The recent Elite Series tournament at Winyah Bay was presented as a binary choice – do you make the long run to the (assumedly better) fishery in the Cooper River, or stay close and get more fishing time? Within those two choices, though, there were strategic elements that had the potential to derail even the “proper” choice.
We’ve reached peak velocity in the professional fishing world, with all three major tours holding events this week on three distinctly different venues – a TVA grass lake full of monsters, a southern smallmouth impoundment, and a massive river system that demands game day strategy as much as fishing skill.
As I write this on Thursday night, there’s still a lot of fishing left to go before we declare a Winyah Winner, but if Carl Jocumsen manages to hold on after a killer first day, it’ll be his first B.A.S.S. win. Every winner gets deflowered at some point, but it’s becoming increasingly rare at the tour level.
I’ve never been to Winyah Bay nor have I never talked to any locals about it. While I’ve discussed it with a few Elite Series pros who ventured there before it went off limits, none of them gave me any details, nor did I have any meaningful expectation that the 110 best sandbaggers in the world would do so.