Chris Brown, manager of sponsorships at B.A.S.S., is among the first to leave the Birmingham, Ala., headquarters bound for Tulsa. The rest of us aren't far behind. Almost everyone who works at B.A.S.S. will be on-site by the time competition starts.
Here he is, packing up one of the newly wrapped trucks with signage, apparel, easels — even the heavyweight belt that's being presented to Ish Monroe for his Century Club catch on Lake Okeechobee last spring.
If you see one of these trucks on the road this week, we highly recommend you follow it to Tulsa!
Bill Lowen left his home in Brookville, Ind., yesterday and stopped at a lake along the way to fine-tune some equipment and knock some of the fishing rust off.
"I had a really good hunting season this fall and winter and was busier than ever with shows," said Lowen. " That has gotten me absolutely on fire for practice this Friday. I can't wait!"
He said he's hoping for 15 bass this size or better from Grand Lake next week.
Got some free time this morning to head over to Lake Eucha and practice my hookset. #confidencebuilder
"The eagle has landed!"
That's what Mike Iaconelli told his fans on Facebook last night when he arrived at the Classic launch area.
"Just got to Grove, OK," wrote Iaconelli. "Looking over a map and formulating a game plan for practice!"
Unofficial practice for the contenders begins tomorrow. They have not been permitted on the tournament waters since mid-December. The only official practice day is Wednesday, Feb. 20.
While others are worried about Tulsa being too cold, Darren Jacobson — one of the official Bassmaster Classic photographers — is hoping to actually warm up in Tulsa!
"I hope this is the last time I have to spend time snow blowing before I leave for the Classic," said Jacobson, who lives north of Green Bay, Wis.
We hope it's the last time, too, Darren! He'll be Tulsa-bound on Tuesday so he can arrive by the official practice day.
It’s not just fishing that will attract thousands to Tulsa, Okla., Feb. 22-24. The Bassmaster Classic tournament featuring the very best bass anglers in the world will take center stage. But during the day fans can enjoy the Outdoor Game Village. The activity center will be part of the 150,000-square-foot, 180-exhibitor Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo in the Tulsa Convention Center.
Featured in the Village will be the Shakespeare Kids Outdoor Challenge. Kids of all ages will create their own fishing memories with activities such as a fishing skills course, photo opportunity and casting game for the younger kids. In addition, there will be lots of great Shakespeare prizes and cool giveaways.
Also included in the Village will be a 30,000-gallon swimming pool to host dog jumping demonstrations and a host of other activities are planned.
The Village will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.
The Tulsa Convention Center is in downtown Tulsa (100 Civic Center, Tulsa, OK 74103). The daily Bassmaster Classic weigh-in will be conducted across the street inside the BOK Center. The Village, Expo and Classic weigh-ins are all free admission.
Jason Christie and I are getting some final rigging done at Lowrance factory in Tulsa.
What am I doing to get ready for the Classic? Aside from the obvious of sorting through tackle and packing it, I am preparing mentally and physically. This picture is my morning concoction my wife makes me each day with our Nutribullet. That thing is amazing!
People have asked for the recipe. Her mixture usually consists of:
protein powder (which is the white bag)
vitamin C packets
(FYI, kiwi leaves a burning aftertaste in the mouth, I wouldn't recommend! And, cucumber made my wife "hurl" in her mouth, there again wouldn't recommend!)
After drinking this, we are down to the basement for some Crossfit. Never been so sore in my life as I am when Robin works me out, but lots of laughing along the way!
Finally, I had a question about why is Woody on my counter in this picture? My wife has had him there since Toy Story 3 came out to remind us daily that our kids are only young for a little while and to enjoy every minute with them!
Until the Classic, God bless!
Ott DeFoe and his family are making the long trek across Tennessee today. Here are his most recent photos from the Volunteer State. The famous pyramid in Memphis is soon to be a Bass Pro Shops, and DeFoe said it looks like they are working on that project now.
The whole family is making this trip. DeFoe is pulling the Nitro, and his wife, Jennie, is pulling the RV in their other vehicle.
DeFoe said that on his return trip, he hopes to have the Classic trophy buckled in the seat beside him.
"Not the best towing weather," said Jeremy Starks, who's traveling today from West Virginia to Oklahoma for his first Bassmaster Classic.
It's "snowing like crazy," he said, and the air temp is 28. He's between Louisville and St. Louis right now, expecting to be in Tulsa by 6. That, of course, assumes the weather doesn't get any worse.
Enjoy the view from inside his vehicle — and be thankful you're not driving in it!