Of all the events slated on this year’s Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, none was more concerning than Winyah Bay. Serving as the confluence to numerous rivers, this South Carolina tidal system can be unpredictable and stingy … even when the conditions seem right.
Of all the events listed on this year’s Bassmaster Elite Series schedule, I was most optimistic about this one.
That may come as a shock to some of you since my favorite fishery — the St. Lawrence River — is also on the schedule. And you know how much I like that place.
The reason I wanted Hartwell was the timing. It fell dead on the spawn, and I love to sight fish. And with more than 56,000 surface acres, I knew I’d find somewhere to fish by myself.
At nearly 40,000 surface acres, Lake Lanier is spacious and welcoming. Its beautifully sculpted shorelines feature countless points, pockets and coves — all comprised of rock, sand or clay.
The main body of the lake is deep and clear but to the north, the rivers feeding Lanier flow with a chalky stain.
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.