B.A.S.S. officials have canceled Friday’s competition at the St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake Eufaula due to inclement weather and predicted high winds that are expected to make conditions unsafe for boating and related tournament activities. The full field will compete on Saturday, the final day of the tournament.
After Day 1 of the tournament, Justin Barnes of Ellaville, Ga., is leading the tournament with 25 pounds, 6 ounces.
The National Weather Service (NWS) Birmingham office has issued a wind advisory for Eufaula and surrounding areas, including Lake Eufaula, with forecasted southerly winds of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph. The advisory is in effect through Friday night. Severe thunderstorms are possible across the region through early Friday afternoon.
Hank Weldon, executive tournament director for the Bassmaster Opens, had lengthy discussions with NWS forecasters prior to making the decision.
“The concern for us is not the storms, but more so the forecasted sustained gradient winds from the south and gusts accompanying the weather system,” Weldon said. “Strong southerly winds are not good on a lake like Eufaula that runs from north to south.
“Southerly winds collide with the current flow from the north, causing the waves to get stacked up, making it unconducive for boating.”
Competition will resume Saturday at 6:30 a.m. CT with takeoff from Lakepoint State Park with weigh-ins back at the park at 2:30 p.m. Saturday’s forecast is calling for sunny skies, with a high near 76 degrees and west winds from 5 to 10 mph.