EVANS, Ga. The 2008 Bassmaster Elite Series tour stages its fifth event of the season beginning Thursday with a stop at a familiar spot Clarks Hill Lake.
The 71,000-acre lake situated on the Georgia-South Carolina border has hosted an Elite Series tournament each of the past three seasons. The four-day Pride of Georgia presented by Evan Williams Bourbon begins with a 6:30 a.m. ET takeoff from Wildwood Park, which will also serve as the daily weigh-in site, beginning at 3 p.m. each day
The field will be cut to the top 50 after Friday's weigh-in and the top 12 after Saturday. Due to technical difficulties (the writer was late for his commercial airline flight, and the plane left without him), this is an abbreviated version of the usual pre-tournament pro angler survey.
1. Dave Wolak I believe Dave has located enough spots to win this tournament, and he's got several patterns to go with them.
2. Ish Monroe Because he's a really good bed-fisherman. I guarantee you he is starting finding bedding fish (Wednesday).
3. Kevin VanDam He is the best reaction-bait fisherman. If anybody is going to have enough confidence to put that trolling motor on high and start finding them, it's him.
1. Derek Remitz He'll keep that jig in his hand and swing for the fences. I've seen him a lot in practice. We're fishing a lot of the same stuff.
2. Mike McClelland I have to pick McClelland (who is also Kriet's roommate on the road). He won here last year, and he's off to a great start this year.
3. Aaron Martens Because there's got to be some fish out (from the shore). If anybody can find them, he can. He's good on lakes like this.
1. Skeet Reese Last year during the last two days he figured it out. I know where he's fishing, and it's good every year.
2. Mike McClelland Je can consistently catch them on a jig, and he'll put the time in to do it.
3. Davy Hite He knows the deal here. He's from this area, and he's fished this lake all his life.
1. Casey Ashley He's got vast local knowledge, and he's done well here before.
2. Kenyon Hill He's dynamite at catching post-spawn bass, and I think most of the big ones are already done (spawning).
3. Randy Howell Uf there's a strong sight-fishing bite, he's good at it. Plus, he's good at adjusting (his pattern) too. I think he'll excel here.
1. Jeff Kriet He's probably fishing with as much confidence and a mindset to win this tournament as I've ever seen in him before.
2. Casey Ashley Because of his local experience here.
3. Derek Remitz He's just solid. He did real well here last year. I watched him most of the tournament last year. And he knows the water I fished last year.