OK, on to the next. The SiteOne Bassmaster Elite at Harris Chain will hopefully be a good one. The Strike King Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops kicked off the 2022 tournament season at Harris Chain a few weeks ago, and a duo from Kentucky Christian University brought in 61-plus pounds in two days. I hope the Elites have just as much luck, if not more, when they roll into town this week. I want conditions to be just right (slightly better for the anglers I pick, obviously) for a big bass showdown. That’s what we all want to see anyway, right? I heard the Bassmaster LIVE crew discussing the conditions for this event and debating if it would be won shallow or offshore — all I know is that it will be won on the lake, with a rod and reel and bait of some sort.
Before each event, I utilize the “Research” tab on the menu bar and look up past events. From there, I make a list of anglers that competed in those events and look up where they finished and pick my team based on averages, plus a few other factors. I love any excuse to make an Excel spreadsheet. With only 13 current Elite Series anglers having competed in the two previous Elite events held on the Harris Chain, research has proven to be a bit more challenging. I have had to turn to past results from St. Croix Bassmaster Opens tournaments for quite a bit of my data collection, the rest has pretty much been left to guessing. That tournament was held in March of 2021, so maybe conditions will be the same?
Table of Contents
BUCKET A: WALTERS
Since 2020, if the event has been held in Florida, Patrick Walters has finished 11th or higher. He came in third at the Harris Chain Open last year. Hopefully he has a top five finish again!
BUCKET B: POWROZNIK
I was stumped for this bucket until I looked farther down the 2021 Harris Chain Open results and saw Jacob Powroznik finished in eighth place.
BUCKET C: WILLIAMS
David Williams finished in 18th place during the 2021 Open at Harris Chain.
BUCKET D: HACKNEY
I picked Greg Hackney for the St. Johns event hoping he would have a similar finish to his 2021 tournament debut, but it did not go that way. I hope that by picking him again this week, his luck will turn around.
BUCKET E: FOUTZ
I like picking rookies as wild cards — not a consistent person, but a consistent rank. My friend and coworker Mandy Pascal picks Seth Feider for every event, no matter what bucket he is in. I can’t pick the same person every week, but I feel like by choosing a rookie I’m doing my part. My rookie pick for this week is Jacob Foutz … he finished fourth behind Patrick Walters at the 2021 Bassmaster Open at Harris Chain, so he has some familiarity with this body of water.
Drain the Lake
When we introduced the Mercury Bassmaster Drain the Lake Challenge last year, I knew right away I would have to make a spreadsheet for the entire year so I could see all events laid out with the full roster of Elites, and then fill in the tournaments — sort of like a Fantasy draft for my own team.
If you are one of the few who reads this and want this handy dandy spreadsheet, email me ([email protected]) and I will gladly pass it on. It is a color-coded Excel masterpiece.
For my Drain the Lake team I have:
- Steve Kennedy – He finished sixth in 2008 and 24th in 2011, so why not?
- Rick Clunn – I feel like Clunn has to be somewhere on your DTL roster and out of all of the 2022 lakes, Harris Chain had his best average finish.
- John Crews – I was indecisive between putting Crews on my Harris Chain team or my St. Johns River team … I see the error in my choices, but hopeful he carries the momentum into the next event.
- Mark Menendez – Menendez is another one I wanted him to be somewhere on my DTL roster, and since he’s had his best average finishes on bodies of water in Florida, I figured Harris Chain would be the perfect opportunity.
- Darold Gleason – Maybe Harris Chain is similar to his home lakes?
- Scott Martin – The lake is in Florida; he’s from Florida
- Luke Palmer – He’s nice and one of these days, it’s gonna be his day.
- Masayuki Matsushita – Again, hindsight is 20/20. I had him picked for Harris Chain before his Top 10 debut last week at St. Johns. Alas, I am hopeful his momentum will carry on to next week.