AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fresh off the California swing, anglers make the cross country drive to Clarks Hill in Georgia, and it looks like they are going to have to come down off their big-fish high in the Pride of Georgia on Clarks Hill Lake presented by Evan Williams Bourbon.
After fishing Clear Lake, where 8-pounders weren't even acknowledged, now the pros are going to have to show they are also capable of grinding it out with 2- and 3-pound bass. Here's who the pros say will grind their way to the top.
Davy Hite — I think they'll be biting on a lot of the same stuff he threw last year.
Mike Iaconelli — He's been a sleeper after Amistad, and he's due to do what Ike does.
Rick Ash — He's been pretty hot lately.
Jason Quinn — He's got some quality experience on the lake.
Jason Williamson and Casey Ashley — They're from around here and they have fished this lake for a long time and won a lot of money here.
Jason Williamson, Casey Ashley and Britt Meyers — They have a lot of knowledge of this place. It's really important to know where the fish are on this lake. If you're not from here, it makes them a lot tougher to find.
Davy Hite — He won here last year. I don't think the fishing is like it was last year, but it could get there by the end of the week.
Kevin Wirth — He did pretty good here last year and he's been fishing pretty good lately.
Skeet Reese — He's on a roll and fishing as good as anybody.
Aaron Martens — Usually, when the bite gets tough, he excels.
Davy Hite — For obvious reasons. He's fished here a lot and he knows it really well.
Brent Chapman — Because he's hot right now.
Stephen Browning — He's a grinder and this is going to be a grinders tournament.
Myself — I always pick myself. If I don't, I shouldn't be here.
Dean Rojas — He's had a slow start this year and he's going to break in this tournament. It's the kind of tournament where somebody could break out.
Jason Williamson — This is his home lake, I think.
Casey Ashley — He's another South Carolina guy.
Davy Hite — Since he spanked everyone last year.
Jason Quinn — I know how positive he is about it.
Kevin VanDam — Because you've just got to pick him, and I think the lake is setting up to be open-minded.
Ken Cook — And I'll go ahead and pick myself, because it's the smart thing to do. And I like my chances.
Kevin VanDam — Self-explanatory.
Jason Quinn — A local.
Davy Hite — Another local.
Greg Hackney — The fishing's tough. He's tough enough to get after it.
Rick Clunn — I think he likes tough tournaments, and mentally he can beat 90 percent of the people here. I won't say that he's due, but he's got fire in his eyes, and he wants redemption.
Kevin Short — I think shallow water is going to rule this tournament, and he's a shallow water guy.
Aaron Martens — He's a finesse fisher and a good bed fisher also.
Jared Lintner — He's versatile. He could come out with some super-wild thing that just blows everybody away.
Jimmy Mize — He's got experience here. He likes the chain. He knows how to find these fish.