Bring on the rain

EVANS, Ga. — As if conditions weren't challenging enough for the competitors fishing the Pride of Georgia on Clarks Hill, Day Two threw anglers another curveball with overcast skies and a chance of isolated thunderstorms moving in later in the day.

For some, that means a chance for the weather to extend the early topwater bite later into the day. Derek Remitz was seventh after Day One with 14 pounds, 4 ounces and most of that weight came early in the morning.

"These clouds might extend the bite," Remitz said. "Normally, it's over by 9 or 10. That topwater deal, the blueback are just about done, but enough are there to keep some fish on the points and it's best first thing in the morning."

Conditions were sunny Thursday, but the fish still bit well for Remitz, which surprised him.

"They actually bit better yesterday than they did in practice," Remitz said. "The weather should help today and the cut weight will stay just about even with what it was yesterday. I think it will be right around 20 pounds. As long as it doesn't get dead slick and sunny, that's about the worst conditions out here."

Unlike Remitz, Gary Klein likes the tough conditions, although he agreed that the weather should help everyone out.

"I almost prefer the fishing to be the way that it is, rather than a wide-open bite," Klein said. ""This is more of a test mentally. You gotta grind it out and fish super slow to get a bite."

Klein actually prepared for thunderstorms in practice and so he knows how stormy weather will influence the bass on Clarks Hill.

"In practice, we had some thunderstorms and so I ran back toward them to see if I could catch a fish where I just was," Klein said. "I caught a 2-pounder off the spot pretty quick and left. They are not biting well to begin with, but after the first 2 to 3 hours, the bite really slows, so the weather could help."

Klein entered the day in 10th place with 13 pounds, 14 ounces.

Unlike Remitz and Klein, John Crews was skeptical about the fishing getting any better with the overcast weather. Crews had a great Day One, and landed 14 pounds, 3 ounces for an eighth-place finish, but knows the value of the first few hours won't change with the weather.

"On Monday, I thought the rain would keep the fishing biting all day, but it seemed tough then," Crews said. "It may make it marginally better, but you still have to grind it out. I caught them yesterday when it was sunny and slick."

Many anglers took advantage of the early bite on Thursday and Crews was no exception.

"There was a morning bite, but I think that it goes away whether it is cloudy or sunny," Crews said. "If you are programmed to eat breakfast at 7:00 each day, you are not going to be hungry at 8:00 whether you go to the buffet or not."