2013 Bassmaster Classic Grand Lake O' the Cherokees - Tulsa, OK, Feb 22 - 24, 2013

2013 Classic should be Grand in many ways

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

I would have never guessed that I’d see a Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake.

It blew me away when I saw the B.A.S.S. announcement that the 2013 Classic will be held there.

That certainly doesn’t mean I think the choice is a bad one; it’s phenomenal! I just never would have guessed we’d go there.

There’s never been a Classic close to Tulsa during my career, so this will be refreshing to go to a place that has never hosted the event. My hats off to B.A.S.S. officials for putting this together.  What a great choice!

Oklahoma is an awesome bass fishing state with a lot of avid B.A.S.S. members, so I expect the Tulsa community to embrace the event. The crowd, coupled with the good fishing I expect the lake to deliver, should make for an electric championship.

Of the many things that are cool about the choice is that Grand produces a lot of quality bass even though it doesn’t have aquatic vegetation. That’s rare for a grassless lake.

Of course, before I get too excited, I have to make sure I have a good enough year to qualify for it. The titles I won last season get me into the 2012 Classic (on the Red River in Shreveport) but the slate gets wiped clean after that.

When the Elite Series kicks off in mid-March at the St. John’s River, we all start from scratch. Unless I’m fortunate enough to win the Red River Classic, my previous Toyota Tundra Angler of Year and Bassmaster Classic titles will be meaningless.

So, yeah, I’ll be motivated.

Qualifying for Classic spots via the Bassmaster Elite Series is no easy task, and it gets harder each year because the Elite pros are so good and keep getting better.

But, you can bet the thought of fishing a Classic on Grand Lake has me pumped up. The weather could be crazy, but the fishing should still be good, unless we get hit with cold, muddy water.

Another thing that excites me about the 2013 Classic is it won’t be like last year where a handful of us found a magic spot, camped on it and wore them out. The Grand likely will be more about finding a pattern, making adjustments throughout the day and fishing a variety of lures. The angler who makes the correct adjustments will win — and that’s the way the Bassmaster Classic should be.

One day the champion may catch them on a jig along bluffs, but the next day he may have to switch to a jerkbait or crankbait. It will be an event where multiple techniques and patterns are working and could change each day.

I love those kinds of tournaments where you have to move around a lot, identify the subtle changes and make the adjustments quickly and correctly. That’s one of the many challenges in our sport that makes it so exciting.

Make me think … make me react … make me adjust. When I make those timely decisions, good things tend to happen.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

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