EVANS, Ga. It got cold again last night. The forecast Saturday calls for limitless skies, wind that wouldn't cool soup and temperatures in the low 80s, but in the gloaming hour before first safe light, the remaining 50 Bassmaster Elite Series pros in the Pride of Georgia presented by Evan Williams Bourbon were bundled against a chill as they answered three questions from ESPNOutdoors.com.
They were: With 12th place at 30 pounds, 2 ounces after two days, what will be the 12-man cut weight today? How will the warmer, calmer weather affect the fishing? And what on this Day Three will be the key bite?
Chris Lane (1st place, 37 pounds, 15 ounces)
Cut weight? Probably about 43 to 45 pounds.
Weather effects? Good. And it might slow that bite down. It's good for me. The fish I'm on are schooling. I'm hoping for no wind and no clouds.
Key bite? Make sure you put 13 pounds in the well today, if you're one of the leaders, and whatever they need to do to make that happen is the key.
Mike McClelland (2nd, 37-13)
Cut weight? You say it's at 30? I'm gonna say it's gonna be about 46. Everyone seems to be catching them better every day.
Weather effects? I don't know that it's gonna have that much of an effect today. With that cold snap last night, the water temperatures are still too cool.
Key bite? A person's got to get off to an early start.
Casey Ashley (3rd, 36-14)
Cut weight? Forty-eight pounds.
Weather effects? That's the way I want it. They're going to catch 'em early, then it's gonna get real hard.
Key bite? Top water early. They're probably gonna catch 'em on a Carolina rig after that.
Kevin Short (9th, 31-13)
Cut weight? Forty-six.
Weather effects? I think the guys that caught 'em Thursday are gonna catch them today.
Key bite? Figuring out where the fish are heading to. I think it's gonna be a matter of staying in front of the 4-pounders.
Brent Chapman (28th, 26-5)
Cut weight? Probably gonna be 43 to 45 pounds.
Weather effects? The weights will be lower today.
Key bite? Yesterday I had the key bite an 8-5. The key bite is that 5-pounder.
Fred Roumbanis (16th, 29-2)
Cut weight? 45 to 44 and change
Weather effects? All the research I've done on the blueback herring shows that they come up on warmer days. It's kind of the opposite of most places we fish. I am going to throw a swimbait and if I can get two or three bites, I should be in good shape.
Key bite? I'm just junk fishing, but it should be good for the guys fishing a jig which I'm not doing, or the top-water, which I'm not doing.
James Niggemeyer (31st, 25-13)
Cut weight? 40 to 45 pounds
Weather effects? It's positive for me. I don't know about the other guys, but I like the weather.
Key bite? I don't know. I'm not doing what the other guys are doing, but there should be a good top-water bite today.
Paul Elias (48th, 23-5)
Cut weight? 45 pounds
Weather effects? It will hurt everyone. These fish have been on a slow feeding pattern because of the fronts that came through. The weights will be pretty similar to yesterday, but it's going to be hard to keep up. The bite went up three pounds yesterday. I don't remember it ever going up that much in a day. There are also a couple of good-sized local tournaments today that are going to hurt everybody.
Key bite? Top-water will come into play more today, and the jig bite will continue to be strong.
Derek Remitz (4th, 35-9)
Cut weight? 42-43 pounds
Weather effects? For my bite, I like it calm and sunny. It's just the way the fish are set up. The bite really turns on around noon.
Key bite? I'm hoping it's the jig.
Editor's Note: Sunday, April 22, ESPNOutdoors.com will be having LIVE Video coverage of the Pride of Georgia, presented by Evan Williams Bourbon throughout the entire day. Check in at 6:15 a.m. ET for The Launch: LIVE! and see your favorite BASS Anglers take off for the day of competition. Check back at 10:00 a.m., noon, and 2:00 p.m.ET for Live video updates from the event with Bassmaster TV hosts Mark Zona, Tommy Sanders, and Jerry McKinnis. Elite Series: Hooked Up, the Bassmaster Elite Series Final Day pregame show, begins at 3:00 p.m. ET, followed immediately by the Final Day Bassmaster Elite Series weigh-in where you can see who wins the $100,000 prize!