Armed with his best — if not backfiring — bass fishing smack talk, ESPN's Mike Golic will once again pack his tacklebox in February 2009 and bring along occasional co-host Erik Kuselias for a few days at the 39th Bassmaster Classic. Mike & Mike in the Morning will make a repeat appearance in a live broadcast from the world's most prestigious fishing tournament.
Golic and Kuselias will head to Louisiana for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City. The show will broadcast live, 6 a.m.-10 a.m. ET Friday, Feb. 20, from Red River South Marina in Bossier City. From that launch site, 51 of the world's top anglers will embark on their three-day quest for a chance at $1.2 million in prizes, including the winner's purse of $500,000, and the elite title of Bassmaster Classic champion.
The 2008 Toyota Tundra Women's Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year, Kim Bain-Moore, will make history when she joins the field as the first woman to compete in the Bassmaster Classic.
"We're excited to have Mike & Mike in the Morning come back for some more great fishing at the Bassmaster Classic," said Tom Ricks, vice president and general manager, BASS. "We had a lot of fun with Mike and Erik last year, and this year promises to be just as entertaining. Mike & Mike in the Morning listeners and sports fans everywhere are in for another treat."
"I have been to Louisiana many, many times," Kuselias said. "But I have not been to Shreveport. So I'm excited to see a different part of the state, which I understand is absolutely beautiful. I'm so excited to be coming down."
In February 2008, Golic and Kuselias hosted Mike & Mike in the Morning live from the 38th Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina's Lake Hartwell. The day before their broadcast on Day 1 of the Classic, the two fished with Bassmaster Elite Series pros Jason Quinn and Davy Hite, who hail from South Carolina.
During his NFL career, Golic and his father regularly fished Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla., after the NFL season was done, so the former defensive tackle, confident in his skills vs. those of Kuselias, talked plenty of smack on the day the two fished. Before the boats launched on Lake Hartwell, Golic made the memorable comment: "I will catch them, but Erik Kuselias will not. He couldn't put a lure on the line if you paid him."
As it turned out, Kuselias caught the lone bass between the two of them.
"You know, Greenie basically beats him up every day," Kuselias said of Golic and his regular Mike & Mike co-host, Mike Greenberg. "And now he gets beat up by another non-athlete in an athletic event. It has to sting the big guy."
Kuselias said, if Golic and him square off again, he absolutely has a gameplan going into the upcoming Classic.
"My strategy is to pick the absolute best pro and put him in my boat," Kuselias said. "And then when nobody is looking, I'll have him throw my pole in the water and make sure he catches a fish so that I can be waving to the cameras."
ESPN2 will devote nearly a dozen hours to Bassmaster Classic programming through the three days of competition.
The Shreveport Regional Sports Authority will roll out the red carpet for Classic weigh-ins at the CenturyTel Center in Bossier City, while the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will be at the Shreveport Convention Center.
Golic is co-host of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning, which premiered as The Morning Show on Oct. 12, 1998, and is carried by more than 335 full-time affiliates nationwide, including owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Pittsburgh. He also serves as an analyst for ESPN and ESPN2's NFL studio programming, as well as for the networks' college football game coverage.
Kuselias will co-host with Golic in Louisiana. Greenberg, the other half of Mike & Mike who joined Golic on The Morning Show in January 2000, has the day off.
Official sponsors for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic: Toyota Tundra, Advance Auto Parts, Berkley, Lowrance, Mercury, Purolator, Skeeter and Yamaha.