The contenders in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa are beginning to make their way to the big show.
Mike Iaconelli left New Jersey this morning in his new wrapped boat and truck. Terry Scroggins headed out from Florida this morning for what he anticipates will be a 22-hour drive. Gerry Jooste is traveling from Missouri after a long flight from Zimbabwe. And Matt Lee left Auburn this morning in his Carhartt Bassmaster College Series-wrapped boat and truck.
Folks, the Classic is about to get started!
We heard early this morning that Matt Lee's big Carhartt Bassmaster College Series-wrapped boat and truck were spotted heading north through Birmingham from Auburn, headed toward the Classic.
Later, a friend of the B.A.S.S. family, Parker White, texted us this photo with proof.
So, we checked with Matt, and indeed he was Tulsa-bound this morning. He sent us this photo from a gas station stop: "Filling up the Toyota rig heading west. Where dreams are made :)"
He's tweeting his journey on Twitter. Be sure to follow @wmattlee.
Well, I had planned to leave for Oklahoma early this morning, but I had a plumbing job that had to be finished. So, hopefully I'll be on the road sometime this evening!
A lot of guys ask me if I'll ever get out of the plumbing business. The truth is, I enjoy it. I don't plan on giving it up anytime soon. However, it doesn't quite compare to walking (or dancing) across the Bassmaster Classic stage!
See you in Tulsa!
B.A.S.S. employees are busily working today, sorting out sizes, styles and colors because ... the official Carhartt clothing for the Bassmaster Classic has arrived!
The clothing lineup includes T-shirts, polos, button-ups and, of course, clothes we'll need to brave the cold temps, including sweatshirts, fleece pullovers, jackets and Shoreline raingear.
When you're at the Classic, look for the Bassmaster logo on Carhartt clothing: If you see someone wearing it, say hello! We love to meet fans of the sport.
Dean Rojas has been spending time breaking in his new boat and motor and getting his boat wrapped. Plus, he's getting all his tackle situated because when he leaves his home in Arizona for the Bassmaster Classic next week, his truck won't make it back home until the end of the season.
In this blog post, he told fans that he'll spend his practice period driving around Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, looking for fish. "If I see some, I'll stop and try a couple of things," wrote Rojas. "I fish completely on trial-and-error, from my bait selection to the types of structure I’ll key on. I’m just trying to eliminate water and find new water, hoping to come across the stuff that will let me do well in the tournament.
"I feel like I have a pretty good handle on Grand Lake and how it’s all laid out. I’m excited to get there and am really looking forward to it."
Gerry Jooste is crossing the Atlantic Ocean to compete in the Bassmaster Classic for the fifth time. He hails from Zimbabwe, representing the B.A.S.S. Nation in the Classic more than any other angler ever has.
"Beautiful warm weather here in Zimbabwe," wrote Jooste today. "My gear is ready, and my wife Alberta and I are all set for our long flight to Springfield, Mo., tomorrow. We arrive on Tuesday, collect the Nitro Z9 from Bass Pro Shops on Wednesday, and then drive to Grand Lake on Thursday. It's exciting.
"Been watching the weather at Grand Lake.......it's a tad colder than here!!"
Safe travels, Gerry, and best wishes with the jetlag!
If you're planning to go to launch on any of the three days of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, and you were worried because you didn't know where it was: Have no fear. Google Maps now recognizes it as a location.
The launch area at Wolf Creek Park and Boat Ramp didn't exist on Google Maps until recently. Construction has been going on for months at the site, and according to Kelly Bostian at Tulsa World, fans can find the location by plugging "Wolf Creek Park, Grove, OK" into Google.
The physical address is 963 N. 16th St., Grove, OK 74344.
Mark Pierce is getting ready to head to his first Bassmaster Classic as a contender. The 34-year-old active-duty Army serviceman qualified for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa by winning the Southern Division at the 2012 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship in October.
"I am seven days now from departing Fort Knox area to Oklahoma," said Pierce today.
"It's hard holding a full-time job and knowing you are about to go fish the biggest, most important tournament in the world. As you can imagine, it's hard for me to focus on work right now. All I can think about is the Bassmaster Classic. For all of you who know the feeling the night before any tournament, you lay in bed, can't sleep, thinking about all of the possibilities, patterns, will this work, will that work, what's my game plan going to be ... well, multiply that by 100 and make it two months of this instead of just the night before!
"It has been a crazy ride the past few months, and now that time is running out, I'm spending what little time is left finalizing everything, going over all things to ensure I am good to go when I hit the road. Yesterday, I realized I was short on contact lenses so I drove to three eye doctors just to get an exam so I could actually be able to see to fish. I don't have every day off to take care of all of this, so I do it a little each evening.
"This weekend will be my final big push to put everything in order for the trip of a lifetime."
Good luck getting it all done, Mark!
"Do I really have to leave 80-degree weather in Florida to go to Oklahoma?!" said Ish Monroe, showing off a largemouth he caught in Florida yesterday.
How about a trip to the biggest fishing event of the year to celebrate your wedding anniversary?
That's how Kevin and Caitlin Rogers of Kansas City, Mo., are spending their third anniversary in two weeks — at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
"This is our first Classic," said Kevin. The timing and location have always prevented them from attending. Instead, the couple have traveled to Cancun and Destin for previous anniversaries. "But this year, we're going to Tulsa!"
Kevin and Caitlin fish together regularly, and they have won two couples crappie tournaments.
"She had no interest in fishing before she met me, and now it's her passion," explained Kevin. "She's a natural at it."