VanDam just spent some time on the deck of his Nitro rearranging his rods and getting some spinning gear out. It’s getting close to cold enough to make rod guides freeze, which might have prompted him to switch. He’s still moving in and around Duck Creek hitting docks and rocky outcroppings. We’re picking it up and moving just outside of Duck. The snow is falling more steadily now.
The first flakes are falling on us. We're down near the intakes for the dam, which is about a mile away.
Tommy Biffle, one of the home state favorites here, was fishing along the buoys keeping anglers away.
Across the lake is another favorite, Mike McClelland, who's working his way in a deep cove. The jerk bait specialist is doing his thing - very slowly.
The chill has worked through the layers of clothing as more flakes hit the water. The storm is about to hit in earnest, just as the weatherman predicted.
We're watching Jeremy Starks and it's cold, but the worst is yet to come. He received a text from Jason Quinn, who is driving back to Tulsa in a blizzard. We checked the radar and that report seems to be confirmed.
We've just located Mark Dove, who is fishing far faster than anyone else we've seen. Noting his Indiana roots, he said he was tempted to fish in shorts "but I didn't want to show off." It's not getting any warmer.
I’ve come to learn that there’s a 300-boat tournament here next weekend, and it’s likely that many of the observers are having their prefishing done for them by the Classic anglers. However, a well-known pair of locals just said that they’re watching where the Classic anglers fish so they know where not to fish. A wise move considering that the spots that Kevin VanDam, Edwin Evers and Jason Christie will be beaten to a pulp all next week. The temperature has dropped again, and the skies are overcast.
We just followed VanDam and his flotilla into Duck Creek. He’s working the same sorts of cover; docks and shallow rocky points. There’s baitfish all over Meador’s Humminbird everywhere we’ve gone.
Steve Bowman and Dave Mercer check out the snow. No word on a snowball fight after this picture was taken.
Defending champion Chris Lane said he's already driven about 40 miles in the boat this morning and said his Florida blood is wearing a little thin. He's heating his hands with a portable heater. "Wait a few minutes," he said. "It'll be flaming hot."!
We're halfway back to Tulsa from the Grand Lake launch ramp, and it's a winter wonderland. Visibility is decreasing by the minute as snow is falling heavily.
Jim Sexton, Dave Mercer and I are counting on Steve Bowman's driving ability to get us back safely. I've been in more precarious positions, I guess.
These "Bridge may ice in cold weather" signs seem more ominous by the second.
Running down lake toward the dam, we nearly passed a small inlet before we saw Terry Big Show Scroggins in the back checking out a huge woodpile.
The place is called Twin Coves, and both are babies, maybe 100 yards deep. Scroggins worked the docks on both sides before exiting to his next locale.
Before we could get moving, defending Classic champ Chris Lane flew by. Seems these guys are running around doing last-second spot checking.
Not far down lake we came across Dean Rojas along a gravel covered shoreline. Moments later he's up and running but stops again a short distance away near a dock. Less than a minute later he's on the move again to another spot. Rojas stops again a hundred yards away at another dock.
With little standing timber in the water, crappie anglers have sunk numerous brush piles and sometimes they hold some nice bass, too.