Photographer James Overstreet and I are positioned in the pinch point of a popular backwater area, which shall remain nameless. We've talked with about a dozen Bassmaster Classic competitors this morning, either on their way in here or on the way out.
But no one has roared into this stump-filled shallow water like our last visitor.
Overstreet reached for his 300-millimeter lens as we watched the approach, then said, "I guarantee you that's (Mike) Iaconelli, without even looking."
Ike had backed it down to idling speed when he went past us, smiled and said, "We've run over some s*** today."
No doubt, Mike, no doubt.
Davy Hite has a special affinity for Louisiana. He won the Classic on the Delta in 1999. And not too long after that, he won a Bassmaster event here on the Red River.
Like every one else he also wants to win this event. He has plans on winning a second Classic this year or the next. His motivation is simple. He explains it in this video clip:
Every angler our on-the-water crew approaches is making a big deal about water temperature. Warmer temps mean fish on the move and more of an opportunity to get bit.
Most of these guys are relying on the temperature to move up before this gets started Friday.
In Pennsylvania they have Punxsutawney Phil as their harbinger of spring. In Louisiana (and I am making this up) it's Alvin Alligator.
He actually made an appearance today near Allan Glasgow on Practice Day. Glasgow's Marhsall, Ben Pettus, shot this photo with his phone as they neared Alvin. He's the one that looks more like a gator than a log.
No word on whether the gator saw his shadow or not. But it is a great indicator that things are warming up on the Red River.
At 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jeff Kriet hadn't seen much to get excited about. In fact, he thought the bass fishing was better here Sunday than it had been so far today.
"I did hit one little stretch where I thought I'd catch 'em," Kriet said. "I got two bites where I thought I'd get 10."
Kriet, however, was far from discouraged, saying, "I think we're going to catch 'em (in the Classic)."
That's the feeling you get from a lot of these anglers: With a few more degrees in the water temperature and a few more hours to figure out what the fish are going, then the Red River will break loose. But it's holding tight right now.
Kevin VanDam is not above joking around with reporters and cameramen. We had a chance to catch up to him yesterday while he was in the middle of some television interviews.
One of the constant figures behind the camera on the Bassmaster Television who is Wes Miller. He's covered every Bassmaster Elite Series event and has become a well-known, behind-the-scenes cameraman.
KVD loves messing with him and the crew as you can see in this short video.
John Crews was fishing 56-degree water Wednesday morning, and he wasn't too happy about it.
"I was wanting it to be a little bit warmer, but we've still got this afternoon and tomorrow," said Crews, just before the sun broke through the clouds.
Today is crucial for Crews, who said he hadn't yet formed any kind of game plan for the Classic.
"I'm trying to get a pulse on what the fish are doing today at this water temperature," Crews said. "Then I'll kind of gauge what to do Friday based on what I figure out today."
Yerger and I have arrived in Sullivan's, and it's a popular place.
Swindle, Vinson and others are here. This area is a big oxbow full of flats, stumps and ditches. It gets hammered year-round, but for good reason: it always produces.
Swindle is pitching along the bank to some scattered grass while Vinson is across the way spewing mud and dirt into the air as he tries to free himself from a sandbar. The wraps on these boats will take a beating. Unfortunately, many of them are brand new.
There's a consistent 10 mile-per-hour wind blowing through Sullivan's, which prompted Swindle to pick up a chartreuse spinnerbait, one of Yerger's favorite baits on the river. Swindle's really moving along, covering lots of water.
Randy Howell is fishing in water that appears to have a perfect stain but he said he won't be here during the tournament.
This small area is getting pounded and he speculated that the pressure has killed what used to be a hard-to-access honey hole.
Howell practiced for a day and a half out of his aluminum boat and a day and a half out of his glass boat. He said it'll be fiberglass all the way come tournament time:
"That aluminum boat will mess up your head."
As we idled in to our next backwater, Mike Iaconelli came blasting out with a head of steam.
He slowed to a quick idle as he approached us, shot us a grin that could light up all of Shreveport, then took off again after he passed us.
He was second here in 2009 and has a bunch of runner up finishes in the past year -- he may be due.
David Walker started the day with a new prop on his outboard motor. The new wore off it pretty quick. Walker was leaving one of his first fishing spots when his prop thumped a stump.
"It bent one of the ears back," Walker said. "I had to change it out."
Walker was in a popular backwater area at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, but he didn't seem to mind the crowd.
"If you get the right plan in an area this big, there won't be enough boats in here to stop it," Walker said.
But he hadn't figured out the right plan yet.
"I think the conditions are really good," Walker said, "but the fish don't act like it. I'm surprised. I think this is ideal. This is the best chance to catch your biggest fish. The bass are pre-spawn; they are as heavy as they are going to be all year.
"It's muddy, it's shallow, it's cold, I like it."