Here’s a quick fantasy update for all of our readers. I just got off the phone with Team Castrol pro David Dudley (Feb.3 – 11 a.m. Central time) and, not surprisingly, he had some very interesting things to say about the upcoming Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville that should be of interest to fantasy fishing fans.
A few things definitely stood out from our conversation. For starters, Dudley is convinced that the Rat-L-Trap bite will play a significant role in the final outcome of the Lake Guntersville event. Dudley also believes that grass flats (and grass in general) will be the primary battlefield for the majority of the contenders.
“Rat-L-Traps are a winning bait, no doubt about it,” said Dudley. “Any time you have an early-season tournament on a grass lake, a Rat-L-Trap is going to be a big factor. Custom jerkbaits and crankbaits could play a role in the outcome as well. But in a tournament like this, if you’re not around grass, you’re not going to be around the fish.”
Another interesting tidbit is that Dudley thinks that the big-name pros might not necessarily dominate the top 10 as much as some people think.
“This lake has grass all over it, so there is enough room to spread out,” said Dudley. “But because you can basically take a bait and throw it randomly and still catch big fish, the (leaderboard) won’t necessarily be (comprised of) big-named pros. In a lot of ways, the Rat-L-Trap bite will level the playing field. And because of that, some of the top 10 probably won’t be household names.”
Dudley also believes there is going to be a fairly large gap between the total weight at the very top of the leaderboard and the rest of the field. As a result, Dudley believes that it’s going to be pretty clear fairly early on who the contenders are.
“I think we’re hitting Lake Guntersville about a week early (for optimal seasonal fishing conditions), but there will still be some great catches and big bags,” said Dudley. “I also really think it’s going to be a top-heavy tournament – the guys who are catching them are really going to be catching them. My guess is that, after the first day, the top-10 cutoff might be around 19 pounds, but 50th place might only be around 9 pounds.”
While Dudley believes grass will dominate as far as cover is concerned, he also believes there will still be some good catches on offshore structure.
“There will be some offshore fish caught for sure,” Dudley said. “I think you’ll see fish caught shallow, but there will be definitely some fish caught offshore in the 10-foot range.”
So who does Dudley think bass-fishing fans should watch out for this event?
“Brent Ehrler,” he said. “There are also a variety of good jerkbait fishermen to watch out for like Dan Morehead.”
And what does Dudley think about his own chances on Lake Guntersville?
“I always feel good about my chances, no matter what lake I’m on,” he said.