AdvBassStats: Eufaula

The 2023 Bassmaster Opens and Opens Elite Qualifier (EQ) season kicked off at Lake Eufaula, AL March 2-4
Eufaula should be the coldest water temp the Opens field sees this year. It also has the shortest end-to-end length, if you don’t count about 50 miles of the Chattahoochee River leading into the Lake. That reduced ride times.
The Lake is near the lower end of the surface area column, but has a very high proportion of shoreline, which was a saving grace when 225 Opens pros and 117 co-anglers started looking for places to fish.
Day 1 at Eufaula delivered excellent weights for a 225-angler Opens field. Justin Barnes led the field, dredging his fish out of deeper water with a big crankbait. A huge front blew through on Friday and canceled fishing, meaning the whole field would fish for the championship on Saturday. Weights dropped off dramatically on Saturday, with the field average slipping by 1.7 pounds. There were still fish to be caught though, as John Garrett showed with an event-best 27-6 bag.
A deeper look at Day 1 shows how good it really was. 12 pounds is considered a strong target for Opens anglers to reach for as they pursue Elite Series qualification, but a 12-pound bag on Day 1 earned a bottom-half finish. 
Comparing to last year, only Oneida delivered a higher Day 1 average weight, and Oneida didn’t have nearly the top-end potential – 10th place after two days at the Oneida event was more than 5 pounds less than Eufaula.
Barnes was able to pair a Saturday 23-3 with his Thursday 25-6 to hold his lead over the field and win by more than 2.5 pounds. Almost 40 pounds was required for a top 10 finish and just shy of 30 pounds for a top 50.
We’ll be able to do more with the EQ AOY and measuring the race for Elite Series Qualification once we get a couple of events in.  Looking at the breakdown of EQ vs. regional anglers in this first event, we find a pretty consistent ratio and distribution, whether looking at top 10, top 40 or full field. The first win of the season goes to a Division angler, as Barnes is not registered for all nine events as an EQ angler. EQ anglers made up seven of the top 10 (70%), 31 of the top 40 (77.5%) and 173 of the 225-member field (76.9%).