2010 Bassmaster Classic Lay Lake - Birmingham, AL, Feb 19 - 21, 2010

Denny Brauer: 2010 Classic Ride

Past Classic Champion Looks Back and Ahead on Day 1 Morning Commute

Each morning, ESPN Outdoors reporter David A. Brown joins one of the Bassmaster Classic anglers on their drive from the boatyard in downtown Birmingham to the launch site at Lay Lake. Today's host: Denny Brauer.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — He's making his 20th Bassmaster Classic appearance and, while Denny Brauer is no doubt enthused about competing in the sport's most prestigious event, he's also clear on how the right mindset plays an integral role in an angler's performance

"I think, to a certain extent, it becomes old hat and I don't think the excitement is still there like the first few times I qualified. It's not just another tournament — there's a lot of hype surrounding this event, but you have to be careful not to get caught up in that and still try to keep it a regular tournament.


 BIGGEST CHANGE: "In 1984, when television got involved, that's when we really started to see the crows grow and the sport grow. Today, ESPN is focused on producing the best TV experience for the fans that they can produce."

 BAITS FOR DAY ONE: Strike King Pro Model Jig, Strike King Flipping Tube, Strike King Red Eye Shad, Strike King Pure Poison Swimming Jig.

For fans of bass fishing, Brauer said the Classic offers much more than entertainment — it's a potential learning experience of peerless proportions. This year in particular, Brauer said, offers fans the chance to heighten their knowledge of fishing in adverse conditions.

After a brutal cold spell that saw snow falling during practice days, Lay Lake's water temperature is at an all-time low in the 43-45 degree range. Noting how the pros adapt to these conditions will provide invaluable lessons.

"These are the most extreme conditions that any Classic I remember fishing has ever had," Brauer said. "I'm a fan of the sport myself and after a week of practice I'll be curious to see what gets caught by whom and how it gets caught compared to what I'm doing. It will be a learning experience for all of us."