Undoubtedly, lots of eyes will be on the Atchafalaya River gauge at Morgan City the days preceding the Louisiana Sportsman Open Bass Classic, but anglers Randy Rader and Jason Pittman say it's might be a little more important to keep watch on the gauges north of Morgan City.

The reason both anglers would watch the gauges at Simmesport and Krotz Springs is because they show trends in the rise and fall of the Atchafalaya River. In other words, those two gauges give an indication of what's about to happen at Morgan City.

"When you see Simmesport start falling and then Krotz Springs start falling just after that, you know the river's about to fall out at Morgan City," Pittman explained. "Looking at those stages will help the teams predict what the river is going to be doing on tournament weekend. Then they can make a more educated decision to fish the Basin side or the Verret side."

Rader says catching the river on a slight fall would be best for this tournament because it would pull water out of the swamp and into little cuts and drains that feed the dead-end canals.

"Bass move with the water no matter if it's rising or falling," Reader said. "Therefore, if you see a rise coming, you might want to do some prefishing on the Verret side, especially if it looks like there's a lot of water coming down. I would think that if the water is falling just a little on the west side, the winning stringer will probably come out of the Basin."