Mark Wiese Jr. with "just a few" in the livewell.
Hank Weldon conducts the youth directors meeting.
There's more to the 2014 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship than competition. Each year, the presidents and youth directors of the B.A.S.S. Nation convene at the championship to go over policies, changes and new opportunities, as well as help each other manage their own states more effectively.
The leaders of state B.A.S.S. Nation chapters rarely get the credit they deserve. They often give as much time to their volunteer duties with the Nation as they do to their regular jobs. They spend their time and resources organizing tournaments, coordinating cleanup efforts, recruiting new members, communicating policy efforts or grant opportunities to their members and making sure their competitors have everything in order for the championship or -- should they qualify -- the Classic.
It's an exhausting job, but it is personally rewarding for many of them to be involved at this level of the sportfishing community.
Next time you see a president, youth director or conservation director, thank them.
Randy Huffman has been making long runs and fishing creek mouths.
"I've got four to show for it," Huffman said. "But three are little. I've got a lot of work to do."
Coby Carden does have a little added pressure here this week. The last couple years, he's needed to beat the other southern division anglers to advance to the Classic the same as this year, but he's already been qualified each year to fish the following year's B.A.S.S. Nation Championship by making the Alabama State Team. This year, Carden finished seventh in the State Championship, and only the top six advanced to the 2015 B.A.S.S. Nation Championship.
If Carden wants to make it back to the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, and he does, he'll have to win here today and snag the last qualifying spot to compete as next year's defending champion.
Pennsylvania angler Dan Gray poses for photos with tournament director Jon Stewart and the Triton staff.
"I've got three little ones right now from fishing those rocks," said Brian Trieschman.
"I just caught a big one right when you guys came around the corner," said Namibian angler Max Pieper. "Yesterday, I found this spot and named it 'Max's log jam.'"
Ian MacDonald is fishing the banks.
"I've got two right now," MacDonald said. "They always seem to hook up and then swim right under a log. I get my jig back, but with no fish. The two I have right now I caught early this morning. I'm getting a lot of bites. Just no hooksets."