Oh it's fixing to be on. The fishing stars are lining up with the moon phase on the Delta down here in New Orleans, and that, my friend, is a recipe for big stringers to come to the stage at the New Orleans Arena during the Bassmaster Classic.

I was able to witness the transition over the weekend by fishing both Saturday and Sunday in the Classic waters, and I'm starting to get excited for the anglers fishing this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The water temperatures are on the rise, and I look for the mercury to reach around those magical numbers of 55 to 60 by the weekend, which can only mean "hang on to your rod."

The three main areas to watch for some big sacks between 18 and 22 pounds are the Tank Pond in Cataouatche, Bayou Black and Venice. BUT the dark horse is going to be the Delacroix area, if any of the anglers make the run around.

Not trying to be Danny the Downer or Paul the Party Pooper, but the only down side to the weather warm-up across the south is the side effect. You know, like the warning labels on all the over-the-counter medicine that say bad things are going to happen if you don't follow the "recommendations." Well, we have talked about dark horses, wild cards and every other angle of possibilities BUT no one is talking about Mother Nature.

Here's the deal: The temperatures are rising and the water temperatures can't keep up, which means the air will be a substantial amount warmer than the water. Which equals an angler's worst nightmare. FOG.

It hampers everyone's day, whether you are driving to work, playing golf or just want to spend a day outside. So safety comes into play when fog sets in around the tournament area, and the top brass at B.A.S.S. take it seriously. That leads to delays and possibly cancellations of tournament days in worst-case scenarios.

Please take it from me: I have been involved in these delays with B.A.S.S. in the past, and they are no fun for the anglers. Sitting there feels like an eternity. It's like dog years when it comes to minutes going by during the wait. I totally understand the need for safety, but boy does it ever stink when it comes down to it. No one wins at the end; only Mother Nature snatches valuable time from the anglers.

Speaking of valuable time, it is just that, V A L U A B L E. If an angler is making a run anywhere on the Delta, any delay or hold-up from the schedule can be a game changer. Seconds count, and it could mean feast or famine for the anglers.

But, no matter what, the cream will rise and the angler who can make the adjustments will hoist the trophy Sunday (Feb. 20) in the New Orleans Arena around 5:30 p.m.

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