Bassmaster Southern Open presented by Allstate, Jan. 23-25.
by Cara Clark / B.A.S.S.
(Jan. 21, 2014 – KISSIMMEE, FL.)…
The weather in Kissimmee was sublime last weekend with bluebird skies and balmy temperatures. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Shaw Grigsby even broke a sweat while practice fishing on Lake Tohopekaliga for the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open presented by Allstate, Jan. 23-25.’
“If the weather stays like it is now, it would be amazing fishing,” said Grigsby, who hails from Gainesville, Fla. “With these conditions, we could see a tournament like when Dean Rojas won quite a few years back.”’
’It was in January 2001 that Rojas won in Kissimmee with 108 pounds, 12 ounces, an impressive victory that Grigsby believes can be duplicated. With that win, Rojas also secured the all-time one-day catch record for a five-bass-limit tournament with 45-pounds, 2 ounces.’’
“This is a great lake ? one of the best lakes in the state of Florida because it has the big fish,” Grigsby said. “You have the potential to catch a 13-pounder with every flip, every pitch, every cast.’’
“The last few weeks, everyone has been saying it’s really tough fishing here, and the weights are down. But that’s not going to happen in this tournament. You’ll see normal stringers in the 12- to 14-pound range. Then you’ll see guys with over 20, and one guy who really gets on it and has a 30-pound stringer.”’’
Grigsby predicts that the cold weather, which may be a factor, will really only hinder the sight fishing. He anticipates the first morning of the tournament to be in the 36-degree temperature range, which will push the bass off the beds but not off the bite.’’
“I’m excited about it and looking forward to it,” Grigsby said. “The cool thing about this time of year is that you can catch fish doing it all. If you like cranking and doing that stuff, fine. If you like flipping and pitching, you’re good to go.”’’
Grigsby, who hosts his own television show, One More Cast, sometimes will film on Lake Toho and tries to visit the fishery at least once a year for the opportunity to bring in a monster bass.’’
“I like to sight fish in February when you can find 12-, 13- or even 14-pounders,” Grigsby said. “This is always a great place to fish.”’
’Boats will take off daily at 7 a.m. local time from Big Toho Marina, 101 Lakeshore Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34741. Weigh-ins on Day 1 and Day 2 will be held at the same location. On Saturday, the final weigh-in will be held at Bass Pro Shops, 5156 International Dr., Orlando, FL 32819.’’
’2014 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Title Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops’
’2014 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Presenting Sponsor: Allstate’
2014 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha’
2014 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series Supporting Sponsors: Boat U.S., Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano’
For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.’
’The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications ? Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times-comprehensive Bassmaster website and ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.’’
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series,’B.A.S.S. Nation events and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.
’B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala.