, and big bags will come out of those big schools,” Feider said. “But you’re going to have to have a couple, smaller, sneakier deals to win. Hopefully I can find some big fish, but I might be catching them around other boats the whole time.”
That scenario makes managing any schools trickier, if possible at all. Feider said even if he catches five nice ones, it’s not like the sea of boats drifting around the hot spot will cool their heels. So his hopes of leaning hard on the school with the others then unleashing secrets on the final two days might have potential.
“It’s not like the next dude will stop fishing. It will be interesting,” he said. “The only place I might find in practice might be the biggest community hole on the lake, I might not have an option. Time will tell. That’s what I’m looking for — places to yourself. It’s going to be hard to do though. There’s not a lot of water in St. Clair you can fish.”
Last year, Feider found himself sharing his rock pile on the south end of the lake. He was fortuitous on Day 1 to find himself alone on a community hole and catch 26 pounds, 12 ounces, including the event’s big bass of 6-12. Then he plied his main school the next two days to the tune of 24-13 and 26-6, even letting others come join in on the fun.