Bass anglers brave the weather

February 27, 2010 at 07:35 AM

Rod Cooke had plenty of superlatives for the Sangchris Bass Club’s first outing of 2010 last Sunday.

“It was horrible. I mean, it was pathetic. It never quit raining, and the wind blew,” he says. “It was terrible.”

The group annually hosts its Get-Ready Fundraiser in late February. Sometimes the weather cooperates; sometimes not.

“It was foggy. It was wet. It never snowed, but it rained,” Cooke says. “I mean, it was something else.”

No matter. Twenty-five boats competed, and 15 of the teams entered weighed full limits of bass taken from Sangchris Lake southeast of Springfield. Many fish were more than 4 pounds. The biggest weighed 4.4 pounds.

“That’s pretty darn good for the weather,” Cooke said about a day when nearly an inch of precipitation was recorded at Springfield’s Capital Airport.

The club makes up its tournament schedule in September. That far out, it’s impossible to see what late February might have to offer, weather-wise.

Sometimes anglers desperate to get the fishing season under way have to break ice to get their boats launched.

Right now, the water is open.

“The water temperature in the hot ditch was 60 degrees,” Cooke says.

He says anglers just missed fishing in decent weather.

“If the tournament had been on Saturday, we probably would have had 35 or 40 boats,” Cooke says. “Saturday it was 40 degrees and no rain. We missed it by a day, that’s all.”

Cooke didn’t hesitate when asked if it was worth it.

“Oh, no. Not really,” he says. “But it is what it is.

“It’s a get-ready. We’re ready to go. But this is the worst weather we’ve ever had.”

The club’s first qualifying tournament will be held March 14, launching from the East Boat Dock.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Clocks should be set ahead one hour the night before.