Beatin' the Bank: 2019 St. Johns River BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank: 2019 St. Johns River BASS Elite

Fishing in February on the St. Johns River can mean feast or famine, rarely anything in between. It’s all dependent on the weather. If a severe cold front moves in, forget about it. But if temperatures are on the rise, you better make sure your tackle is up to the task.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2019 BASS Elite Series Preview

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2019 BASS Elite Series Preview

When Major League Fishing announced their new Bass Pro Tour, many of the sport’s biggest names signed up. That dramatically reduced the rosters of B.A.S.S. and FLW.

In a move to improve its position, B.A.S.S. introduced significant changes to the 2019 Elite Series format. Among the more impactful were a reduced field of competitors, lower entry fees and higher payouts.

Beatin’ The Bank with Bernie Schultz: Lessons Learned 2018

Beatin’ The Bank with Bernie Schultz: Lessons Learned 2018

When B.A.S.S. first released the 2018 Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, I saw plenty of opportunity. Most of the venues seemed perfectly suited to my style of fishing, and I was anxious to get things rolling.

Unfortunately, with each passing event that optimism faded. In the end, I was left with the worst season of my 30-plus-year career.

Card's Catch - Big Water Fishin'

Card's Catch - Big Water Fishin'

Every summer the Bassmaster Elite Series heads north, and that means big waves and big smallmouth. It is a fun way to fish but it also takes additional preparation to make sure my boat and the gear I use to tackle those big bronzebacks give me the best possible chance at success. Here are a few things I do to make sure all of my equipment is ready for the big water.

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Upper Mississippi River BASS Elite

Beatin' the Bank with Bernie Schultz - 2018 Upper Mississippi River BASS Elite

Entering this event, my expectations were high. The Upper Mississippi is thick with vegetation and other forms of shallow cover, perfect for my style and approach. In fact, my first trip to LaCrosse was particularly rewarding. The frog bite was off the hook, and I finished well within the money.