A tough Friday-Sunday
practice finally behind them, Bassmaster Classic anglers are bone-tired.
But that feeling is almost incidental to their relief about the end of
frigid air over the Louisiana Delta. In the nick of time, milder weather
is on its way.
are happy â€” about the coming warmer temperatures,â€ said Classic
qualifier Mark Davis. â€œThe cold has made it a brutal practice, for
for progressively warmer air temps and some sunshine. The resulting
warming Delta water is expected to improve the bass bite. If the night
air in the 30s had hung around, the bite could
have been among the toughest in Classic history.
day’s time, and knowing conditions are going to improve, is a
lower-than-normal water levels. Davis said he came close a few times to
running aground when he zipped over shallow shell beds. He was a lot
luckier than some others, including Paul Elias.
by myself, but it was too dark by then to risk going up on plane. They
(rescue team) drove all the way down from Belle Chasse, put a boat in at
Venice, and found me.â€
airboat, which pulled him to deeper water, where he could safely get in
under his own steam.
Classic competition. But Elias has based his competition plan on a
100-mile one-way run to spots in Venice, and the morning fog that could
come with warmer air temps concerns him.
â€œIf you plan to make a long run, a fog delay, or just the fact that
you have to run slower in fog, would cut into your fishing time,â€ he
said. â€œAs it is, you only get three hours to fish if you run to Venice.
Fog makes the run even more of a gamble.â€
official practice day on Wednesday. Elias, the 1982 Classic champ and a
competition veteran â€” this Classic happens to be his 300th Bassmaster tournament
â€” said his Monday would be spent getting his motor checked out.
qualified for the 2011 Classic. The others are three-time winner and
defending champ Kevin VanDam; Skeet Reese, who won in 2009; Michael
Iaconelli, who won in 2003 in the previous Classic on
the Delta; and Boyd Duckett, the 2007 winner.