ANDERSON, S.C. —
Jeff Kriet was smiling as he pulled up to the dock for the launch of Day One of the Bassmaster Classic.
Never mind that there was a steady flow of cold rain working over his body, boat and equipment.
"Let me put it this way," Kriet said. "If I was at home and weather was like this, and I didn't have any other obligations, I'd be fishing. I don't care. I just love to fish."
Then the conversation went the way of nostalgia. The first tournament that came to mind was on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri "quite a few years ago."
"It was snowing so bad I couldn't see 10 feet in front of me," Kriet said. "I ran 70 miles that day and didn't catch them."
He said it was long enough ago that he didn't have electronics to guide him; he was just driving and hoping.
"This ain't nothing," he said. "I just assume fish. I'd much rather be doing this than sitting in a hotel room. Heck, I'd rather be fishing than doing just about anything."
Todd Faircloth's reaction to Friday's weather sent his memory to a tournament fished on Smith Mountain Lake a couple years ago.
"It got real bad," he said. "There was no visibility. I was just telling my partner that we never get rained out."
Kriet talked about that same tournament, adding it was raining so hard the level of the lake rose 10 feet while they were there.
"I was on them one day, and I woke up the next morning and it was a whole new lake," he said. "That's no kidding. It was won on a buzzbait."
Alton Jones said he fished a tournament on Grand Lake in 1991 and there was "two and a half feet of snow on the deck of my boat when I got to my spot," adding that one of the days of that tournament had a high of 16 degrees.
"The fish here were already cold and wet," Jones said. "They actually bite better when in weather like this. It's just up to us to not let the weather affect our fishing."
The forecast calls for rain all day and a high of 41. And still Boyd Duckett and Kriet were chuckling Friday morning as they talked about getting out on the water.
"We've had a lot worse than this haven't we?" Kriet asked Duckett.
Duckett answered: "Oh, yeah. This really isn't that bad."