Dawn breaks in Grove. Ott DeFoe is ready. Fans bundle up.
We're froze out of our early morning chopper ride.
I just spoke with Hideyuki Nomura, editor-in-chief of Japan's Lure Magazine.
There is a uniform of sorts here at the ramp this morning among anglers, media and fans alike.
Paul Riegle, who runs the service trailer for Bass Cat Boats, favors Mike Iaconelli to win.
I know much has been made of the weather already for this event, but allow me to make a little more of it. It. Is. Cold. Weather Channel says it’s 27 but feels like 17. To this Texan it feels like 3. I’m covering my seventh straight Classic and this is the first time I’ve seen this forecast: “Next Six Hours: Mostly sunny with temperatures rising towards the low 30s.” Boats and trailers are leaking water that’s freezing on the ramp behind them.
The fans are pouring into the takeoff area, and the anglers are finally showing up as well. I just met a guy who has to be one of the most enthusiastic spectators here. Brad Byrd, 42, of Amarillo, Texas, drove eight hours through the night to arrive at the launch site at 3 a.m. "I was the first car here," Byrd said. "In fact, the gate was still locked." Byrd said he has followed recent Classics at Bassmaster.com, but this is his first to attend in person and he didn't want to miss anything.
Matt Lee's dad is standing on the dock with their retriever Nessie, who is fully outfitted with an Auburn University coat. Is she unhappy? "Oh no. She'd be in the water if I'd let her." For the record, Dr. Lee (a veterinarian) is fully bedecked in Carhartt. He said Matt is relaxed and confident.
Thanks, Tulsa! Thanks also to Dave Mercer for sending this along.