By Kelly Bostian - Tulsa World


Ice and 11 degrees at the launch marked Day 1 of the Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell in South Carolina, but the fishermen handled the sub-freezing weather just fine – evidenced by anglers from Arizona and California taking the early lead.

Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu, Arizona, grabbed the lead Friday with five bass weighing 21 pounds 2 ounces. Skeet Reese, the 2009 Bassmaster Classic champion from Auburn, California, is in second place with a bag exactly one pound lighter at 20-2.

Oklahoma pro anglers Jason Christie of Park Hill and Edwin Evers of Talala both said they were relatively comfortable physically, but the day was one of the coldest they'd fished in competition, as their reels and rod guides iced up well into the afternoon.

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