While many of the contenders in this month's Bassmaster Classic are getting ready for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing by spending time on the water, looking at Grand Lake O' the Cherokees maps and choosing which tackle they're going to use, Auburn University angler Matt Lee is spending time taking notes, doing homework and preparing presentations.
This is his view today, only two weeks prior to registration for the sport's biggest event.
As everyone at B.A.S.S. is ramping up for the Classic, Matthew Dowd is uploading apps to 55 individual phones.
The app is a new version of BASSTrakk, a system fans have come to rely on as a method of keeping up with their favorite anglers during competition.
Dowd, B.A.S.S.'s senior technology manager, has spent countless hours over the last several months adding enhancements to the system. The new Android phones will be easier for Marshals to use, and they will permit the Marshals to communicate more easily from the water.
Another feature of the system is the new map fans will be able to follow on Bassmaster.com. Fans can watch all anglers or choose to watch only select ones. Fans will be able to see where their angler is fishing, how many fish he has in the boat and what he estimates the weight of his bass are.
The new BASSTrakk will go live during the Classic on Grand Lake O' the Cherokees.
The 2013 Bassmaster Classic is upon us. And just because you can’t stand on the big stage yourself doesn’t mean you can’t compete for prizes right alongside the pros!
Bassmaster Fantasy Fishing is now open, and you can set your team for the Classic. If you pick the top anglers in the Classic, you could win! The Top 10 Fantasy Fishing players from the Classic win a B.A.S.S.-branded jersey valued at $50. The person who performs best overall also wins a $2,500 gift card!
To enter, fill out the free registration form here. After registering, click on the “Create Entry” button on the game’s front page to participate in the game. After registering, you are ready for Fantasy Fishing Challenge.
You'll set up a username and password, and then you can start assembling your team! If you choose, you can create a group for your friends to join or you can join a group that's already set up.
The number of points a Fantasy Fishing player earns is based on a scoring system similar to the Bassmaster Elite Series’ Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points, in which an angler is awarded points based on his final standing in the Classic.
Get ready, get set, go set your teams!
Gerald Swindle's first step to getting ready for this year's Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, Okla., is to acclimate himself to the weather.
Some anglers might feel a little threatened by fishing in Tulsa's ultra-cold weather next month at the Bassmaster Classic.
But not Jonathan Carter.
The Classic's first ever representative from Maine is letting his thick Northern blood work in his favor, prepping for the Classic by ice fishing.
"It was brutally cold," said Carter, after fishing on Maine's Branch Lake this weekend, "with temps about 20 but a 20- to 30-mph wind, giving a wind chill probably around -5. Our sled actually tipped on the way out, and the bait dumped out on the ice and was frozen solid in about 15 seconds. It made fishing a little tough with only dead bait, so we jigged the only one we caught."
He brought in just one small lake trout.
Edwin Evers is the top Classic pick in Afghanistan.
We know that because TSgt. Paul Hickey of Fort Smith, Ark., told B.A.S.S. staff that he and his Air Force comrades are rooting for Evers, even during their current tour of duty overseas. In fact, the guys can't keep bass fishing off their minds. Check out the photos of them devouring copies of Bassmaster Magazine and Bass Pro Shops catalogs.
Thank you, Hickey and company, for your service and for letting us know you'll be watching the Classic unfold on Bassmaster.com!
Randy Howell and Aaron Martens visited the B.A.S.S. headquarters office in Birmingham, Ala., today to participate in the Classic boat draw. When Howell's boat number was drawn (23rd), he reached in and drew the next name, which happened to be Martens, now boat #24.
"Going to the Classic is definitely a life-changing event for all of us as professional anglers," said Howell.
Martens agreed, adding, "We want -- and NEED -- to win the Classic. It's something you need as a veteran fisherman."
Howell laughed. "We're 'grizzled veterans,' I'm 39 and Aaron's 40."
"Yeah," said Martens. "Time's a-tickin'!"
The pair got a little more serious, and Howell reflected on the past year. "We're both good friends with Chris Lane, and we saw how it's impacted him for the last year being the reigning Classic champion," said Howell. "It made it so much more realistic and achievable for guys like us to be able to win."
Matt Lee attended the Classic boat draw in the B.A.S.S. headquarters office in Birmingham, Ala., to see where he fell in the lineup of contenders during launch each morning. The boat number drawn for him was 38, so he'll be near the front of Flight 2 on the first day of Classic competition in Tulsa.
Lee will be fishing in his first Classic next month, and he qualified by winning the 2012 Carhartt College Series Bassmaster Classic Bracket.
"It's going to be an unbelievable experience, of course," said the Classic rookie, an angler from the Auburn University bass fishing team. "I'm hearing these other guys talk about this being their 12th or 16th Classic -- and I'm new at this!
"But it's time for some younger guys in the sport, a new generation of anglers, and I want to do well," said Lee. "If I'm supposed to do well, I will. If I don't do well, I promise it won't be for lack of effort."
Welcome to the official 2013 Bassmaster Classic Live Blog!
Here, you’ll find photos, updates, interviews and videos from now until the final moments of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. Some of the contenders in the event will use this space to let you know how they’re preparing for the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, and this is the same place our reporters will post up-to-the-minute action from the water during practice and on competition days.
So how can you get the inside line on the Classic? Bookmark this page and check it for updates! Do you want to know something that we aren’t covering? Post it in the comments or tell us on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll do what we can to get you the information you want.