— Keith Combs (@kcombsfishing) December 16, 2014
Day 1 of pre-fishing in the books. Started out great, rained most of the day. Caught a smallmouth on my first cast and a limit of 2#rs in the first hour at my first stop, left when they were still biting good to try and duplicate the bite elsewhere but only managed to get this 3.5 spot the rest of the day. This lake is huge, difficult deciding on where to fish.
— Lake Hartwell, SC (@fishhartwellsc) December 4, 2014
This was Troy Diede's reaction on Facebook after he learned he had qualified for the Classic via the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship:
I just want to start out by saying, "Dream Big!" ...... And when your finished......."Dream Bigger"! I am sitting here writing you with tears forming as many of you who know me closely know that this has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. I want you to know I don't consider myself near as good of a fisherman as many of you reading this but I am humbled to know the best fisherman ever. What is happening in my life is just so unexplainable I can't form into words. I struggled many of times and I still do knowing what and where I am supposed to be in this life. And I've come to realize that's OK! It's part of the journey......I am still a work in progress. I am learning that........"to dream it takes faith." Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see (Heb 11:1). I would be lying if I told you faith is not a big part of my life as well as how I approach fishing. I truly believe God does miracles every day and too many times I've taken that for granted. The almighty certainly blesses me more than I deserve. My hope is that we don't forget how to dream, that we don't put a limit on God, and most of all we remember that, "Anything is possible if you have faith." (Mark 9:22). So if your waiting on a Dream......Have Faith and Dream Big!........and when your finished keep the faith and Dream Bigger..............Because God still specializes in miracles! I guess I'm living proof!
This dream would not have been possible without each and everyone of you! I owe you all a huge "Thank You" for making this a dream a reality. My wife Jen who is always there supporting me every step along the way. Our parents and brother and sister who have graciously helped taking care of our girls while we were away. The support from the South Dakota Bass Nation. All the emails, phone calls, text messages, financial gifts, facebook posts and prayers that you were sending us during this tournament (sorry if I wasn't able to respond). Most of all, I can't thank God enough for the support we've received during this crazy ride! This trophy was earned by each and every one of you! I'm sure I forgot a couple so Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Well......I guess there's just one thing left to say and it still sounds a bit surreal............South Dakota we're going to the Bassmaster Classic!
To God be the Glory!
— Lake Hartwell, SC (@fishhartwellsc) October 30, 2014