SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. — With a north wind blowing strong prior to Friday’s Day One takeoff of the Bassmaster Classic, the fish-catching prospects weren’t great.
“We talked about it this morning before we left,” Terry Scroggins said. “If I could have 14 pounds, I’d stay at the dock. I got 14-and-a-half, so I’m happy.”
A 25-mile-per-hour north wind, which prevailed all day Friday, isn’t typically a formula for success. But Scroggins made it work, and had the fish hooked that could have made it an even better day. Scroggins’ total of 14-8 put him in an 11th place tie with Matt Reed, 3 pounds, 5 ounces behind leader Keith Poche.
“I’m happy with the day, but I’m a little disappointed because I lost two good fish,” Scroggins said. “I could have been leading this thing.”
Bill Lowen was just glad to hang on after he saw what the wind had done to the best place he’d found during practice.
“The north wind was the absolute worst wind I could have had,” said Lowen, who finished with a five-bass limit weighing 14-13, which was good enough for 10th place. “I’m fishing around a lot of red dirt, so when the wind laps up there, naturally everything muddies up.
“My best area was pretty much solid mud. It had one little clear spot in it, about as big as my boat. I caught a 5-pounder out of there. The fish were there, but the muddy water just screwed me up.”
There were a bunch of wind-burned anglers at the CenturyLink Arena weigh-in. That shouldn’t be the case over the next two days. Although temperatures are supposed to drop into the 30s the next two nights before warming into the 60s each day, a light south wind is in the forecast for the rest of the weekend.
“(Saturday) will absolutely be the toughest day,” said Ott DeFoe, who is in fifth place with 16-6. “Today the front was kind of going out, but it was still here. Tomorrow it should be an afternoon bite, after the weather stabilizes.”
“When the weather stabilizes, they should bite better,” said Aaron Martens, who is in 14th place with 13-4. “The whole key is how far along these fish are in the spawning process. They are a lot closer than they were last week, and you’ve got to fish like that. You’ve got to be able to move and make the right decisions. That’s the hardest part.”
It should be easier to make those decisions the next two days, without a 25-mile-an-hour wind blowing in your face all day long.