2013 Bassmaster Classic Grand Lake O' the Cherokees - Tulsa, OK, Feb 22 - 24, 2013

2013 Classic: The one that got away

Tales of heartbreak

Shaw Grigsby
Jerry Cunningham
Shaw Grigsby says there's no excuse for the fish he hooked and lost on Day Three of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.

By now we’ve all read the stories of victory and triumph at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. We have a winner and any number of anglers who are satisfied — more or less — with their performance.

But, there are also stories of heartbreak at this Classic. Most are about fish that might have made a difference if they’d only made it to the livewell, but some serve only to remind us that sometimes the fish win.

Brent Chapman (Day 2)

I didn’t have a fish until probably 11:00 a.m. I finally pulled out my spinning rod with 8-pound-test line and a shaky head. I hooked a 2 1/2-pounder. I got it to the boat where it bounced off the side of the boat. It fell back into the water, still hooked. Instead of lipping it I tried to swing it into the boat. It broke off.

That fish would have increased my bag by at least 6 or 8 ounces. I missed the cut by 1 ounce. That one hurt.

Boyd Duckett (Day2)

This morning I pulled into a new place. I fished a Rat-L-Trap in shallow water. I immediately caught a couple of keepers but lost one that was around 4 pounds. I didn’t do anything wrong as far as I know. She just jumped off. I left and ultimately weighed a limit to make the cut.

If I’d landed that 4-pounder, I’d have been up in the standings and would have had a chance for a decent finish — not close enough to win but a heck of a lot closer than 23rd place puts me.

Shaw Grigsby (Day 3)

This one’s on me, all the way. In practice, I found a dock and cable that run out into the lake about 6 inches or so off the bottom. I caught a fish there. So today I went back. But, instead of getting the right angle on the cable so that I could pull the fish out, I went lazy and threw over the cable.

Of course, I hooked one. He ran under the cable and broke me off. I could live with that except that I know better than to throw across something like that. That was just plain stupid. There’s no excuse for it.

Greg Hackney (Day 2)

I fished around a dock today with a big cable that runs out into the water. A 5- or 6-pounder came out from underneath it and grabbed my crankbait. It didn’t take long for her to wrap my line around a cable. It was the only cable that didn’t run to the bank. It ran out into the abyss. I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on her because I was using fairly light line. That was a mistake.

I pulled one way. She pulled the other. Then she opened her mouth and the bait fell out. If I had that fish I’d have an outside chance tomorrow. The way it is, I’m just going fishing. I did get my lure back, though. That’s a positive.

Jared Lintner (Day 1)

A giant ate my jerkbait at a big old pine tree. It was in the same place I’d caught a 4-pounder in practice. I played her up and down the bank until I finally got her to the boat. She wallered around on top for a minute. I couldn’t believe how big she was — a good 7 or 8 pounds. Then she came off. Nothing spectacular, the lure just fell out of her mouth.

I was down on my knees in disbelief for a couple of seconds before I started fishing again. On my second cast I hooked one about 3 1/2 pounds. I was still angry and frustrated and had lost my composure. I tried to boat-swing her into the boat. She got off, too. I laid my rod down, turned my back on that spot and never looked back as I left.

Aaron Martens (Day 1)

My day sucked. I had seven bites and only landed three fish. The water was cold where I was fishing. The bite was funny. I couldn’t get a good hook set. If I’d have caught them all, I’d probably have 13 or 15 pounds. Instead I don’t even have 7 pounds. My day sucked.

Jason Quinn (Day 1)

This is the toughest fishing day I’ve had in a while. I don’t usually lose too many but today I lost two in the last 10 minutes. One was around 3 pounds and the other was around 7 pounds. I weighed four fish today. Either one of the two I lost would have made a big difference, especially that big one.

Gerald Swindle (Day 2)

First thing this morning, I headed to a stretch of riprap where I thought I could catch one cranking. Within five minutes, I had a 4-pounder in the boat. In the next 30 minutes I had two good ones pull off. I thought I was on something. I stayed on that bank until 11:00 a.m. without another bite, doing nothing but wasting time.

Sometimes catching fish, and getting bites like that, can be a bad thing. It’ll cause you to chase a ghost. Losing those fish gave me a false sense of hope. Thank goodness I had enough sense to leave when I did, but I still didn’t make the cut.