One of the big questions that most folks are having in this event is how will these anglers spread out over the course of a three-day event?
Gerald Swindle said yesterday that he expected 40 of the 49 boats to head down to Pool 4, with the rest sticking close.
He wasn't close. We have about 16 boats locking through, with the rest sticking their nose in a variety of places in Pool 5. It's not surprising that the biggest concentration is located in the Cupples/Caspiana Lake area, where Skeet Reese won in 2009.
We have BassTrakk on most of the boats and it's showing about 8 boats in that area, including John Crews, David Walker, Alton Jones and Kieth Combs.
That doesn't mean those guys will fish there. They may be making sure that area doesn't bite them again.
Practice Day is an interesting day. Some of these guys are in full practice mode. They have no idea what they will be doing come Friday, yet. Others are just moving around and getting a feel for the river, hoping no one gets on their primary spot, while checking equipment and covering their bases.
We won't be tracking catches today. It's a pseudo practice for us as well. We will give you consistent updates all day from our bloggers on the water and what we learn by keeping in touch with as many of the anglers and Marshals as we can.
Now we've found a true community hole -- six boats scattered around some gnarly stumps. Jeff Kriet jokingly bet us he could idle the next mile without hitting something. He made it about 30 feet before he thwacked a stump the size of a Volkswagen. I'd love to have a fiberglass shop or prop repair shop nearby. It would be absolutely recession-proof.
It took us four tries in Pool 5 to find anyone. My boat driver Chris took me to Little Ninock and Bulldozer but they were empty, as was Bishop's Lake. Finally we found a couple of anglers in Caspiana but it's awfully muddy back here. Still, it has wads of matted hyacinths that just beckon for a flipping stick.
The lock will close at 7:50 with 16 boats total, including some heavy hitters. Then again, they're all heavy hitters
Davy Hite is drinking Muscle Milk, his tournament day staple. "Welcome to the gun show," said Mark Zona, his observer for the day.
As my boat driver Chris and I sped to the lock, we saw Bobby Lane headed the other way -- mechanical problem, gamesmanship or last minute indecision?
We have a murderer's row of river rats lined up on one side of the dock here at Red River South -- Hackney, Browning and Lowen. That's a lot of shallow water expertise in a confined area.
Fans can keep up with the 2012 Bassmaster Classic many ways — in person, via a live stream of the weigh-ins on Bassmaster.com, through videos and articles on Bassmaster.com and on B.A.S.S.’s Facebook page. But that’s not all: Fans can keep up on Twitter to have the ultimate Bassmaster Classic experience right from their phone or laptop — in fewer than 140 characters!
Twitter fans can get a continuous stream of updates from the B.A.S.S. account at @BASS_nation. Anyone following along, at home or on-site, can use the Twitter hashtag #bassmasterclassic to connect with B.A.S.S. and with other fans. Fans will hear what’s going on at launch, on the water and at the weigh-in.
A live Twitter stream of tweets using the hashtag will be at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, and the Twitter stream will also be on display at the arena before and during the weigh-ins. That means anyone posting tweets with #bassmasterclassic could have their tweets showcased at the Expo and at the weigh-in.
BUT I DON’T USE TWITTER
If you’re new to Twitter or if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can simply follow along here, no account needed.
Fans of the @BASS_nation Twitter account are invited to the first official B.A.S.S. Tweetup, Saturday, Feb. 25, from 11 a.m. to noon. (What’s a Tweetup, you ask? It’s a meetup of Tweeters.)
The Twitterers will meet in the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation and Life Member Lounge at the Shreveport Convention Center. Followers of @BASS_nation will get to meet B.A.S.S. owners, B.A.S.S. staff and fellow tweeters — and the first ones to show up will get special seating at the arena for the weigh-ins.
PROS ON TWITTER
Besides B.A.S.S., multiple other users are sharing what’s going on with them by posting tweets, including some of the Bassmaster Classic pros! Here’s a list of anglers to be sure to follow during the Classic:
INSIDERS ON TWITTER
Tons of professional journalists have taken to Twitter to tell their story. Here are a few to watch during the Bassmaster Classic and beyond.
James Hall, Bassmaster editor
Dave Mercer, Bassmaster Classic emcee
Michael Mulone, B.A.S.S. site selection
Tyler Reed, B.A.S.S. social media editor
Mark Zona, host of The Bassmasters
The 2012 Bassmaster Classic is upon is! And if you are near Shreveport-Bossier City, La., this weekend, you should not miss this opportunity to see the world’s best bass fishermen weigh in on sportfishing’s biggest stage.
One of the greatest things about the Classic is that you don’t need tickets to attend, and the entire event is free.
If you’re a morning person, you’ll love the daily launches. Be sure to go to the Bassmaster Classic Launch presented by the Red River Waterway Commission all three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) at Red River South Marina & Resort at Highway 71 South/250 Red River South Marina Road in Bossier City.
Fans in attendance get free coffee and doughnuts, courtesy of the Red River Waterway Commission. Fans also get on-the-water boat demo rides, courtesy of Mercury, Nitro, Skeeter, Triton and Yamaha.
The competitors’ boats actually take off at 7 a.m. CT each day, so be sure to get there in plenty of time before that so you can interact with the contenders while they wait. It’s an up-close-and-personal experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
No Classic experience would be complete without spending a day (or three!) at the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods. More than 160 manufacturers of the best fishing tackle in the bass business will be on hand to show you their newest and greatest wares. Plus, many pros who are not competing in the Classic will there for autographs, photo ops and fishing advice.
The Expo is held in the Shreveport Convention Center at 400 Caddo Street in Shreveport. The Expo opens Friday, Feb. 24, at noon and closes at 8 p.m. Central Time. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To travel back and forth from the Expo to the weigh-in, B.A.S.S. provides complimentary shuttles. Maps will be available at each location, but you can check it out here too.
The star of the Bassmaster Classic is the weigh-in. It’s an exciting gala where the Bassmaster Classic contenders ride in on their boats and present their fish to the weighmaster. They find out right then and there how they’re doing on the leaderboard.
Before the weigh-ins begin, fans are treated to activities and concerts. On Friday, Feb. 24, one fan will win a $500 Bass Pro Shops shopping spree with Rick Clunn. On Saturday, Feb. 25, fans get to watch country band Bush Hawg perform, and they’ll get a chance at winning a fishing trip with Edwin Evers courtesy of Nitro Boats or a Mercury engine, courtesy of Mercury Marine. On Sunday, Feb. 26, singer Brian Schram will perform, and fans get a chance to win Yamaha T-shirts, play in the Triton Football Toss, or be the lucky caster in the Berkley Cast for Cash (that is, $100,000!).
Did we mention this was free?
To attend the weigh-ins, go to the CenturyLink Center at 2000 CenturyTel Center Drive in Bossier City. The doors open at 3 p.m. CT all three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
To learn more, click here.
Pete Robbins last smiled this big when his Chia Pet grew.
All bass anglers dream of landing a monster.
B.A.S.S. writer Pete Robbins lived his dream today – on his 42nd birthday.
Fishing with Elite Series pro Clark Reehm, Robbins caught a 12-pound bass on Camelot Bell, a private ranch in Coolidge, Texas.
“Is there any better way to spend a birthday week?” said Robbins, who proudly posted the photo on his Facebook page:
Best birthday present ever? Sure beats the hell out of the Chia Pet I got last year and the socks from the year before.
Robbins, who lives in Vienna, Va., used ¾-ounce homemade spinnerbait from Reehm and a DX745 rod built by Gary Dobyns. His previous best was an 8-12 caught while covering the Elite event on Falcon Lake in 2008.
His love of the B.A.S.S. game has Robbins taking time off his regular job to hobnob with Elite anglers … oh, and write articles, like The condensed guide to winning a Red River Classic.
From Texas, he’s heading to Shreveport-Bossier City to cover another Classic, but not before one more fishing stop Tuesday on Lake Fork, another Texas trophy fishery. Can he best his best?
“If I top it, great,” said. “If not, now I can die in peace.
“I've caught marlin, sailfish, big cats and went to Brazil for peacock bass in November (going back in Sept.), but no fish means more to me than this one.”
Your biggest bass always does.