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Clouse Maintains Lead At Bassmaster Elite Series Event On The St. Johns River

Category: article

 1 week ago by Keith Worrall 

Modified Feb 13th, 2021 at 12:39 PM

Gary Clouse, of Winchester, Tenn., is leading after Day 2 of the 2021 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River with a two-day total of 45 pounds, 1 ounce. Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

February 12, 2021

Clouse Maintains Lead At Bassmaster Elite Series Event On The St. Johns River

 

PALATKA, Fla. — Despite having longer to fish on Friday, Gary Clouse found fewer big bites than he did during Thursday’s fog-shortened first round.

 

Nevertheless, the Tennessee angler sacked up a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 5 ounces and held on to his lead in the AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at the St. Johns River with a two-day total of 45-1.

 

Clouse is making a nearly two-hour run south of Palatka, so Thursday’s fog delay, which postponed the scheduled 7 a.m. takeoff until 10:15, left him with about an hour of actual fishing time. Despite the limitation, he led the day with a limit of 25-12 — the tournament’s heaviest catch so far.

 

On Friday, Clouse seemed to have a hard time replicating his opening results, which he called the most amazing day of fishing he’s ever experienced.

 

“It was a struggle today, but I’ll take it,” Clouse said. “Yesterday, I caught everything in an hour; today it took me four hours to get what I had. I think I’m wearing my area out; I hope there are some more coming in.

 

“Yesterday was one of those days you dream about as a fisherman. Everything just worked. Today, I didn’t fish as well; I think I was a little amped up early. I don’t feel like I presented my baits as well, and I moved around too fast.”

 

Clouse is targeting small patches of reeds scattered across a supershallow flat. Some of the bass were relating to the cover, while others positioned around the perimeter.

 

“I caught my first big one out away from it and I caught my second big one close to it; I think they’re just roaming around back there,” Clouse said. “I really haven’t seen any fish on a bed. I’ve seen some beds, but it’s hard to tell what’s going on because I have to stay way back and there’s so many other fish — tilapia, carp — back there.

 

“I can’t say that I’m bed fishing. They’re just in there roaming around and possibly trying to bed.”

 

Clouse used a 1/4-ounce swim jig and a 1/4-ounce ChatterBait, both with Yamamoto Zako trailers, to cover water and find fish. He didn’t end up weighing anything on the reaction baits, but they helped him locate active areas where a Texas-rigged Zoom Magnum Ultravibe Speed Worm earned the bites.

 

Around 1 p.m., with a limit of approximately 15-4, Clouse switched from braided line to fluorocarbon. Within minutes, he caught a 6-2 that culled out a 1 1/2-pounder (all weights estimated per BassTrakk).

 

The warming trend that arrived Wednesday has prompted good numbers of big bass to move into spawning zones like the one Clouse has been fishing. However, after two days of stable weather, Saturday’s forecast for wind and rain will likely change the playing field.

 

This won’t necessarily kill the bite. But shallow, exposed areas like Clouse’s will likely get blown out at some point. He’s hopeful he can squeeze another day of productivity and secure a Top 10 spot for Championship Sunday.

 

“If I have to try something different, I’m in trouble,” Clouse said. “I tried for three days in practice and that’s all I have.”

 

Derek Hudnall of Denham Springs, La., remains in second place with 38-5. Sticking with the same game plan that yielded 22-5 on Day 1, he added 16-0 Friday.

 

Hudnall has been targeting spawning fish tucked into gaps in shoreline cover by skipping a wacky-rigged Missile Baits 48 worm in the bruiser flash and junebug colors with 15-pound braided line facilitating precise presentations.

 

Today, after missing several big-fish opportunities, Hudnall made a key adjustment.

 

“I had a handful of big ones that had the bait for just a second and would just pull off immediately,” he said. “It was really hard to get that bait in their mouth, but around midday, I downsized my hook from a Size 1 Gamakatsu G-Finesse Weedless Stinger Hook, to a Size 2.

 

“It’s not (significantly) smaller but can make a difference. When I made that adjustment, I started hooking up with more of those fish. They’re locked on beds right now, so they’re not eating; they’re 100% protecting.”

 

Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., is in third place with 35-1. Clearly benefiting from a full fishing day, Hackney gained 13 spots by adding 22-10 to his Day-1 weight of 12-7.

 

“Today, I just got to fish a lot slower,” Hackney said. “I just fished over those fish yesterday. I knew they were there yesterday, but I just couldn’t slow down enough to catch them, because I knew I had to catch five so I fished a little quicker.

 

“Today, I fished the same 300-yard stretch, and it took me all day. I seined it, and I’m going to go back there tomorrow. I knew better than to leave because I’d see them every now and then.”

 

Hackney said his spot is a protected shoreline with a mix of wood cover and shallow vegetation — an ideal spawning scenario. He caught all of his fish by flipping a Strike King Rage Craw.

 

Hudnall is in the lead for Phoenix Boats Big Bass honors with his 9-8.

 

The Top 50 remaining anglers will take off Saturday from Palatka City Docks at 7 a.m. ET. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at Palatka Riverfront Park at 3 p.m., with only the Top 10 anglers advancing to Championship Sunday.

 

FS1 will broadcast live from the tournament beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Coverage of the event can be streamed on Bassmaster.com and the FOX Sports digital platforms.

The AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River is being hosted by the Putnam County Tourist Development Council and Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

2021 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2021 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Ranger Boats, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha

2021 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: AFTCO, Bass Pro Shops, Garmin, Huk Performance Fishing, Marathon, Rapala

2021 Bassmaster Elite Series Conservation Partner: AFTCO

2021 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Local Hosts: Putnam County Tourist Development Council, Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S., which encompasses the Bassmaster tournament leagues, events and media platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 515,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), TV show, radio show, social media programs and events. For more than 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Basspro.com Bassmaster Opens Series, TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bassmaster Team Championship, Bassmaster B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series powered by TourneyX and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk.

AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Video Highlights (For media use. Please credit B.A.S.S.)

Media Contact: Emily Harley, B.A.S.S. Communications Manager, 205-313-0945, [email protected]

 

2021 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River 2/11-2/14
St. Johns River, Palatka, FL.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Gary Clouse Winchester, TN 10 45-01 100
Day 1: 5 25-12 Day 2: 5 19-05
2. Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 10 38-05 99 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-05 Day 2: 5 16-00
3. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 10 35-01 98
Day 1: 5 12-07 Day 2: 5 22-10
4. Matt Herren Ashville, AL 10 33-12 97
Day 1: 5 16-09 Day 2: 5 17-03
5. Mark Menendez Paducah, KY 10 33-07 96
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 17-05
6. Buddy Gross Chickamauga, GA 10 33-05 95
Day 1: 5 16-05 Day 2: 5 17-00
7. Cliff Prince Palatka, FL 10 32-08 94
Day 1: 5 17-12 Day 2: 5 14-12
8. Mike Huff Corbin, KY 10 32-06 93
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 19-14
9. Bryan New Belmont, NC 10 32-03 92
Day 1: 5 12-00 Day 2: 5 20-03
10. Patrick Walters Summerville, SC 10 32-03 91
Day 1: 5 13-03 Day 2: 5 19-00
11. Cory Johnston Cavan CANADA 10 31-15 90
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 14-00
12. Wes Logan Springville, AL 10 31-08 89 $1,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-06 Day 2: 5 21-02
13. Joshua Stracner Vandiver, AL 10 31-01 88
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 14-15
14. Bryan Schmitt Deale, MD 10 31-00 87
Day 1: 5 15-08 Day 2: 5 15-08
15. Drew Cook Cairo, GA 10 30-01 86
Day 1: 5 11-01 Day 2: 5 19-00
16. Bill Weidler Helena, AL 10 30-00 85
Day 1: 5 14-13 Day 2: 5 15-03
17. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 8 29-15 84
Day 1: 3 12-14 Day 2: 5 17-01
18. Caleb Kuphall Mukwonago, WI 10 29-13 83
Day 1: 5 13-04 Day 2: 5 16-09
19. Carl Jocumsen Queensland AUSTRALIA 10 29-12 82
Day 1: 5 18-02 Day 2: 5 11-10
20. Jeff Gustafson Keewatin Ontario CANADA 10 29-08 81
Day 1: 5 09-14 Day 2: 5 19-10
21. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 8 29-01 80
Day 1: 3 07-05 Day 2: 5 21-12
22. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 28-07 79
Day 1: 5 12-07 Day 2: 5 16-00
23. Drew Benton Blakely, GA 10 27-13 78
Day 1: 5 09-08 Day 2: 5 18-05
24. Clent Davis Montevallo, AL 10 27-09 77
Day 1: 5 06-04 Day 2: 5 21-05
25. Justin Hamner Northport, AL 10 27-06 76
Day 1: 5 10-08 Day 2: 5 16-14
26. Brian Snowden Reeds Spring, MO 7 26-14 75
Day 1: 2 03-06 Day 2: 5 23-08
27. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 10 26-12 74
Day 1: 5 09-08 Day 2: 5 17-04
28. Seth Feider New Market, MN 10 26-11 73
Day 1: 5 08-03 Day 2: 5 18-08
29. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 10 26-02 72
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 12-02
30. Bernie Schultz Gainesville, FL 8 25-15 71
Day 1: 3 06-02 Day 2: 5 19-13
31. Quentin Cappo Prairieville, LA 10 25-11 70
Day 1: 5 08-07 Day 2: 5 17-04
32. Kenta Kimura Osaka JAPAN 8 25-06 69
Day 1: 3 05-02 Day 2: 5 20-04
33. Stetson Blaylock Benton, AR 9 25-06 68
Day 1: 4 11-11 Day 2: 5 13-11
34. KJ Queen Catawba, NC 10 25-05 67
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 5 13-11
35. Brandon Palaniuk Rathdrum, ID 9 25-04 66
Day 1: 4 07-04 Day 2: 5 18-00
36. Austin Felix Eden Prairie, MN 10 25-03 65
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 12-11
37. Luke Palmer Coalgate, OK 10 24-07 64
Day 1: 5 07-08 Day 2: 5 16-15
38. Rob Digh Denver, NC 10 24-06 63
Day 1: 5 08-14 Day 2: 5 15-08
39. Matt Arey Shelby, NC 10 24-02 62
Day 1: 5 09-13 Day 2: 5 14-05
40. Ed Loughran III Richmond, VA 8 24-01 61
Day 1: 3 07-00 Day 2: 5 17-01
41. Chris Johnston Otonabee Ontario CANADA 10 23-15 60
Day 1: 5 12-06 Day 2: 5 11-09
42. Hunter Shryock Ooltewah, TN 10 23-10 59
Day 1: 5 11-04 Day 2: 5 12-06
43. Brandon Cobb Greenwood, SC 10 23-10 58
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 12-04
44. Kyle Welcher Opelika, AL 10 23-03 57
Day 1: 5 10-07 Day 2: 5 12-12
45. Brad Whatley Bivins, TX 10 23-00 56
Day 1: 5 06-12 Day 2: 5 16-04
46. Randy Pierson Oakdale, CA 9 22-14 55
Day 1: 4 11-10 Day 2: 5 11-04
47. Justin Atkins Florence, AL 8 22-10 54
Day 1: 3 05-09 Day 2: 5 17-01
48. Lee Livesay Longview, TX 10 22-09 53
Day 1: 5 08-04 Day 2: 5 14-05
49. John Cox Debary, FL 8 22-08 52
Day 1: 3 07-01 Day 2: 5 15-07
50. Darold Gleason Many, LA 10 22-06 51
Day 1: 5 11-09 Day 2: 5 10-13
51. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 22-01 50 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 14-10 Day 2: 5 07-07
52. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 8 21-11 49 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 06-05 Day 2: 5 15-06
53. Robbie Latuso Gonzales, LA 7 20-15 48 $2,500.00
Day 1: 2 03-03 Day 2: 5 17-12
54. Kelley Jaye Dadeville, AL 8 20-12 47 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 05-01 Day 2: 5 15-11
55. Clark Wendlandt Leander, TX 10 20-06 46 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 10-11 Day 2: 5 09-11
56. Shane LeHew Catawba, NC 9 20-04 45 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 06-10 Day 2: 5 13-10
57. Bill Lowen Brookville, IN 9 20-01 44 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 06-01 Day 2: 5 14-00
58. Chad Pipkens Dewitt, MI 10 19-11 43 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-11 Day 2: 5 11-00
59. Tyler Rivet Raceland, LA 10 19-09 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-06 Day 2: 5 08-03
59. Matt Robertson Kuttawa, KY 10 19-09 42 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-03 Day 2: 5 11-06
61. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 8 19-08 40 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 11-10 Day 2: 5 07-14
62. Tyler Carriere Youngsville, LA 10 19-08 39 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 09-08 Day 2: 5 10-00
63. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 9 19-06 38 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 06-04 Day 2: 5 13-02
64. Paul Mueller Naugatuck, CT 10 19-06 37 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-14 Day 2: 5 10-08
65. Koby Kreiger Alva, FL 8 19-04 36 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 08-14 Day 2: 5 10-06
66. Shane Lineberger Lincolnton, NC 8 18-12 35 $2,500.00
Day 1: 4 06-00 Day 2: 4 12-12
67. Pat Schlapper Eleva, WI 7 18-11 34 $2,500.00
Day 1: 2 03-04 Day 2: 5 15-07
68. Kyle Monti Okeechobee, FL 10 18-10 33 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-09 Day 2: 5 10-01
69. Frank Talley Temple, TX 10 18-00 32 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-13 Day 2: 5 06-03
70. Chad Morgenthaler Reeds Spring, MO 10 17-13 31 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 06-15 Day 2: 5 10-14
71. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 9 17-04 30 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 4 05-15
72. Gregory DiPalma Millville, NJ 8 16-06 29 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 10-04 Day 2: 5 06-02
73. Scott Martin Clewiston, FL 8 15-14 28 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 08-07 Day 2: 3 07-07
74. Taku Ito Chiba JAPAN 8 15-09 27 $2,500.00
Day 1: 3 05-08 Day 2: 5 10-01
75. Scott Canterbury Odenville, AL 8 15-08 26 $2,500.00
Day 1: 5 11-10 Day 2: 3 03-14
76. Brandon Card Salisbury, NC 7 15-05 25
Day 1: 3 06-14 Day 2: 4 08-07
77. Marc Frazier Newnan, GA 10 15-04 24
Day 1: 5 07-01 Day 2: 5 08-03
78. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 6 15-03 23
Day 1: 1 02-01 Day 2: 5 13-02
79. Chris Zaldain Fort Worth, TX 6 14-06 22
Day 1: 1 01-02 Day 2: 5 13-04
80. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 5 14-02 21
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 5 14-02
81. Chris Groh Spring Grove, IL 7 13-09 20
Day 1: 3 05-09 Day 2: 4 08-00
82. Skylar Hamilton Dandridge, TN 8 13-08 19
Day 1: 3 04-05 Day 2: 5 09-03
83. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 8 13-06 18
Day 1: 3 05-05 Day 2: 5 08-01
84. Yusuke Miyazaki Forney, TX 6 13-00 17
Day 1: 1 02-02 Day 2: 5 10-14
85. Jay Yelas Lincoln City, OR 5 13-00 16
Day 1: 4 09-15 Day 2: 1 03-01
86. Randy Sullivan Breckenridge, TX 6 12-13 15
Day 1: 2 04-00 Day 2: 4 08-13
87. Bob Downey Hudson, WI 8 12-11 14
Day 1: 5 08-05 Day 2: 3 04-06
88. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 7 12-09 13
Day 1: 2 04-01 Day 2: 5 08-08
89. Brock Mosley Collinsville, MS 7 11-07 12
Day 1: 2 03-01 Day 2: 5 08-06
90. Ray Hanselman Jr Del Rio, TX 6 10-01 11
Day 1: 1 02-11 Day 2: 5 07-06
91. Jake Whitaker Fairview, NC 4 09-00 10
Day 1: 1 01-01 Day 2: 3 07-15
92. Destin DeMarion Grove City, PA 4 07-09 9
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 4 07-09
93. Garrett Paquette Canton, MI 4 07-01 8
Day 1: 1 03-00 Day 2: 3 04-01
94. Todd Auten Lake Wylie, SC 2 05-10 7
Day 1: 1 02-10 Day 2: 1 03-00
95. Cody Hollen Beaverton, OR 4 05-09 6
Day 1: 3 04-02 Day 2: 1 01-07
96. Dale Hightower Mannford, OK 3 05-07 5
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 3 05-07
97. Harvey Horne Bella Vista, AR 3 05-05 4
Day 1: 1 00-15 Day 2: 2 04-06
98. Brett Preuett Monroe, LA 2 02-15 3
Day 1: 2 02-15 Day 2: 0 00-00
99. Rick Clunn Ava, MO 0 00-00 0
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 0 00-00
———————————————————————–

PHOENIX BOATS BIG BASS
Day
1 Derek Hudnall Denham Springs, LA 09-08 $1,000.00
2 Wes Logan Springville, AL 08-08 $1,000.00

———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 54 378 868-15
2 81 452 1259-01
———————————-
135 830 2128-00

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