ANDERSON, S.C. — Despite wind gusts that almost knocked engine technicians, ESPNOutdoors.com crew and fans off the docks, 50 Elite Series pros were eventually able to successfully trailer their boats and retire for the day. After this longer-than-normal take-out, Classic anglers responded to three questions on the final day of practice before the action begins. The questions were as follows:
• With the wind today and the rains moving in tomorrow and Friday, will the weather have a bigger impact on the anglers or the fish?
• On Thursday evening before the tournament begins, what single thought may keep you up at night?
Affect game plan? "I think today added to my confidence level."
Bigger impact? "The anglers."
Up at night? "Realizing I'm fishing my first Bassmaster Classic."
Affect game plan? "I think it kept a lot of guys off their fish. It kept me off mine, too."
Bigger impact? On us. "Today was something we haven't seen much of; a true cold front followed by this much wind."
Up at night? "Nothing. All you gotta do is go fishing. If you get worried, you get to second-guessing yourself."
Affect game plan? "It just reaffirmed what I thought."
Bigger impact? "Impacts the fishing more. If you're going for deeper fish, it doesn't hurt you as much."
Up at night? "Which place I'll start."
Affect game plan? "Yes. I've been saving this day. I checked on one of my spots and caught a 4-pounder."
Bigger impact? "Definitely affects the fish. But just how much of a change will it be from practice?"
Up at night? "Well, I haven't been able to sleep at all this week. And I'm normally pretty relaxed about it. It's been bothering me that I wasn't on quality fish. But today felt like a good one."
Affect game plan? "Today messed me up."
Bigger impact? "When you find 'em, you can catch one."
Up at night? "To fish slower in a couple areas instead of running around. I thought I could run a pattern."
Affect game plan? "The things I found today will change all my strategy for tournament. I have to change it up."
Bigger impact? "Harder for the anglers."
Up at night? "I have lots of things to think about."
Affect game plan? "It was kind of the same deal, but they [the fish] were doing something different."
Bigger impact? "Probably us. It won't bother them."
Up at night? "Nothing. Just fish it like it's another tournament. Laying awake at night thinking about isn't going to help."
Affect game plan? "It was about what I wanted."
Bigger impact? "No question, the fishermen. This time a year the fish don't get too affected."
Up at night?" I have a cold that may keep me up."
Affect game plan? "Yeah. I checked out new waters. I found a couple things that will hopefully help me out."
Bigger impact? "Probably the fish. We can put layers on."
Up at night? "Yeah, I'll be able to sleep pretty well. I can't get frustrated if it's a tough bite."