The 2011 Bassmaster Classic didn’t exactly start with a bang. In fact it didn’t start at all for about an hour. A dense fog settled over the Louisiana Delta overnight with rapidly warming temperatures and the brought the launch to a stand still at 7 am this morning. However, it probably increased the angler anticipation as about half the field reported they would be making long runs.
With the fog delay, several pros were getting anxious knowing they already had a shortened day of fishing. Most had ventured to guess they’d have 3 to 4 hours of fishing after their run down there before they had to head back before a fog delay. This morning’s 70 minute delay cut about 25 percent of their fishing time.
However several pros like Andy Montgomery, Greg Hackney, Dean Rojas, Ryan Said and a few others were happy when they saw the fog this morning. And some that we didn’t know about their runs proved they could catch them close. As we loaded back on to our bus after launch, we got a report VanDam had already boated a 3-pounder from the BASSTrakk site.
There is no doubt the fog delay really “spun out” some of the pros this morning, but as good as fishing seems to be getting here in the last couple of days, most pros figured it would be fast and furious when they did get to their spots.
Oddly enough, early reports show Aaron Martens and Derek Remitz doing well to start the day. Remitz told us point blank he had nothing and had little confidence in being able to go out and just catch fish with his limited knowledge of the fishery. We asked him if not finding anything in practice actually relaxes him because then he knows he can just go fishing and not worry with it because you’re just going fishing and don’t have to worry with a plan fell through.
“I would be a lot more relaxed if I knew the fishery well enough,” Remitz said. “However, I’ve flipped some beautiful stuff this week that I’m not sure a bass has ever swam near in the history of the Delta. So I have no idea if I’m flipping the right stuff. I had four bites the last day of practice and missed on all four, so I have no idea if they were even bass.”
Jeff Kriet looked as anxious as anyone.
“I’m trying to keep a smile on my face,” Kriet said. “I’m all spun out at this point. I mean I’m a professional fisherman. I want to go fish not sit here and think about it. Either let’s get this thing going or let’s call it off and we’ll go sit over at Harrah’s and play poker. If this fog delay lasts much longer, you might find me over at Harrah’s pretty quick. I’ve got a long run, and I don’t have anything else, so I have to go.”
The sun is out and it’s very warm in New Orleans. The fog probably dissipated quickly after a while but it was still thick when we crossed the bridge coming back into town and reports were Venice had thick fog banks after launch.
The other big factor in this tournament were some guys were running huge Lowrance radar units on their boats to be able to see obstacles in front of them if they did run into dense fog banks. Iaconelli, Klein, Evers and Butcher were all running the big Radar units on their boats.
Here’s what a few other pros said about the delays this morning
Here are what a few other pros had to say this morning during the fog delay:
Tommy Biffle, Oklahoma - I’m not real happy about this delay. I’m making a big run but I can catch them pretty quick once I get to my areas. I haven’t seen another boat around me all practice so I should be able to catch them when I get there. I’m flipping in some key areas.
Skeet Reese, California - My dad is from this area and my grandparents live here so I’ve been coming down here since I was a little kid. I love having the Classic in this state. Winning in Shreveport was great, but probably the first Classic I ever fished was the most exciting and memorable for me. Now once that fog lifts, it’s all game face and I’m only thinking about getting bit and capitalizing on what I found.
Brent Chapman, Kansas - Practice went really good for me. I just need to get going. I think I can catch them. It started for me back in October. I came down and fished for bass and redfish. Even when it got cold the fish bit really well down here. Back home when it gets down in the 40 degree water temps like it was here to start practice, the bass just don’t bite. But down here I was surprised at how they bit.
Mike McClelland, Arkansas - Well it’s the same for everyone that is making the big runs. I only fished up here one day and that just confirmed my decision to make the run. So I’ve got to go down there. But I feel like I can catch them when I get down there. I’m just anxious to get going.
Gary Klein, Texas - It's out of my hands now (referring to fog delay). I sure hope we don't dissappoint those folks who are pulling for us to win or do well at this one.
As of our latest check in with the BASS Blog and the BASSTrakk, Aaron Martens has a limit for 14 pounds and Ike does too, if not real close. Derek Remitz has 13 pounds and VanDam has 8 ½ with just three bass. We’ll try to post updates as we get them to our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’re heading to the show shortly and will report on any new products we see as well as talk to some of the pros over there for tips and techniques for the upcoming season. Stay tuned!
2011 Classic | Day One Morning Fishing Report
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