Has Cliff Pace collected his trophy yet? If not, it may be just a formality. With a 7-pound lead going into the third and final round of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, it’s all but over.
- Pace’s lead is the eighth biggest in Classic history after two days and the third biggest in the five-bass-limit era. Only Jay Yelas (9-4 in 2002) and Bo Dowden (8-4 in 1980) had bigger leads with a five-bass limit. They both went on to win.
- Pace has a chance to tie a record I thought would never be matched. In 1984, on the way to his third Classic title, Rick Clunn had the top catch each day and hammered the field with a 25-8 margin of victory. Pace can’t win by that much, but he does have a chance to post the heaviest catch each of the three days. He tied with Mike Iaconelli on Day One.
- The biggest comeback in Classic history came in 1990. Rick Clunn was in 10th place, down 9-10 with one day to fish, and came roaring back for the win. The second biggest comeback came just a year earlier when Hank Parker overcame a 7-15 deficit.
- This was the coldest Bassmaster Classic, but that’s no surprise.
- If he holds on, Pace will become the 39th member of B.A.S.S.’ Millionaires Club and the second youngest. Edwin Evers was a few months younger when he eclipsed seven figures a few years back.
- The B.A.S.S. Nation boys had a tough Classic. Five of the six missed the cut to the top 25 anglers on Day 3, finishing between 35th and 52nd. Jonathan Carter of Maine is the lone exception and launches Sunday in seventh place. It’s a great showing for Carter and one that should certainly inspire other Nation anglers.
- Albert Collins, the Weekend Series champion, finished 48th in this year’s Classic. It’s certainly not what he was hoping for, but to some extent simply being nominated is the honor. (You’ll hear that a lot tonight on the Academy Awards show.)
- Matt Lee, from the Carhartt College Bassmaster program finished 46th. Again, it’s not what he was looking for, and he was unable to improve on Andrew Upshaw’s 32nd place from the year before. Neither collegiate qualifier was able to make the cut and fish Day 3.