Bassmasters Classic Final Day Is Sunday

Bassmasters Classic Kickoff

By Frank Sargeant, Editor
from The Fishing Wire

Weigh-in arena for Bassmasters C;lassic

Weigh-in arena for Bassmasters C;lassic

As you read this, 55 high performance bass boats will be taking off on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake of the Cherokees northeast of Tulsa in what is widely recognized as the “Super Bowl” of bass fishing, the Bassmaster Classic. One of the anglers will, over the three day event, bring home a catch that will be life-changing, putting $300,000 in cash into his bank account. While a few of the pro’s competing this year have already made this leap, it would have a huge impact for most, who spend huge amounts of money running the highways all over the U.S. in pursuit of their dream of becoming economically successful doing something that they love. It’s a tough row to hoe.

The stage seems to be set perfectly for the event. Spring has arrived early this year in Oklahoma, with many of the trees already in full bloom and some near balmy days already warming the shallows. It’s likely to be a tournament where anglers chase spawning fish, and this usually results in heavy catches. The weather will surely be easier on the anglers than last time the championship was here, in 2013, when subfreezing temperatures and howling winds made it as much an endurance test as a trial of angling skills.

As I write this on Thursday evening in Tulsa, the town seems more than ready for the event. There are signs welcoming the Classic everywhere, there are thousands of fans in town, there are decorated tow trucks everywhere, and every manufacturer in the bass fishing industry is here, waiting eagerly for the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo, which takes place as part of the event. Any company that wants to introduce a new product to this highly-specialized industry can’t pass up this opportunity, which will see tens of thousands of visitors and at the daily weigh-ins at BOK Center downtown.

Odds are probably good that one of the three Oklahoma anglers in the event will bring home the big win–local anglers have won the last two years at Guntersville and Hartwell. However, the last time the Classic was fished here Mississippi angler Cliff Pace took home the gold–perhaps in part because the miserable conditions made normal patterns difficult to sort out for locals.

In any case, The Fishing Wire is here, and we’ll be reporting what happened in our Monday edition, as well as reviewing all the excitement of the new product introductions at the show. It’s a fun time to be in the business, especially for those of us who do not have a sleepless weekend ahead of us worrying about winning $300K.