According to weather.com, it’s colder, but not colder his morning. Yesterday at this time it was 25 but feels like 17. This morning it’s 23 and feels like 23. Maybe it’s my extra layer, but it doesn’t feel like the cold is creeping its way toward your skin this morning. It’s quite pleasant.
If you missed any of the coverage last night, here’s a recap:
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Michael Iaconelli and Cliff Pace are tied for the lead, or as Mike Suchan would write: Keeping Pace with Ike.
Ken Duke wraps up Day One nicely with his 10 takeaways from Day One.
Trey Reid highlights former champions and the reigning AOY who struggled on Day One.
Chris Lane talks about his zero – he didn’t have a single bite.
Tracy Adams used the same tools as many other competitors yesterday-- namely, crankbaits and jigs-- but a late-day switch to a jig allowed him to make two good culls. As a result he'll probably spend a little more time with it today.
This is his second Classic and even though it's cold he said the experience "is a lot more fun when you're near the lead." He had a few spectator boats yesterday but hopes the masses "all stay with Kevin and Christie today."
Dave Mercer doesn't expect to be cold today. Is it because he's from Canada? Possibly, but more likely because "it's always 80 degrees and sunny in the arena."
Myron Shetler of Dover, Ohio, lives near Elite Series pro Fletcher Shryock ("We call him 'Little Ike'"). He expects KVD to come out on top this week. Shetler came to the launch today to give his credit cards a rest-- he spent well over $500 at the Expo yesterday ("I found some deals") and plans to spend at least $200 tomorrow when the vendors "put all the items they don't want to take home on clearance."
Cliff Pace spent some time prior to blast-off rigging up a few lures he didn't try yesterday. With the water appearing to slick off he'll need to have back-up plans "in case things go south."
"I hope I never have to get them out of the rod locker," he said. "But if it's slick and still the lures I used yesterday may not be effective."
Three year old Emory Tidwell of Muskogee woke up at 3:30 to come cheer on home state favorite Tommy Biffle. Right now Emory claims to be warm at his first Bassmaster Classic...and says he hopes to fish the event in 2033.
With another frigid start - in the low 20s - Saturday is forecast to get relatively smokin' hot - mid 40s by mid-afternoon. But the combination of a warming trend and no wind could make for a tougher fishing than Friday, when it took 21 pounds, 8 ounces to lead the Bassmaster Classic.
"The colder it is, the bigger they are, it seems like," said Jason Christie, in describing wintertime fishing in the Ozarks. "I think a real still, warm day will hurt. If it was getting colder, the weights would go up."
Christie, who is sixth with 18-12, lives an hour from Grand Lake in Park Hill, Okla. He has more experience on this lake than the 52 other competitors. But his Day One experience was common: An early bite and a late one. He caught fish in the first two hours, went about four hours with nothing, then caught them again in the last two hours.
"I think they always come up shallow to feed early," Christie said."When it's this cold, I think they start sunning in the middle of the day and get active again."
It won't take much to put a damper on the total-bag weights today. It's not like these guys are sifting through a ton of fish.
"It's just scary to go for eight hours and try to catch five," Christie said. "I could catch 25 pounds, or six pounds."
The original forecast told us that it would be warmer today, but the initial "exposed skin test" tells me that it's every bit as cold. When I got downstairs to the truck today it was covered in frost.
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Jonathan Carter got on the board before any other angler this morning, with a nice keeper before the clock struck 7:30. The morning bite was strong for him, and that — coupled with a few afternoon bass — was enough to land Maine's first representative to the Classic a spot in the Top 10.
"I feel great," said Carter after today's weigh-in. "I caught much more than I expected. I knew the fishery had the potential to produce big fish, but I hadn’t seen them."
He anchored his 18-pound, 11-ounce bag with a 4-11 bass.
The B.A.S.S. Nation angler hailing from the Eastern division finished in the seventh-place spot today, just behind local favorite Jason Christie and not far behind Michael Iaconelli and Kevin VanDam. He's ahead of two other heavily favored pros, Mike McClelland and Edwin Evers.
"I'm happy to be in that kind of company," said Carter. "I hope to catch another bag like that tomorrow!"
His comrade Mark Dove from the B.A.S.S. Nation is currently in 21st place with a 13-8 bag.
"I would have worn shorts today but I thought it would look like I was showing off," the Indiana native said on stage.
He and Carter both said they were unfazed by today's subfreezing temperatures, thanks to their thick Northern blood.
Other anglers from the B.A.S.S. Nation had a tougher day. Gerry Jooste of Zimbabwe is in 30th place with 11-4; Mark Pierce of Tennessee is in 42nd place with 7-4; Andy Bravence, Arizona, is in 51st place with 1-8; and Jared Knuth, Nebraska, is in 52nd with 1-4.
Albert Collins of Texas, who competed in last fall's B.A.S.S. Nation Championship and then followed it up with a win at the Weekend Series Championship, is in 48th place with 4-15. Tied with him is Alabama's Matt Lee, the Auburn University angler from the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, which is part of the B.A.S.S. Nation.
The temperature will be a little bit more tolerable tomorrow. We'll see if that helps the anglers near the bottom of the leaderboard who are not as used to fishing in the bitter cold.