Thursday begins a new season for the Bassmaster Elite Series, and few know more about Cherokee Lake, where B.A.S.S. hasn’t held a tournament since 1981, than David Mullins. Entering his fourth season as a pro, Mullins lives just 70 miles away and recently won a Bassmaster Open on Douglas Lake, which is much like Cherokee’s twin sister.
Carhartt pros Matt and Jordan Lee weren’t even born when the Bass Champs event was held on Cherokee in 1981, but Mullins has befriended the youngsters, and they tend to do quite well even when not mentored.
The three graciously offered their opinions on what to expect during this first tournament of the new season, as well as a little about what they learned in the off-season.
What percentage of the fish weighed-in this week do you think will be smallmouth?
Jordan Lee: 70 percent
David Mullins: 75 percent
Matt Lee: 68 percent
If you were only permitted to have 5 rods and reels during this tournament – how many of them would be spinning vs. baitcasting?
Jordan Lee: 3 out of 5 would be spinning
David Mullins: 4 out of 5 would be spinning
Matt Lee: 3 out of 5 would be spinning
Name two fellow competitors who you would put on your Fantasy Fishing Team for this event.
Jordan Lee: David Mullins and Ott DeFoe
David Mullins: Aaron Martens and David Walker
Matt Lee: David Mullins and Ott DeFoe
Average weight of a 5-bass limit it will take to make it into the Top 12 cut on the final day:
Jordan Lee: 13 to 14 pounds
Mullins: 14 to 15 pounds
Matt Lee: 15 pounds, 12 ounces per day
Name the single biggest thing you learned in the off-season about fishing or life.
Jordan Lee: Never take the good times for granted, whether that’s fishing with your friends or having dinner with your family.
David Mullins: That it never got cold enough around here to make the whitetails move or the ducks migrate.
Matt Lee: Don’t get in too big of a hurry. Slow down. Enjoy life.