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2012 Elite Series St. Johns River Showdown

Preview

The 2012 Elite Series season opens up in Florida and 10 rookies will get their feet wet. The stakes at the St. Johns are high: a $100,000 first prize, an instant-in for the 2013 Classic, and points. Awarded on a sliding scale according to event finishes, points are important because they determine postseason and 2013 Classic qualifications as well as the season’s Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year award.

Tour Review

KVD day 3 pre launch check in

Day 2 afternoon report

Kevin before launch: day 2

KVD after day 1 in Florida

 

I didn’t get off to a great start on Day One (43rd place with 12 pounds, 12 ounces), but I’m hardly out of it. I’m around enough big fish to still make a run at this.

Most of the guys who had big bags also had a giant fish. I didn’t catch a giant, but I feel good about what I’m doing. In fact, I caught one in practice that would have pushed 12 pounds and I’ve seen some that were as big – or bigger – than that.

Floridais known for its big bass but the St. John’s has some scary freakazoids, like the one I looked at today that looked as wide as my Toyota Tundra truck!

In fact, seeing so many big fish probably hurt me today. I got caught up in trying to catch fish that wouldn’t bite. I spent an hour and half on one over 10 pounds that obviously wasn’t in the mood to bite.

I could tell that when I first saw her by the way she was acting. But I simply couldn’t resist, and that’s what happens to an angler fishing Florida during the spring. I kept trying different lures and presentations, and I wasted precious time.

Another frustrating thing about fishing down here is how the big ones come and go from an area. I started in a place where I had seen big females during the last practice day – only hours earlier – and they were simply gone the next morning. Yet, I know today (Friday), they could be back.

The fish that I weighed in Thursday weren’t locked on beds. I was just casting around areas where they were cruising, which is what I plan to do again today. I’ll go to those places holding quality fish to cast around while looking for a giant on a bed that will bite.

I just can’t allow myself get caught up in that and burn a lot of clock like I did the first day.

That will be my biggest challenge, because this place is just so mesmerizing. It’s amazing some of the things you see swimming out there in that clear water – gar, mullet, needlefish, stingrays – you name it. If it swims in fresh and saltwater, it’s here. In fact, during practice, I saw a manatee!

Of course, it’s big bass I’m after and there are plenty of those. Before the week is out, I’m gonna catch me one.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

KVD before day 1 in Florida

2012 Elite Series St. Johns River Showdown
St. Johns River, Palatka, Florida
Mar 15 - Mar 19, 2012

Leaderboard

1
Alton Jones - 75-19
1. 16-7, 2. 28-7, 3. 18-0
2
Todd Faircloth - 74-7
1. 15-14, 2. 20-8, 3. 17-7
3
Keith Combs - 71-2
1. 12-6, 2. 16-7, 3. 19-10
4
Brent Chapman - 67-8
1. 17-5, 2. 18-13, 3. 11-5
5
Skeet Reese - 64-5
1. 16-2, 2. 15-15, 3. 14-14
6
Terry Scroggins - 60-11
1. 14-0, 2. 18-4, 3. 13-5
7
Cliff Crochet - 58-6
1. 21-5, 2. 10-12, 3. 16-5
8
Greg Hackney - 57-7
1. 23-14, 2. 8-1, 3. 19-4
9
Randy Howell - 55-7
1. 14-10, 2. 18-1, 3. 11-1
10
David Walker - 55-2
1. 20-9, 2. 17-1, 3. 6-7
11
Dean Rojas - 54-6
1. 17-2, 2. 15-5, 3. 12-5
12
J Todd Tucker - 51-15
1. 24-0, 2. 9-9, 3. 10-6
24
Kevin VanDam - 37-11
1. 12-12, 2. 17-10, 3. 7-5

History & Notes;

Big Bass

Day 1: Greg Hackney 10-9

Day 1: Keith Combs 9-9