Governor, pro anglers coming

Published 8:57 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2010

THE MEGA RAMPS are ready for the governor Wednesday and professional anglers here beginning Thursday.

From all over the country, professional bass anglers have converged on Lake Seminole for the last stop on the Bass Pro Shops Southern Open Tournament Trail beginning Thursday.

On Wednesday, Gov. Sonny Perdue will be at the Earle May Boat Basin to cut the ribbon to the new mega ramps the City of Bainbridge constructed with the help of money from the governor’s Go Fish initiative.

At stake is a top prize of nearly $50,000.

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But more importantly, this tournament will decide the two anglers that qualify for the 2011 Bassmaster Classic in Louisiana where the top prize is worth $500,000.

AMONG THEM are Andy Montgomery, who is one of the points leaders for Angler of the Year. Montgomery is pictured after his win at Smith Lake in Alabama.

Angler of the year points leader Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C., and Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., are currently securing those two places.

But their lead is tentative, with the likes of Ott Defoe and Davy Hite waiting for the slightest mistake to slingshot past the leaders.and

Anglers will have a variety of cover to fish on this 60-year-old U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s lake. The main lake and portions of all three rivers are covered in a mix of hydrilla, milfoil and peppergrass.

The upper parts of Spring Creek and the Flint offer rocks and fast-moving water for those adventurous enough to take the challenge.

Then there is the thing that makes Lake Seminole famous, the trees. Standing timber from times past cover the 38,000 impoundment in water from 40 feet to 6 inches.

Professional angler Ben Todd of Pierson, Fla., said, “It all looks good, but there are subtle differences that make some grass beds better than others. The key will be to figure out what those differences are and exploit them.”

Not only do the anglers have a multitude of cover options, they will be faced with cooling air and water temperatures that followed one of the hottest summers on record.

But these guys are good. And Lake Seminole is known for big fish.

Look for sacks in the low 20s to dominate the first day, but quick drops as the week progresses.

Also at stake at this event are the seven invitations for anglers to compete in the 2011 Elite Series.

Currently, those spots are held by Andy Montgomery, Bobby Lane, Ott Defoe, Davy Hite, David Kilgore, Jason Knapp, and Terry Scroggins.

The professional and amateur anglers will compete Thursday and Friday with the field cut to the top 30 anglers for Saturday’s competition.

Blast-off and weigh-in will be held at the Earle May Boat Basin in Bainbridge at 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. respectively.

The awards for Classic and Elite Series qualification will be given out on Saturday, Oct. 9, after the weigh-in.

Mike Prindle, a fishing guide on Lake Seminole, may be reached at, or (850) 508-8915. He may also be reached at through his Web site,