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

Red River revisited

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.

I finally got out on the Red River. Yep, I finally got some pre-practice in for the Classic.

It’s kind of funny because, just like Ike reported in his blog, I may have only fished a total of 2 hours.

Weird thing was that while driving through Shreveport, it hit me: I actually qualified for this tournament.

I had chills all the way through the town; I had chills every day I was there. To be in the presence of greatness causes a very eerie feeling, makes me want to win that much more. I feel great about the Classic already, although it’s still a few months away.

As a great friend told me “you need to get those race horse blinders, put them on, and just go fishing.”

I believe this to be true. I saw this in the drive through Shreveport; I saw it while being on the water. While still being months away, I am already trying to prepare myself mentally for what’s going on.

I know for a fact that I have never been in a tournament this big; the magnitude of the Classic is an unbelievable experience. This is why I am preparing so early. I feel I will need all the time I can get just to be ready mentally, because this is the part of my game I think I need to work on the most.

Just like Ike, I focused on my depth finder, took a lot of pictures and tried to understand the Red River better than I ever had. This was great because I did get to cover a lot of water and really get to see some things out of water that come February will be submerged.

It’s all about the little details on the Red; this is something I have always known, although knowing that and applying it are two different things. I really spent some time out there trying to learn more than I ever thought possible, hopefully some of the things I found will be amazing, but I know some will be a bust.

By Classic time I will be ready, mentally. I have had some of the best guys in the industry keeping me level and preparing me. One is Mark Zona. His wise words have really started to prepare me for the Classic more so than anything else: “Andrew, all I can say is go out there and don’t do too much, just go and fish your game. You know what to do.”

The Bassmaster Classic is coming and I will be ready.

Thank you to all the guys out there who have been steadily on my butt about being ready mentally. A few of you are Elite guys, a few sports writers, other fellow fisherman, and especially my loving family.dr

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