Three veteran pros, with 34 Classic qualifications between them, answer five telling questions about the 2015 Bassmaster Classic.
What’s the coldest you ever recall being in a tournament?
McClelland: A Central Pro Am event on Table Rock Lake in the early 1990s. It was 4-degrees at launch.
Rook: Ironically, probably the 2008 Classic right here on Hartwell. It was around 34 degrees and rain. To me, that’s the worst conditions you can possibly fish in…real cold…and real wet.
Swindle: Either the 2013 Classic on Grand Lake, OK, or an old Bassmaster Top 100 at Lake Norman, NC.
In your opinion, based on this week’s extreme winter weather, what is the percentage chance that one or more days of competition cold be cancelled?
McClelland: I’ll say 25%
Rook: Zero percent.
Swindle: Maybe a 15% chance.
Three lures you think will get the most use this week?
McClelland: A jig, suspending jerkbait, and a Fish Head Spin.
Rook: A football jig, a drop shot, and a shaky head.
Swindle: A jig, a Fish Head Spin, and a drop shot.
The single biggest concern you have this week?
McClelland: The temperatures! And in turn, the ability to keep reels and rod guides free of ice and functional. (Note: temps are forecasted to be around 8-degrees at Day 1 launch on Friday.)
Rook: Catching fish – I’ll deal with the weather.
Swindle: Our safety – especially on Wednesday, the final day of practice, when most of us won’t have an observer or media with us if something goes wrong, like accidentally falling in the lake with nobody around to know you’re facing hypothermia.
Your guess at a 3-day combined winning weight for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic?
McClelland: I think you’ll have to average 16 pounds a day - so 48 pounds.
Rook: I’ll say 15 pounds a day for a total of around 45 pounds.
Swindle: 45 pounds.