The 2019 Bassmaster Elite at Winyah Bay will be the toughest event to compete in, and forecast, on the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule. It's an expansive and very diverse fishery that some anglers will find challenging and intimidating to both traverse and successfully fill a 5-bass limit on.
But those who do figure it out will have a lot of fun. But not just with the fishing.
Expect very long boat rides.
The weather looks pretty good overall, but rain is expected during a portion of two of the four official competition days. High temperatures each day will push the 80-degree mark, with humid conditions -- and some thunderstorms. That combined with the time of year could mean bedded fish, perhaps even some sightfishing if the conditions will allow.
With the Cooper River in play, there is the potential for 20-plus-pound bags, but not likely each day. Plus, after the event held here a few years ago, the "secret" is out on the Cooper, and you can expect a good portion of the field to make the 1-hour, 45-minute run from Winyah Bay proper.
That's the risk. All that driving reduces the day's available fishing time by nearly four hours, and the anglers willing to drive that far will need to stop for gas at least once. But that's the time factor to the overall risk, and the anticipated factors.
The tides? One has to consider that as well -- for the fishing and traveling. Just add that to the list.
The riskist part to that decision is the unforeseen: High winds and rough waters for the return trip that could surely slow things down, subsurface debris that could shear a lower unit from the motor and mechanical failure all could impact arrival and departure time.
All must be considered when making a long-range run like that. Is it worth it? Is the fishing that good up the Cooper?
By the sounds of it, the fishing is worth the run.
"The fishing is actually really good," an unmentioned angler commented during the rules meeting. "But its the run to and from that I'm worried about. I'm weighing the risk vs. reward at this one, and I haven't made the decision yet. I'll know at take-off if I'm going to make the run or not. The boat is fuled up and I'm prepared to go."
There is the chance for some very impressive limits, and there's the chance for few zeros. But as a fan, you're in for a treat. There is sure to be drama at this event, and for those who like a level playing field filled with unpredicatable conditions, Winyah Bay will show out for sure.
A difficult tournament like this seems to be built for the hardcore fans that follow the sport. Every minute something exciting coule happen.
Expect a shake-up in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race. Expect exciting Bassmaster LIVE, awesome photo galleries and blogs, and you can expect that someone will walk away from here the newest Elite Series champion. But that's a given.
And if you pay close enough attention, you'll likley learn a thing or two about confronting and beating the odds. That's one of the very best things about LIVE and the unparalleled extensive coverage Bassmaster is known for.
You'll not want to miss this one. It's guaranteed to be very exciting.