Southern Opens continues on Lake Norman

If back-to-back tournaments test an angler's stamina, what about three in a row?

About 20 Bassmaster Elite Series pros are in North Carolina this week for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on Lake Norman. They headed there immediately after two consecutive Elite Series tournaments in Florida.

A big carrot in the Open is the 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth awarded to the winner, not to mention the first-prize package of $10,000 and a Triton/Mercury bass boat rig valued at $45,000.

One of the Elite Series pros doing three in a row is Bradley Roy. Although he's 20 — the youngest in the Elite Series field — even Roy feels the need to take better care of himself so his energy level remains high.

"I've been giving myself an extra 30 minutes of sleep in the morning," he said. "I'm trying to eat right and not have dinner late at night. Then after I get my boat cleaned up, I go straight to bed. Eight hours of sleep every night is pivotal for this long a time on the road."

Roy is coming off two tournaments in which sight fishing was key. It's not what Roy considers one of his strengths, but he says his skills are progressing.

"I learned a lot about what fish do during the spawn in Florida, but obviously I didn't learn enough," said Roy, who finished 82nd at the St. Johns River Elite Series event and 64th at the Harris Chain of Lakes before that. "But what I learned isn't helping me out so far on Lake Norman because the fish I've found are prespawn."

He said he was finding bites during his Lake Norman practice session, which will wrap up Wednesday afternoon; the three-day competition kicks off Thursday morning.

From Lancaster, Ky., Roy will go home for a week before he heads to Florence, Ala., for the first of two more back-to-back Elite Series events. They are the April 6-9 Alabama Charge in Florence, Ala., and the April 14-17 TroKar Battle on the Bayou out of Many, La.