With the rescheduling of the Bassmaster Classic to late March, there remains the possibility that at some point we’ll have conditions collide such that the fish want to be nowhere else but on the bank making babies. We didn’t get it at Conroe, and with water temps reportedly in the lows 50s right now in South Carolina, I’m guessing that won’t be a dominant pattern this year, either.
I’m not saying it won’t happen – because the derby is still almost two weeks away and the weather could heat things up in a hurry – but even under the most optimal conditions I doubt that an angler will amass the majority of his winning weight by catching fish he can see.
The odds are simply against it. Not only do you need perfect weather leading up to the event, but you need pretty darn good weather on the tournament days, including relatively clear skies and little wind. Complicating the matter is that you can expect just about every bass freak in South Carolina and surrounding states to be out there in their boats, stirring things up and making running and gunning difficult.
If you can remember back to the 1998 Bassmaster Classic on High Rock Lake, a summertime event that most people expected would be won deep, Denny Brauer won by pitching tubes and jigs to shallow cover because he found the right population of fish past a shallow mud flat. He had to idle over it gingerly, and thus the ‘taters couldn’t overwhelm him. I’m sure such a place exists on Hartwell, but the chance that it has a winning population of bedding fish behind it seems unlikely.
If it does happen, though, it’ll make for some awesome viewing, both in person and on BASS Live. Can you imagine working a recalcitrant 8-pounder on Championship Sunday with 300 of your new best friends rooting you on from a shouting distance away? Can you imagine the four-letter words you’d be forced to withhold from a worldwide audience when you broke that fish off? Working that fish for hours against a dwindling clock, with the biggest trophy of your life on the line, would require a serious dose of testicular fortitude.