Classic: Day 1 launch

The anglers take off on Lake Hartwell for Day 1 of the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

Early this morning the bass world begins to arrive at Green Pond Landing in Anderson, SC.  The county has done a nice job keeping the road and ramp ice-free.
Photo: James Overstreet - Early this morning the bass world begins to arrive at Green Pond Landing in Anderson, SC. The county has done a nice job keeping the road and ramp ice-free.
Emcee Dave Mercer interviews Cliff Crochet prior to launch.
Photo: James Overstreet - Emcee Dave Mercer interviews Cliff Crochet prior to launch.
Tournament director Trip Weldon is a man of many talents. Here he backs Todd Faircoth’s rig into Lake Hartwell.
Photo: James Overstreet - Tournament director Trip Weldon is a man of many talents. Here he backs Todd Faircoth’s rig into Lake Hartwell.
That’s Justin Lucas’ Tundra and boat heading into the water. Many boats were frozen to the trailer.
Photo: James Overstreet - That’s Justin Lucas’ Tundra and boat heading into the water. Many boats were frozen to the trailer.
The Weather Channel interviews Kevin VanDam.
Photo: James Overstreet - The Weather Channel interviews Kevin VanDam.
Kevin VanDam, on left is in great spirits, despite missing qualifying in this Bassmaster Classic. Prior to this year he qualified in 24 Classics in a row.
Photo: James Overstreet - Kevin VanDam, on left is in great spirits, despite missing qualifying in this Bassmaster Classic. Prior to this year he qualified in 24 Classics in a row.
Lots of media filming other media. It’s the Classic after all!
Photo: James Overstreet - Lots of media filming other media. It’s the Classic after all!
Tournament officials work to get Randall Tharp’s boat unstuck from his trailer.
Photo: James Overstreet - Tournament officials work to get Randall Tharp’s boat unstuck from his trailer.
KVD with has buddy Alan McGuckin, who is known by friends as Guck. I think it’s fair to say Guck is one of the most talented guys covering bass fishing.
Photo: James Overstreet - KVD with has buddy Alan McGuckin, who is known by friends as Guck. I think it’s fair to say Guck is one of the most talented guys covering bass fishing.
KVD putting his GoPro to work.
Photo: James Overstreet - KVD putting his GoPro to work.
Mike Iaconelli heads into Lake Hartwell.
Photo: James Overstreet - Mike Iaconelli heads into Lake Hartwell.
Stephen Browning hops into his boat, with Hank Weldon assisting.
Photo: James Overstreet - Stephen Browning hops into his boat, with Hank Weldon assisting.
 Mike McClelland gets ready for the day. This Arkansas boy is fired up for the day.
Photo: James Overstreet - Mike McClelland gets ready for the day. This Arkansas boy is fired up for the day.
That’s AOY Champ Greg Hackney underneath a lot of clothing. He reported that he’s plenty warm.
Photo: James Overstreet - That’s AOY Champ Greg Hackney underneath a lot of clothing. He reported that he’s plenty warm.
Green Pond was a cluster of activity.
Photo: James Overstreet - Green Pond was a cluster of activity.
The boat dock at Green Pond was packed with media, but was plenty stable and free of ice.
Photo: James Overstreet - The boat dock at Green Pond was packed with media, but was plenty stable and free of ice.
Both Yamaha and Mercury had big saltwater boats on Lake Hartwell for cameraman and staff to follow the tournament.
Photo: James Overstreet - Both Yamaha and Mercury had big saltwater boats on Lake Hartwell for cameraman and staff to follow the tournament.
The fans came out in force today.
Photo: James Overstreet - The fans came out in force today.
Dave Mercer talking with last years champ Randy Howell
Photo: James Overstreet - Dave Mercer talking with last years champ Randy Howell
2014 Classic Champ attracted lots of media attention.
Photo: James Overstreet - 2014 Classic Champ attracted lots of media attention.
Dave Mercer interviews the man in yellow, Skeet Reese.
Photo: James Overstreet - Dave Mercer interviews the man in yellow, Skeet Reese.
A little bit of cold did not dampen the enthusiasm of these fishing fans.
Photo: James Overstreet - A little bit of cold did not dampen the enthusiasm of these fishing fans.
Ott DeFoe heads into the chilly waters of Lake Hartwell.
Photo: James Overstreet - Ott DeFoe heads into the chilly waters of Lake Hartwell.
Dave Mercer interviews South Carolina native and leading contender Casey Ashley.
Photo: James Overstreet - Dave Mercer interviews South Carolina native and leading contender Casey Ashley.
The GEICO Gecko is in the house!
Photo: James Overstreet - The GEICO Gecko is in the house!
Stephen Browning prepares for the day.
Photo: James Overstreet - Stephen Browning prepares for the day.
Brandon Palaniuk with his trusty GoPro strapped to his chest.
Photo: James Overstreet - Brandon Palaniuk with his trusty GoPro strapped to his chest.
All the anglers are making last minute adjustments. That’s Todd Faircloth in the center.
Photo: James Overstreet - All the anglers are making last minute adjustments. That’s Todd Faircloth in the center.
Paul Elias on left and David Kilgore on the right.
Photo: James Overstreet - Paul Elias on left and David Kilgore on the right.
Japanese angler Morizo Shimizu gets ready for the day.
Photo: James Overstreet - Japanese angler Morizo Shimizu gets ready for the day.
Japanese fans were out in force today.
Photo: James Overstreet - Japanese fans were out in force today.
And they’re finally off, after boats frozen to trailers delayed the launch a bit.
Photo: James Overstreet - And they’re finally off, after boats frozen to trailers delayed the launch a bit.
David Walker and his Marshal prepare to take off. His Marshal is a smart man, or woman (?) to wear the motorcycle helmet.
Photo: James Overstreet - David Walker and his Marshal prepare to take off. His Marshal is a smart man, or woman (?) to wear the motorcycle helmet.
Motorcyle Marshal waves to the crowd.
Photo: James Overstreet - Motorcyle Marshal waves to the crowd.
Motorcycle helmets were a popular accessory today. That’s Randall Tharp in the foreground.
Photo: James Overstreet - Motorcycle helmets were a popular accessory today. That’s Randall Tharp in the foreground.
The big boats from Yamaha and Mercury watch the takeoff.
Photo: James Overstreet - The big boats from Yamaha and Mercury watch the takeoff.
A big barge held some of the media and spectators.
Photo: James Overstreet - A big barge held some of the media and spectators.
Photo: James Overstreet
The GEICO Gecko prepares to lead the anglers out into Harwell.
Photo: James Overstreet - The GEICO Gecko prepares to lead the anglers out into Harwell.
The helicopter arrives! It is piloted and owned by Greg Shore. Bassmaster.com photographers Mike Suchan and David Jones are aboard.
Photo: James Overstreet - The helicopter arrives! It is piloted and owned by Greg Shore. Bassmaster.com photographers Mike Suchan and David Jones are aboard.
David Kilgore of Alabama unties.
Photo: James Overstreet - David Kilgore of Alabama unties.
Mike Iaconelli waves to the crowd. That’s one of our new live stream cameras on board with him.
Photo: James Overstreet - Mike Iaconelli waves to the crowd. That’s one of our new live stream cameras on board with him.
More anglers head out to the big lake.
Photo: James Overstreet - More anglers head out to the big lake.
Brandon Palaniuk starts his day.
Photo: James Overstreet - Brandon Palaniuk starts his day.
Dave Mercer checks the order for blast off.
Photo: James Overstreet - Dave Mercer checks the order for blast off.
Takahiro Omori works to shake off the cold.
Photo: James Overstreet - Takahiro Omori works to shake off the cold.
Skeet Reese framed by a cloud of his own breath.
Photo: James Overstreet - Skeet Reese framed by a cloud of his own breath.
Backing the boat into Lake Harwell.
Photo: James Overstreet - Backing the boat into Lake Harwell.
Photo: James Overstreet
Randall Tharp mounts his GoPro camera.
Photo: James Overstreet - Randall Tharp mounts his GoPro camera.
Mike McClelland looks like a big man because of all the layers.
Photo: James Overstreet - Mike McClelland looks like a big man because of all the layers.
Dean Rojas is wearing a little more clothing than he might be in his native Arizona.
Photo: James Overstreet - Dean Rojas is wearing a little more clothing than he might be in his native Arizona.
That’s 2012 Classic Champ Chris Lane underneath all that gear.
Photo: James Overstreet - That’s 2012 Classic Champ Chris Lane underneath all that gear.
Like a lot of big time sporting events, planes flew overhead sporting messages from our sponsors.
Photo: James Overstreet - Like a lot of big time sporting events, planes flew overhead sporting messages from our sponsors.
Mark Davis doing a few warm up exercises.
Photo: James Overstreet - Mark Davis doing a few warm up exercises.
It's no surprise that fishing fans aren't afraid of a little cold weather.
Photo: James Overstreet - It's no surprise that fishing fans aren't afraid of a little cold weather.
Media members chronicle take off.
Photo: James Overstreet - Media members chronicle take off.
The Gecko leads us in the national anthem.
Photo: James Overstreet - The Gecko leads us in the national anthem.
South Carolina pro Casey Ashley did a fantastic rendition of the national anthem.
Photo: James Overstreet - South Carolina pro Casey Ashley did a fantastic rendition of the national anthem.
The Gecko leads the anglers out into the big waters of Lake Hartwell. The Gecko is happy to pose for selfies everywhere he goes!
Photo: James Overstreet - The Gecko leads the anglers out into the big waters of Lake Hartwell. The Gecko is happy to pose for selfies everywhere he goes!
After a long wait it’s finally time to blast off.
Photo: James Overstreet - After a long wait it’s finally time to blast off.
Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers gives a thumbs up the crowd.
Photo: James Overstreet - Oklahoma pro Edwin Evers gives a thumbs up the crowd.