2013 Bassmaster Classic Wild Card presented by Star Tron
Lake Okeechobee - Okeechobee, FL, Dec 5 - 7, 2013

Catch the wave: J Todd and the Wild Card

“db, this is not the way I want to make the Classic. I don’t think it is the way any of us want to make the Classic, but golly, I have a responsibility to my sponsors, to myself to play the hand that is dealt me.”

One of my roommates, Shaw Grigsby, is fishing the tournament; my other roommate, Paul Elias, is not. Paul told me, “I just have a problem with the whole payout thing; that’s why I didn’t do it."

Shaw told me he also has a problem with the payout, “but I’ve got to take a shot at making the Classic.”

J Todd: “This is the one tournament you can really swing for the fences in. There is no real second place here, sure there is on paper, but the only reason you are fishing this, there are no points involved, the only reason you are fishing it is a chance to be in and win the Bassmaster Classic.”

“…you might leave me in ruins, you might crown me king…”

“Some of my better tournaments have been on this lake (Okeechobee).  I know how to win down here, I have 12 years of experience on the lake.”

J Todd has rented a cabin that he normally stays in, “It is off by itself, not around anybody so I can just concentrate. It’s very secluded.

“Is it a good time to be fishing this lake.

“db, any time in the winter or spring, 6 months out of the year it is a really good time here. December through May is extremely good.  You can catch trophy bass here this time of year. They’re setting up to spawn, moving to the next spawn with the next moon phase.”

Yeah, I know, you’re as shocked as I am that I just wrote that last sentence, probably just lost half my readers in Manhattan.

J Todd is one of 49 anglers hoping to catch the wave on Okeechobee.Emily TuckerJ Todd is one of 49 anglers hoping to catch the wave on Okeechobee.
“Tell you something pretty cool, New Year's Day, I think it was 2007, maybe 2008, one of those, I had my best New Year's Day of my life on this lake. My dad, Butch, and I went out fishing that day, and it was the best New Year's Day ever, fishing with my father, and we both caught two 10-pounders each, we boated 4 fish over 10 pounds each. Best New Year's Day ever.”

“…whatever the reason, hey, it didn’t mean a thing less you keep on swinging…”

To all those 49 anglers fishing the Bassmaster Classic Wild Card, I wish you nothing but best of luck and skill, one of you I will see standing on the Bassmaster Classic stage.

To all those Elite anglers not fishing this, I understand. I really do. I have seen the struggle up close, and care deeply about all of you, but I wish you made the trip.

For those not there, this could be a demon lurking.

As an old guy with regrets, I can tell you personally, “What if?” sucks.

I am not a ringer for B.A.S.S., no one in the organization asked me for my opinion, or told me what to write, and part of me wonders if they will print this or not,

I am, though, a ringer for the wave.

Had any of you asked, I would have said, simply, catch the wave.

In this sport, in any sport, the only thing that matters is integrity, sportsmanship, and the Championship.

Regardless of the deal behind the wave, your way the wave comes.

Play the hand,

and when the wave comes,

and it comes with integrity,

and it comes with sportsmanship

catch it.

“…keep on swinging, nobody got nothing on me.”

"Keep On Swinging"

Brooks & Dunn