The bass fishing at Winyah Bay has changed little in the three years since the Bassmaster Elite Series was last here. That’s based on the chart below, where the Day 1 weigh-in totals from the two tournaments are compared.
You’ll notice a couple of differences. Carl Jocumsen’s 2016 Day 1 bag of 19-11 is four pounds heavier than Jason Williamson’s 2019 Day 1 top weight of 15-11. And John Murray’s 8-pound, 9-ounce big bass in 2016 is almost two pounds bigger than Williamson’s big bass Thursday of 6-10. (By the way, that was the only keeper Murray weighed that day, and it put him in 42nd place.)
But, as you can see, the further the comparison goes down the standings the closer the two days mirrored each other. The average weight of the bass weighed-in is only one-tenth of a pound different. With the Day 2 cut to the top 35 coming after Friday’s weigh-in, it’s worth noting that the 35th-place weight on Day 2 in 2016 was 18-11. That might well be the cut-mark on Friday in this event.
Remember, there were 109 anglers on the Elite Series in 2016. That may account for the big difference in percentages of the field catching limits — 82.6% this year with 62 of the 75 anglers weighing five-bass limits vs. only 53.2% in 2016, 58 of 109.