All the professional bass anglers are on the water today for the official practice day for the Bassmaster Classic on the Red River in Bossier City / Shreveport La. The day is warming nicely but has a strong breeze. Reports I’m getting from the eyes on the water are that most anglers are bouncing around quite a bit not spending too long in any given area.
Speaking with a few anglers, their general goal for today is to analyze the water and figure out where the best opportunities to catch up with migrating bass during the tournament will be. While they all claim the bite is tougher than expected, many are very excited that the weather conditions have timed out with the new moon phase and bass will be moving in, like cattle to fresh hay, through the days of the tournament. Today they are checking water clarity, water temperatures, looking for spawning grounds and travel routes. I don’t know how many baits will be cast, but I’m going to ask that question of a few this evening and tomorrow.
While many anglers give you a poor mouth story about how tough it is out on the Red River with the high water, muddy conditions, and swift current; those same anglers have big smiles on their face and just wink at you when you wish them good luck in the tournament. Sandbaggers? Well we’ll just have to see.
I’m still predicting that this event has the potential to be a record breaker in many ways. Shreveport and Bossier City have put a lot of effort into the accommodation for visiting anglers and spectators from across the country. Last time the Bassmaster Classic was held here, attendance records were shattered and still stand today. The weigh-in is being held at the same arena; however, I’ve been told there will be big screens on the outside for those that don’t make it to the stands inside. Last year that was about 3,000 people, and they are expecting even more this year.
Will the anglers break records in weights; that’s tough to say for sure. I think they will be very close. If the anglers that are on quality 4-5 pound fish can manage to hold that through three days and inside that three days catch one of the double digit bass lurking in the muddy, stump filled waters of the Red River, then the record will be shattered. It is completely possible and likely that the super six for this event will average around 4 pounds a bass. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a few anglers hit a five pound average on a day or two. It’s going to come down to the angler that catches a hawg. If the angler that is weighing strong, consistent stringers catches a bass around the double digit mark, I look to see 70 pounds total. So it’s going to be how the stars and moon align.
In 2009 Alton Jones had a 10 pounder on a bed that he had a chance at, even having the behemoth pick up his bait, but he was unable to get her out of the jungle of a river we call the Mighty Red. I’ll bet he has made his way back to this fish to see, if maybe, she is back for another battle.
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