By: Emily Johnson
March 16, 2014
Bainbridge, GA - The Bassmaster Elite Series invaded Bainbridge, GA this weekend to kickoff their season. The tournament was held on Lake Seminole, the boats put in at Earle May Boat Basin. The tournament started out with more than 100 anglers on Thursday, but on Championship Sunday only the top 12 were still in the hunt for the biggest bass.
"Anytime you make a 12 cut that's the most important thing because it's not just one tournament it's the whole run that we have," said Shaw Grigsby.
The run for the anglers is competing in nine tournaments in the season. The goal is to have the heaviest combined bass weight at the end of the four day fishing tournament.
Grigsby from Gainesville, FL, has been competing in the Bassmaster Elite Series for 20 plus years, he said his first bass tournament was on Lake Seminole. "It's a little nostalgic and disappointing, but I'm excited to get out there and catch these big fish because I tell you this lake is the best in the country," said Grigsby.
The fisherman had a 7:30A.M. start time with the United States flag hanging from the Bainbridge Public Safety firetruck, the anglers knew then that is was Go Time.
There would normally be a big celebration for the anglers, but because of the bad weather that was quickly approaching the weigh in time was moved up to 1:00P.M. The 11Th Annual Bainbridge River Town Days and the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo all had to be packed up before the rain came.
"We're tearing it down, we don't want spectators to come out to the event. We don't want to put anyone in jeopardy, the staff, volunteers the pros, anyone," said Eric Lopez, Director of Operations for B.A.S.S.
With the spectators in the foreground and dark clouds in the background the fisherman made their way back before the skies fell out.
As soon as it came time to weigh in the fish mother nature let it be known that she was in charge. The few spectators left were huddled under umbrellas as the Bassmaster Elite Series had the quickest weight in announcement in tournament history at 11 minutes.
The winner was Brett Hite from Phoenix, Arizona. Hite is a rookie with B.A.S.S this year. He won $100,000 with a total weight in at 97-10.
Grigsby came in at 8TH place with a total weigh in at 70-12.