With winds expected to gust to 40 miles per hour or more Thursday, B.A.S.S. officials have canceled the first day of competition at the St. Johns River Elite Series.
The National Weather Service office in Jacksonville, Fla., issued a wind advisory to go into effect at noon Thursday through 3 a.m. Friday.
“Safety for our anglers and marshals is our primary concern,” said Trip Weldon, Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Director, in a release announcing the cancellation. “We have been monitoring the weather closely, and had discussions with NWS last night and this morning to see if the weather situation would change.
“Beginning this morning and into the afternoon, the wind was just going to be too high to safely be on the water.”
B.A.S.S. also announced the event will remain a four-day tournament with an abbreviated top-10 round taking place Monday, Feb. 10. The finalists will compete from 6:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Weather permitting, the season opener will get under way Friday with the 88-boat field taking off at 7:15 a.m. in Palatka, Fla. The full field will return to the water Saturday before being reduced to the top 40 for day 3.
The schedule changes will not impact the second Elite Series tournament set for Lake Chickamauga on Feb. 14-17.