2012 Bassmaster Classic Red River - Shreveport-Bossier City, LA, Feb 24 - 26, 2012

It's time

About the author

Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw

Andrew Upshaw of Hemphill, Texas, teamed with Ryan Watkins to win the 2011 Mercury College B.A.S.S. National Championship for Stephen F. Austin, then edged Watkins for the first Bassmaster Classic berth from the collegiate series.

The Bassmaster Classic is quickly approaching. Am I ready? Well, that’s the million-dollar question.

How do you know when you are truly ready for something you haven’t experienced before? Yes, most anglers have experienced tournament fishing to some degree, but the Classic is a true step beyond that.

The pressure is extremely overbearing. The last few months have been nothing but hectic, where you feel like you’re running out of time. Will I be prepared for the Classic in the next few days? Yes.

Can I even imagine what it’s going to be like when I arrive? Absolutely not.

I feel like a football player preparing for a big game, watching all the film you can for two weeks prior, going over the playbook a thousand times, and practicing any waking minute I can.

Although all of this is going on, I will say this -- I am ready. I am ready to make my first cast and catch my first fish. I am ready to represent my family, friends, sponsors, fellow college fisherman, and most importantly myself.

When it’s all said and done, it will be just me on that boat doing what I love, and that is competing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to fish, but I have a burning desire of competition. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. I feel I have prepared for this tournament better than any other tournament of my life, and have no regrets now and will have no regrets after.

Regardless what happens, I’m there. Just like every single angler in the Classic, I want to win. Not just because it’s the Classic, but more so because I like to win.

The under-underdog. When I read this I feel inspired. I want to be so much below the radar that when I weigh in the question is asked, “Who is that?”

If you look in B.A.S.S. Times about the Classic qualifiers, I have the least amount of money earned in B.A.S.S. tournaments. I think it’s like $675, compared to KVD’s $5 million.

That’s kind of a huge difference from the top to the bottom, but every one of those guys had to start somewhere. They all started at zero in their life and are now considered the best in the world.

So back to the primary question, am I nervous? Most definitely.

If this situation didn’t give me goose bumps every time I thought about it then I would be doing the wrong sport.

So taking everything into account, I would like to say thank you to all my family, friends, fans, college fishermen, and my sponsors. You all are the reason I am here. I thank everyone in advance for coming to the Classic to support me, it truly means the world.

Goal No. 1: Win the Bassmaster Classic.

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