DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

ELITE SERIES PREVIEW: LAKE SEMINOLE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/12/2014

Story and photos by Matt Pangrac and Dave Rush

Bainbridge, GA – The first Elite Series tournament of the 2014 season kicks off tomorrow morning on Lake Seminole, located on the border of Georgia and Florida.

After two-and-a-half official practice days, it appears as though the field of 108 Elite Series anglers that consists of 14 rookies will have several options that include sight fishing, flipping, and offshore grass flats.  

The weather is the real wildcard this week on Seminole, as stable warm weather over the past week gave way to rain showers on Wednesday morning and predicted high temperatures of lower 60s on Thursday with lows dipping into the upper 30s.

Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series
Fishery: Lake Seminole – Bainbridge, Georgia (March 13-16, 2014)  
Fishery Facts: 37,500 acre fishery located on the border of Georgia and Florida where the Chattahoochee River and the Flint River combine.
Previous Elite Series Winner: N/A (2010 Bassmaster Southern Open won by Trevor Fitzgerald with a three-day total weight of 44-2).  
Field Size: 108 anglers

KEVIN VANDAM
Would you be more surprised if it took 60-pounds or 100-pounds to win this week on Seminole?
“I would be more surprised if it took 100-pounds to win this week.”

Is there any other fishery that Seminole reminds you of?
"It is somewhat similar to some other places in Florida, but the fishery also has different elements as well. I would say it is like the Harris Chain crossed with the Arkansas River."

What are the odds that more than three fellow competitors will see you put your first fish in the livewell?
"I hope zero.  I really don't think I will be seeing anyone else where I am going to start."

How many fish will the winner of this tournament see before he catches them?
"I don't think the guy who wins this tournament will see any of the fish he catches."

Finish this sentence: The incoming weather change tonight makes me think…
"It doesn't make me think anything because these fish are ‘pot committed.’"

CASEY ASHLEY
What was the toughest think about practicing on Seminole on Monday after winning the FLW Tour on Hartwell on Sunday?
"It was hard to get up on Monday.  I actually just stayed home and got some sleep. I got here on Monday at around 2:00 in the afternoon and ended up missing most of the first day of practice.”

What is going to be the toughest thing for you on Lake Seminole this week?
"It looks like it is going to be a sight fishing deal, and I am pretty much behind the eight ball right now because I’ve had one less day to find them.”

MIKE McCLELLAND
Considering where you are fishing this week, what is your favorite song from the country group Florida Georgia Line?
“Dude, I don't know the names of those songs.  I’m thinking about the one that they sing all the time on the radio, but I just can’t remember the name of it."

There has been some talk about fishing in crowds this week.  How many other competitors do you think will be able to see you put your first fish in the livewell tomorrow morning?
"More than likely, nobody will be watching me where I’m planning on starting."

Would you be more surprised if it took 60-pounds or 100-pounds to win this week on Seminole?
"I would be more surprised if it took 60-pounds to win.”

SCOTT ROOK
You’ve had quite a bit of success fishing on river systems.  Does Seminole fish more like a lake or a river?
“I think that Seminole actually fishes a lot like a Florida lake.  I like how it fishes, because they are normally in my wheelhouse."

Is this a tournament where more heavy limits will be weighed-in during the first two days of the event or during the last two days?
"I think it’s going to be crucial to get off to a good start on the first day tomorrow.  That being said, we do have a full moon coming and more and more big fish are moving up each day. Even though we are going to have some colder weather, I don't think it is going to hurt the sight fishing that much.”

SKEET REESE
Would you be more surprised if it took 60-pounds or 100-pounds to win this week on Seminole?
"I would be more surprised if it took 100-pounds to win."

Is there any other fishery that Seminole reminds you of?
"I think it is like a combination of a lot of different lakes.  It has a lot of stumpy areas, with a great mix of a lot of different types of grass.  It is similar to some of the lakes in Texas I suppose."

How important is the boat draw going to be on day one?
"I have no idea right now. My best guess is that someone is going to have a magical little sweet spot offshore, so if that is the case I don't think the boat draw will really matter."

JARED LINTNER
Would you be more surprised if it took 60-pounds or 100-pounds to win this week on Seminole?
"It would surprise me more if it only took 60-pounds to win."

Is there any other fishery that Seminole reminds you of?
"To me, it sort of reminds me of Toledo Bend, minus a lot of the timber."

What percentage of the field will weigh in a fish over 6-pounds in this event?
"I would say probably around 30%.  It is tough for me to get bites, but when I do it is generally a good one."

When you go to bed tonight, how concerned will you be with catching a limit tomorrow?
"It doesn't matter whether I am going to bed or not, I am concerned right now about catching a limit.  It hasn't been easy for me so far."

BOBBY LANE
How would you describe the conditions on Seminole right now?
"You don't have to go far to find the fish, but you need to fish really slow to catch them."

What has been the most challenging aspect of your practice on Seminole?
"The most challenging aspect of my practice has been maneuvering through all these stumps out there."

What percentage of the winner's fish do you think he will see before he catches them?
"76 %"