When the CITGO Bassmaster Classic gets underway Friday, at least seven anglers in this field will have an advantage over the rest of the field. At least they will feel like they have gained an edge.
And in some ways they do have something a little special that no one else in the tournament shares — their personal lucky charms.
The following is a look at the extra things a few anglers will have on their side.
"I have a Japanese string of beads that symbolize power and success. As Americans, we are always looking for something to give us hope. I received it from my boss at Lucky Craft while we were in Japan. When he explained what it meant it kind of sunk in and always gives me a little something to think about. I look at it, I see it and I touch it. It is attached to my boat permanently now. It's in a place that I can't help but see every morning while driving the boat so I reach down and touch it to remind me."
Anre' de Villiers
"My dog is a cross between a poodle and fox-terrier and he goes fishing with me everywhere. His name is Rebel. Around the tournaments back home everybody comes out to greet my dog and not me, he's more famous than I am! He makes a lot of noise on the water when we go out, especially if you catch a fish on a spinnerbait. Guys can hear me shouting across the lake telling him to keep quiet. He's been on board with me now for sixteen years now."
"I've got to have my Red Bull every morning. It gets me fired up and it's just part of the regular routine of the day. Some people do their coffee; I need my Red Bull. I might reach back into the stash during the course of the day if I'm feeling a little sluggish. I've got a six pack on ice right now in there and if I go through that I'll get another six tomorrow." (Monroe drank two Red Bulls on Wednesday during official practice)
"It's my wife, Debbie. She's got the kind of attitude that puts me at ease going into the tournaments. She never puts any pressure on me and always says good luck. If I do badly in a tournament she always tells me I'll do better in the next one, and if I do good in the next one she says I knew you would. We've been married for 33 years and she's my lucky charm."
"SpongeBob SquarePants boxer shorts. I don't bring them with me on the boat; I just sleep in the boxers at night. My little boy got them for me for Christmas last year and I've had a pretty good run with them so I keep wearing them. I wear them every night of the tournament."
"I was at the Classic at New Orleans in 2001 and this little kid, who was probably about three or four years old, gave me this marble. He told me that it was his lucky marble, and now I've seen him at each Classic since then and he's gotten bigger every year. His name is Gunter Waley. It is just one of those neat deals for a kid to give you something that he was so fond of like that. I only bring the marble with me on tournament days, no practice days."
"It's actually this little toy fire engine that I have, and I told my son that every time I caught a fish I was going to ring it for him. You wind it up and its got the little lights on it and makes the fire engine siren noise when it moves. I am going to put it up on the dash of the boat and every time I hook a fish I am going to sound the siren!"