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Jan 23, 2014 - 04:04 AM
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Bassmaster Elite Pro Angler Walker Not Immune To Vestiges Of Polar Vortex
Posted by: newsla on Jan 23, 2014 - 04:01 AM
Bassmaster Elite Pro Angler Walker Not Immune To Vestiges Of Polar Vortex

They're not exactly shoveling snow in central Florida, but this weekend's Southern Open #1 on Lake Tohopekaliga will be a good test of professional angler David Walker's cold-weather fishing abilities.


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"This is the winter that won't go away," Walker said after Wednesday's final practice session as he climbed from his Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat Ranger Z520c. "It's definitely going to affect this tournament because the fish react differently when the water temperature dips down this low. I don't think it got any higher than 55 degrees today."

Regardless of the weather, Walker and what he estimates to be about 200 of his closest friends will do all they can to fill their limits with big fish beginning at 7 a.m., Thursday, at the Big Toho Marina launch site. Each angler can weigh in up to five bass both Thursday and Friday with the top 12 pros moving on to Saturday's finale.

"Usually in Florida we don't have this kind of frigid weather," Walker said. "That's why they hold the season opener down here every year, but that Polar Vortex has pushed a bunch of cold air across the state and we're all feeling it.

"In year's past we all catch so many fish the tournament comes down to who managed to pull the biggest ones onboard. You're usually at your limit early in the day and culling from then on. But this weekend I wouldn't be surprised to see a bunch of people not even get their limit. It happens to all of us at some point and weather is usually the culprit."

Walker did manage to find a few hot spots on the picturesque lake during practice, and his strategy is to hit those areas early in case he needs to adjust his plans on the fly.

"There are fish out there, even though they're moving slow," he said. "We'll just have to grind hard and not make any mistakes when we do get one on the line. Every fish will be important these next two days.

"I know one thing for sure: I'm really happy I stopped by Cabela's and loaded up on some cold-weather gear because it's chilly out there, especially when we launch early in the morning. Hopefully things will heat up fast from there."

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