Bassmaster Elite Series Pros Head to Mississippi's Ross Barnett Reservoir

Bassmaster Elite Series Pros Head to Mississippi's Ross Barnett Reservoir
Bassmaster Elite Series Pros Head to Mississippi's Ross Barnett Reservoir

The forth Bassmaster Elite Series event of the season will be held April 27-30, 2017, at the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Ridgeland, Mississippi

As 110 of the world’s best bass anglers converge on the central Mississippi fishery, thick-shouldered largemouth bass will be the center of attention at the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Ross Barnett, April 27-30, out of Ridgeland.

With a $100,000 first-place prize and valuable Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points on the line, the fourth of nine regular-season Bassmaster Elite Series events will put the top-tier, competitive-angling spotlight on the picturesque 33,000-acre reservoir.

“We’ve had several years of very successful shad spawns — both gizzard and threadfin shad — that, in turn, have produced several impressive year classes of Ross Barnett bass,” said Ryan Jones, Central Region fisheries biologist for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP). “The fishery as a whole is very healthy, and the bass population is in tremendous shape right now.”

Jones said water levels have begun to stabilize following periods of high water, and he believes the Elite anglers should be in for some exciting fishing.


“Based on our fall sampling and survey data, the average largemouth bass weighed during tournaments in 2016 was about 2 1/2 pounds,” he said. “Thanks to a healthy forage base and adequate habitat for both predator and prey, the lake is more than capable of kicking out limits in the low 30-pound range.”


Although weights that heavy are unlikely during a postspawn event because the bass tend to lose weight during the annual breeding phase, Jones believes several five-bass limits exceeding 20 pounds will be a daily occurrence.


“In recent years, Ross Barnett was an average lake, at best. Tournament anglers would need to catch 12 to 15 pounds of bass per day to win a multi-day event, but I fully expect to see a big improvement with the world’s best bass fishermen on the water,” he said. “I believe we’ll see a big bass in the 8- to 9-pound range, and a fish exceeding 10 pounds would not surprise me at all.”

Randall Tharp of Port St. Joe, Fla., won a 2013 Bass Pro Shops Central Open on Ross Barnett with a three-day total of 41 pounds, 15 ounces, or about 14 pounds per day. But the Elite Series veteran is excited to get back to the improved Mississippi bass lake and compete for another coveted blue trophy.

“I’ve heard the lake has improved dramatically, and as I’ve monitored tournament weights during the pre-practice period, I’ve been impressed with the size of bass regularly brought to the scales,” said Tharp. “Other than the Open I won there, I don’t have a lot of other experience to draw from, but I do know that anytime I can flip a jig I’m happy. And, you can bet a jig will play this time around.”


Takeoff will begin daily at 6:15 a.m. CT from Madison Landing in Ridgeland, Miss., and weigh-ins will be held each afternoon at Old Trace Park beginning at 3:15 p.m.

The Bassmaster Elite Series Outdoors Expo will also take place at Old Trace Park on Saturday and Sunday beginning at noon. The expo will feature boat and motor demo rides by Skeeter, Yamaha, Nitro, Triton and Mercury, live music, food trucks, beer garden and arts and crafts vendors. Toyota and Mississippi Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will also be onsite with activities such as an archery range, video game competitions, disc golf, putt-putt and more.

The event is hosted by the Ridgeland Tourism Commission.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.

Field Tested: Lightweight Raingear

David Draper - May 30, 2019

Our picks for stuffable protection against any weather.

News

Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New Optimum and Optimum TS Downriggers from Canon

From rugged reliability to smooth integration of cutting edge technology across several different platforms, OSG's Lynn Burkhead learns that there's much to like about the new Optimum and Optimum TS downriggers from Canon.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

Other Freshwater

5 Great Lures For Bluegills

Stephen D. Carpenteri - March 10, 2011

Who needs live bait when the big 'gills are so eager to strike these lures?

Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Stories

More News

Boats

Great New Fishing Boats for Southern Comfort

G&F Editors - February 21, 2019

We reviewed these new boats that stand out for value, reliability and made-for-fishing action.

Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

News

IGFA ‘World Record Game Fishes' Celebrates 80 Years

Jack Vitek - July 15, 2019

2019 edition, now available, commemorates ethical sport and productive science.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×