The tournament will begin on Jan. 15, 2015, at 7 a.m. Eastern time at the Big Toho Marina. The field is stacked with Bassmaster Classic Champions, Bassmaster Elite Series Toyota Anglers of the Year Champions, and 2015 Bassmaster Elites Series contestants including Gerald Swindle, Shaw Grigsby, Greg Hackney, Woo Daves, and Roland Martin, among other competitors.
The anglers will face a new challenge this year including lakes up to three feet higher than in 2014 due to the vast increase of rain in Florida. More importantly, the vegetation in the area has been decimated by up to 70 percent as a result of chemical treatments.
Though the anglers will face new challenges, last year’s champion, Van Soles, expects the Southern Open winner will average 18 pounds a day, but won’t be surprised if some 30-pound bags are weighed in — providing the weather is stable.
“Anglers will have to monitor the wind and the weather and be cognizant of what the wind will do to those areas each day,” said Soles.
The tournament will launch each day at 7 a.m. Eastern time at Big Toho Marina. Weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m. Eastern time at the marina the first two days, with the final Top 12 Pros’ and co-anglers’ weigh-in on day three, Jan. 17, held at the Bass Pro Shops in Orlando at 4 p.m. Eastern time.
For more information, please visit www.bassmaster.com or visit Orlando, Florida, Bass Pro Shops store at www.basspro.com/orlando.