The 2011 Bassmaster Classic finally got under way at 8:10 this morning (Feb. 18) after thick fog forced B.A.S.S. officials to implement a delay of just more than an hour.

"You can see a little bit past the Lapalco (Boulevard) bridge from the announcer's stand," said Luling's Bruce McDonald, who was at the Bayou Segnette State Park launch site. "And (tournament director) Trip (Weldon) went out Lake Salvador and said it's clearing up out there."

"They're starting up their boats right, and getting ready to go."

Officials announced that, despite the one-hour delay, Classic competitors are still due back at the dock at 3:15 p.m. so the weigh-in can be held on schedule in the New Orleans Arena.

That could be a real problem for much of the field. At least half of the 50 anglers were expected to run south of Venice, a run that leaves only about three hours of fishing time even without any delay.

So at this point, anglers still making the run will have less than two hours of fishing – if they can even make it to their fishing areas, an uncertainty because fog remained pretty thick.

"It's still pretty foggy," Venice Marina's Kimberly Mertz said at about 8:10 a.m. "I can see our dock in the marina, but I cannot see the shrimp boats on the other side (of the marina basin)."

And there's no guarantee the situation will improve in the hour or so it requires to make the run from Bayou Segnette State Park to the Jump near Venice.

"The sun is out and it's not getting any better," Mertz said.

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