PAUL ELIAS: I'm Happy to Fish Postspawn Harris Chain and Chickamauga in 2021 - Major League Fishing

PAUL ELIAS: I’m Happy to Fish Postspawn Harris Chain and Chickamauga in 2021

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Paul Elias is excited to get a crack at Lake Chickamauga and the Harris Chain during postspawn conditions. Photo by Jesse Schultz
October 28, 2020 • Paul Elias • Angler Columns

Last week, the 2021 Bass Pro Tour schedule was released and I was really excited to see all the places we’ll be fishing next year. I really love the whole schedule, but there are really two places that stick out to me the most, mainly because of the time of the year we’ll be fishing those bodies of water.

Happy About the Harris Chain

The first is the Harris Chain in Florida. We’ll be there from May 21 to May 26, and I can’t wait for that week. By the time we get to late May, those fish should be done spawning. That really intrigues me because I’ve never been to the Harris Chain when the fish aren’t spawning.

I expect those fish to be on some offshore structures, which will allow me to do some offshore cranking—which I love to do.

I’ve just never really been crazy about spawning events throughout my career. Usually, when we go to Florida, it’s a spawning event. Now, I’ll get to do something I’m more comfortable with, and it should allow me to catch more numbers of fish.

Along with my crankbait, I expect to bring along some jigs and worms that I’ll fish around structure drops. When we go to Florida during the spawn, the fish are never on those drops. I feel like we will see a lot of fish caught, but a lot of sizable fish as well.

A Later Look at Chickamauga

I feel like I do better in competitions when I can get away from the bank and do what I do best, which is cranking. That’s why I’m also excited to head to Lake Chickamauga in east Tennessee in early June. I think we’ll see a lot of schooling fish that time of the year, which is really going to change the way some of these guys are going to fish Chick.

We saw Andy Morgan win there in 2019 while on the lake banks in mid-April. I don’t think you can win this tournament like that in 2021. I think you’re going to have to find some current on the river and look for some offshore schoolers if you want to bring home the win.

I’ll probably be working a crankbait most of the time, but I’ll also have a Carolina rig, a drop-shot, swimbaits and hair jigs in the boat as well.

Since it’s later in the year, I think we’ll see plenty more fish hit SCORETRACKER® in 2021 than we did in 2019. I expect there will be a 2-pound minimum weight for scorable bass as well, so folks should be prepared for more fish and even bigger weights in my opinion.

I’m starting to feel better in the MLF format and I’m getting better with every tournament under my belt. These two events in 2021 have me the most excited, but I truly can’t wait to fish the whole schedule. I’m out there to get even better this season, and I think these two events give me the best chance to make some noise.

It’s going to be a long offseason, but I know it’ll be worth the wait.