After what happened last year at the St. Johns River with Rick Clunn, all Bass Nation fans couldn’t have been more excited to get back there this year.
With warm weather and a full moon on the radar it was setting up to be quite the heavy weight event. However, mother nature would have different plans in store.
After a two-day postponement of the tournament due to high winds upwards of 40mph, the competition finally started on Saturday where we saw Kelly Jaye take an early lead of just over 21lbs. Jaye utilized his favorite lure, the jerkbait, which he threw over a shallow shell bar to catch his fish. Not too far behind him was an “electronics guru” from Connecticut, Paul Mueller.
With cold air temperatures in the morning and lower-than-expected water levels, the bass seemed to be in a funk.
However, Paul Mueller did something that not many anglers do at the St. Johns River and he ran North (downstream) towards the ocean instead of South towards Lake George.
He was able to find a few areas that he had all to himself which lead to a win and $100,000 first place prize.
Mueller utilized a swim jig through much of his competition, throwing it around lily pads that the bass we’re getting ready to spawn in. Although many of his fish came on the swim jig throughout the tournament, punching mats with a heavyweight put a few key fish in the boat including one near seven pounds on the final day which sealed the victory.
The former BASS Nation Champion has now won 2 tournaments in the last 2 years and is really becoming a force to be reckoned with.
The next stop for the Bassmaster Elite Series was set to be at Lake Chickamauga in TN next week but has now been changed to late March due to extreme amounts of rain. The next tournament will be the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville set to kick off on March 6.
For more information about Mueller’s Win and the Bassmaster Classic, check out bassmaster.com