John Hunter loaded the truck, rigged up the boat trailer, and pointed due south on Thursday to begin his journey as a Bassmaster Elite. The 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series kicks off next weekend on the St. John's River in Palatka, Florida. Hunter, though in his second year of professional bass fishing, is a rookie on the Elite Series after qualifying due to his finish in the Bassmaster Northern Open point standings last season.

Early Spring is an especially exciting time for bass fishing due to the fact that these creatures are typically easier to spot as they stand guard over their spawning areas. This leads to many anglers utilizing what has became known as "sight fishing" during this time of year. The month of March has historically been a great time for the St. John's River when it comes to bass fishing, and one can only assume that trend will continue during this upcoming tournament.

The event will begin on Thursday, March 17th and will run though Sunday the 20th. Launches are scheduled for 7:15 AM ET each day at Palatka City Dock, and weigh-ins will take place at 3:30 PM ET at Palatka Riverfront Park. A total purse of $638,000 will be paid to the Top 50 anglers. Those anglers will also earn points toward the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and qualification for the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic.

Stay tuned for updates on John's day to day results through the event on St. John's River.