Well, we'd like to be on our way to find some anglers, but right now we're trying to thaw the ice that has the trolling motor frozen to its mount. Aaron Stanphill, our boat driver, poured hot coffee on it, so now we're idling away from the dock. This kind of weather-related equipment issue is a small inconvenience for our crew, but if it's happening to competitors, it will cost them precious time.
The first keeper of the day falls to Jonathan Carter.
Former Elite Series pro Travis Manson regrets that he didn't bring a pair of shorts. These temps in the low 20s are downright tropical compared to the 6 degrees he left behind in Wisconsin. His pick to win the tournament? "Edwin Evers. He deserves it."
Matt Lee has certainly never seen anything like this. The Carhartt College Series Classic qualifier from Cullman, Ala., had 15 people, three video cameras, eight and one dog surrounding his boat this morning as he tried to prepare for the biggest day of his life. You could feel his nervous energy from the dock.
Photos from the Day One launch of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Kevin VanDam was running around in between several satellite and TV production trucks near the boat dock just before takeoff at 7 a.m. "I'm looking for coffee," he told me. I asked him to grab two. "I'm not drinking it," he said. "My livewell is frozen shut."
Not who you "think" will win, but who you'd "like" to see win. That's what I asked the Classic qualifiers.
Bobby Lane is tired of all the talk about cold weather, especially when his sunny Florida heritage is mentioned in conjunction. "The high was 36 degrees [Wednesday] in all that snow," Lane said.
Edwin Evers is one of the few people here not lamenting the cold. "It's actually warmer here than they predicted," he said. His boat is comfortable, too. He kept it in a heated garage last night.