Last year's event on Bull Shoals was full of drama, ending with a big win for Brandon Palaniuk. Don't let the action from the 2013 event pass you by! If you can’t be in Bull Shoals, Ark., for the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Ramada Quest to see it for yourself, we’ve got you covered. You can keep up online in a way that will make you feel like you’re there for the action. Here are nine ways we’ll keep you informed:
You get a front row seat to the weigh-ins each day. From the comfort of your home, you can watch the pros weigh in right in front of you on your computer screen without delay. You’ll know who wins at the same time the winner finds out! Tune in to the live weigh-ins at 3:15 p.m. CT all four days of competition.
Listen to what B.A.S.S. officials hear from the water -- when they hear it -- via the Lowrance War Room. If you have a question, just ask it in the comments box below the War Room video, and the producers will make every effort to get your question answered.
The War Room opens at 9 a.m. CT on Days Three and Four and provides updates on the hour until 2 p.m. CT.
In fewer than 140 characters apiece, you can read updates of the tournament as it is happening. From your laptop, phone or desktop, you can watch the event unfold, tweet by tweet.
There are several ways to follow along on Twitter. You can follow the official B.A.S.S. Twitter account, www.twitter.com/BASS_nation, where you’ll get insider info provided by B.A.S.S.’s on-site staff, B.A.S.S. emcees and tournament officials.
You can follow the official hashtag of B.A.S.S., #bassmaster. Anyone connected to or interested in the tournament can tag his or her posts with this keyword, and fans can read multiple perspectives on the tournament’s goings-on. Even the pros post with this hashtag, so you could get actual updates from contenders who have spectators on the water tweeting for them. To follow the hashtag, whether you have a Twitter account or not, just go to http://tweetchat.com/room/bassmaster.
You can also follow the pros’ or insiders’ Twitter accounts. Click these links to follow the lists of Bassmaster Elite Series pros, including Kevin VanDam and Mike Iaconelli, or to follow B.A.S.S. insiders, including emcee Dave Mercer and host Mark Zona.
BASSCam is a series of videos shot on the water and uploaded immediately so you can get near-live updates of what’s happening out there, often in the pros’ own words. Videos are posted all four days of competition.
Fans of B.A.S.S.’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/bass, get updates and photos throughout the day right in their newsfeed. You can comment, ask questions and share photos, all within Facebook. Plus, most of the Bassmaster Elite Series contenders have their own fan pages, so you can watch your favorites (and get their fishing advice) all year long.
During the live weigh-ins, fans can watch the Live Leaderboard to see who’s on track to make the Top 50 cut for Day Three or the Top 12 cut for Day Four.
B.A.S.S. emcee Dave Mercer and The Bassmasters hosts Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona team up for Toyota Hooked Up!, a live video special, which airs at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. CT on Days Three and Four. After the champion has been crowned, you’ll hear from the winner in his own words — while he’s still absorbing the shock of his win.
8. Live Blog
The Live Blog is where our reporters’ and Marshals' on-the-fly updates will be posted throughout the competition. B.A.S.S. reporters take to Bull Shoals Lake on Saturday and Sunday, seeking out contenders and trying to get the scoop, which we then deliver to you, right here.
The very popular BASSTrakk has been revamped and now includes a map so fans can see exactly where their favorite anglers are fishing. When a contender catches a fish, his Marshal reports the estimated weight, which in turn is posted online so you can see how your favorite pro is doing — and where the fish are. BASSTrakk is live only on Days Three and Four. (Prior to Day Four, the link redirects to Falcon Lake coverage.)
All nine of these options are completely free! We invite you to tune in, interact and enjoy!
Day is breaking at the Bull Shoals Boat Dock. The pros have launched and most of them have parked in the Martina's boat slips, including Fletcher Shryock.
"I've made few changes for today," he said. "I'm fishing a pattern. I'll start on my best spot and start running."
Upon hearing that his Marshall shivers. He's bundled up but did't pack any long underwear. He looks longingly at Shryock's helmet.
Ish Monroe returns to his boat, which is parked in the next slip. His face is covered with a mask to block the cold. Monroe a d Shryock are good friends.
Monroe leans over Shryock's boat and say with emphatically,"If you feel it fish it."
He repeats the order with equal conviction.
"I've got to keep my boy focused," he said.
Before Monroe returned to his boat he said, "Is she still here?"
Shryock looks down over the side of his boat and shines a light into the water. There, right in the slip next to Shryock's boat is a 6-pound bass on the bed.
It doesn't appear that the cold night has driven the spawners out of the shallows.
It's the second predawn launch at Bull Shoals and the first day of fishing for the pros. The storm has passed. Sunshine and strong winds are predicted.
The morning low was supposed to be 32 degrees. It's 40 now so the weatherman looks to be off a few degrees. Warmer temperatures bode well for the pros.
The pros appear more upbeat and energized at the ramp this morning. They've had an extra day to rest and prepare tackle. That bodes poorly for the bass.
Despite the wind and cold temperatures, these guys will catch them.
What do Marshals do on their day off? Apparently they pick morel mushrooms! From left to right, Troy Krodinger, Lee Asher, and Jeremy Homeyer. "We found these on day zero. We are ready for tomorrow." Jeremy also adds "We are holding morel mushrooms. We found 60 of them. We collected them for about an hour and a half. "
The rain has gradually ceased. It's been just raining, even sprinkling at times. The much-awaited, much-feared storm came in with bang and went out with a whimper.
The biggest thing you would have to deal with now is the wind. It's gusting really strong, near the 40 mile mark. But even that's not the worst of it. In the last three hours, the temperature has dropped 20 degrees. Strong winds in a wet environment with 50-degree temps is cold, especially when you start your day with sandals and shorts.
Folks are starting to get out a bit. Bobby Lane is on the river casting for trout, as a few others scattered up and down the bank. We see a fish catch or two every once in a while, so for some it's worth sitting in a drizzle.
For Cliff Crochet, a little taunting from one of his fellow pros is what it took to get him on Twitter.
"This morning at launch, before we knew today was postponed, Russ Lane brought a baseball and a glove," said Crochet. "So we were going to toss the ball around a little bit. But he started throwing it at 70 mph! And I haven't played ball since I was 15.
"The next thing I know, a friend of mine is texting me asking me if I saw what Russ posted on Twitter. I said no 'cuz I don't do the Twitter thing.
"He had posted that I throw like a girl. And I said, 'There we go. It's on.'
"I had to respond, so I had to go to Twitter. I couldn't do it on Facebook because people there wouldn't know what I was talking about. So I called my friend Jason Pittman, and he walked me through how to set up a Twitter.
"The only thing that is off-limits is wives, girlfriends or your family. Otherwise, it's game on," said Crochet. "We're gonna have fun with this."
Crochet started his new account, @CliffCajunBaby, after today's competition was postponed. He said that he's about 15 years behind everyone else.
"I still think it's cool to wear a shotgun belt," he said. "I like wearing those blue polos with the stripe across the front that were cool in high school, but my girlfriend Sara tells me I can't wear those any more. I still have CDs. I don't like e-mail; if you want me, call me."
"But I will not wear Duckhead. That's not cool any more."
Due to Day 1 of the Ramada Quest being postponed, we've extended the Fantasy Fishing deadline until Friday morning, 8:00 ET. That gives you more time to choose your lineup, or make changes to it. And by the way, if you haven't played this year, you can still register and compete in this tournament. The winner receives a $2,500 Bass Pro Shops gift card! Click here to go to our Fantasy Fishing page.
This give me an extra day to think about how the weather change will affect the fishing on Friday. It looks like temps will be in the 30s at launch. That plays in favor of different anglers who have different strengths. Good luck choosing your team!
Here's what Ott does on a cancelled day! Lounging in the camper with the kids!
Obviously we are watching the Weather Channel. A big part of their coverage is centered on this storm, at least the part that is in Oklahoma and headed our way.
Those guys are actually out there chasing tornadoes. Which is fine from the dry, comfort of a truck. It also helps that you can see for miles and miles across the plains. In the Ozarks, though, at least in most places you couldn't see a funnel cloud until it's right on top of you.
I commend those guys for the job they are doing, but I wouldn't want to do that type thing around here.
About the only warning we might get is a little bleep on the television that is constantly reminding us we are in the path of a severe storm, and it "could" produce a tornado. Kind of like sitting in the woods in the dark and hearing growls all around you.
The big question is what this will do to the fishing. According to the Weather Channel it is 72 degrees out there right now. It was above 80 yesterday. When we actually get the chance to start this event tomorrow, they are telling us that we can expect 33 degree temperatures for the take off in the morning.
If it doesn't have a single impact on the fish, which it will in some way, it will most certainly impact these anglers, who have spent most of their practice in shorts and T-shirts.