The Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River is in the books and Chris Lane pulled out the victory due to a big 2nd day of fishing. He had a huge bag of 37 pounds and 9 ounces and won by 14 pounds 4 ounces. Sixth place was won by a tenth of an ounce. The anglers did have some off limit areas, with the biggest being Rodman Reservoir. A large group, 57 boats, were fishing in Lake George on one small grass bed at one time. Some avoided the crowd and went off in search of less pressured bass. The St. Johns can be an unforgiving river, but it can also be so rewarding. You never know where the big girls are going to be, but it is truly an amazing and beautiful river to fish. Just look out for the alligators.
A really great friend, angler, and Christian, Preston Rogers, had the pleasure of being the marshal for Cliff Prince, Ish Monroe, and Jason Williamson. Wow, what a great experience. Preston is no stranger to fishing as he fishes several tournaments in Central Florida himself and is sponsored by Crème Lures, Death Shimmer Spinnerbaits, Flip in the Bird, and Maverick’s Trading Post. You can check his profile out on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/1dC6jE2 Two big things he learned from his experience over the 3 days was 1st, that the Hydrowave is a must have fishing instrument. The Hydrowave is “a patented electronic sound device that emits the natural sounds of bait fish and predatory fish feeding on them. Together the sounds produce an instinctive response in nearby predatory fish.”
The second thing is that patience is the key. “These guys never panic or if they do they keep it hidden. I would say the friendships I made are priceless. When you spend all day in the boat with a pro urging him on all day, they appreciate it and you make a friend for a lifetime.”
Day one found Preston riding with Cliff Prince. He had a 5 fish limit for 12.8 pounds on that day, but the big story was the big one lost at the boat, a sure 7 pounder. He was fishing on Little Lake George at the time. He had caught some 4 and 5 pounders there in practice. In case you didn’t see it, Preston captured it on his GoPro. You can see it at http://bit.ly/1iJBjkz Preston said that Prince “couldn’t make them bite his crankbait and rattle trap type bait, or a hard jerkbait or even topwater.” And “you could see them especially after he turned on the Hydrowave. They started schooling but wouldn’t hit anything.” Prince also fished some canals around Dunn’s Creek, “but there were already boats in the canals who had an earlier take off time.”
The second day was spent with Ish Monroe. Ish struggled on this day, only managing a 3 fish stringer of 4.7 pounds. “I was given a lesson in Frog Fishing from Ish even if he didn’t catch many. The lesson was worth gold.” Ish was one of those that went far from the crowd in search of less pressured bass. He just never found the big girls to put into the boat’s livewell that day.
On day 3, Preston was with Jason Williamson fishing in Lake George. Jason really kept Preston busy, as Preston had to log in every fish caught into BassTrak. “Jason was catching them sometimes faster than I could log them into BassTrak. We logged every fish, even if it didn’t measure. BassTrak kept up with all the fish and we had to log in what he kept and the estimated weight. BassTrak sorted it out so you knew how many fish they caught and how many were keepers and how many he culled.” Preston said that it was “pretty easy to operate.”
I can’t tell you all the sweet secrets Preston learned, nor can I tell you how he will apply them to his own fishing. But I can tell you that he will be a better angler from this experience. I would love to hear all the secrets Ish shared about frog fishing for my own benefit. Preston stated, “I would recommend everyone who can, to go be a Marshal.” Preston, great advice. Thank you.
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