Mark Tucker is making his eighth Classic appearance.
Mark Tucker found a nice area Friday, he just didn’t find the fish. The 49 anglers fishing this year’s Classic had their first day on the Red River since it went off-limits on Dec. 12.
Tucker, who qualified by winning an Open last year, said the recent cold snap and water drawdown made fishing trying.
“If the weather would have stayed nice, the river would have been good. It’s kind of off a bit,” he said. “The river is not too bad, it’s kind of muddy. They’re running a lot of water. They’re trying to get it ready for this big rain. It can affect the outcome of this event, so they’re letting a lot of water out of Pool 5 and Pool 4 and letting it run into Pool 3.”
Showers are forecast for the Shreveport-Bossier City area tonight with heavy rain Saturday. Rain totaling more than 2 inches is anticipated for the area south of the launch, and the Corps dropped water levels as much as five feet.
“We’re supposed to get some big time rain and I think they’re afraid the water could get up and affect things,” Tucker said. “They’re trying to keep it down and to keep it safe. In that regards, if they’re dropping the water, the fish don’t want to get up there very shallow.”
Tucker said normally the fish would be shallow at this time of year, and he found some spots he thought they would be Friday.
“I found some beautiful water today, 55 to 60 degrees, and very good clarity, but the fish aren’t there yet,” he said. “They just haven’t made a big move. It’s a little off yet.”
Temperatures are expected to rise next week in time for the competition days, and Tucker said that might do the trick.
“It’s supposed to warm up and that’s going to be huge. It’s one of them deals where you just have to play it day to day,” Tucker said. “It’s just that time of year with conditions changing daily. It’ going to be touch and go until we get to next Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
“They could start coming by next week. It could be a tournament similar to last year where they didn’t catcht them well in practice and the fish came in the first couple days in the tournament.”