The most popular people this morning are three ladies in a tent serving coffee, hot chocolate and "more coffee." They're all shivering, though. "They promised us there'd be a heater," said Alicia Pimental. She's still cheerful, but with temps dropping that may not last long. Coffee works, but it becomes a struggle when nature calls.
Because of the distance from Tulsa to the takeoff, I was skeptical about seeing big crowds this morning. But when photographer Jerry Cunningham and I arrived at 5:05, there were already about 200 cars and trucks in the parking lot. I hope they dressed in ample layers, because it's cold!
With frigid temperatures descending on Grand Lake, you'd figure the Classic contenders would be bundled up in hotel rooms and campers the night before Day One of the tournament. Not Aaron Martens. The noted outside-the-box thinker was spotted at the Grove, Okla., Walmart a little before 9 p.m. buying Cheerios among other things. Not for his kids, though -- they're in Tulsa, probably already tucked in. One can only wonder if the noted tackle-tinkerer still has to tweak some lures or respool reels.
The weather’s been a little tough out here, but I have to tell you that this has really been a fun Classic for me and the family.
Gene Gilliland, a fisheries biologist who has studied Grand Lake for 30 years, shares his perspective on what it takes to win there.
Here we go – my 23rd Bassmaster Classic - and what a special one it’s going to be.
It’s Thursday, the last day for prep before the Classic starts. It’s been a fairly busy day but nothing got out of control.
On the morning of the biggest competition of your life, what do you eat and drink to get you going?
Cold, ice, sleet, rain, thunder and lightning — Tulsa has seen it all in the days leading up to the Friday-through-Sunday world championship of bass fishing on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
There will be a real-time scoreboard at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, but the 53 competitors won't see it during competition. That ruling, made Thursday, ended two days of considerable angler anxiety.