Tournament Director Trip Weldon asked if any competitors in the field fished the coldest event in B.A.S.S. history. Qualifiers including Shaw Grigsby, Alton Jones, Kevin VanDam and Mark Davis raised their hands. It was here on Grand Lake, in 1991. On one competition morning the mercury read 9 degrees. Weldon had just started at B.A.S.S. but was absent from the tournament to fish another event he’d qualified for on Kentucky Lake, where it was a balmy 15 degrees at blast-off. The 1991 Invitational here was won by Ron Shuffield.
How is the college student handling the stresses of the biggest tournament there is?
The loudest laughs of an otherwise-serious tournament briefing came when Trip Weldon described where the competitors could get supplies like lunches and drinks in the morning. “And if you need ice,” he said, drawing a few chuckles and causing him to reverse course, “You can scrape it off your windshield or the ramp.”
Two-time Classic qualifier Tracy Adams hopes that it’s cold on tournament day, partly because he believes it will deter additional boat traffic (“You don’t see too many recreational fishermen out when it’s 38 and snowing”) and partly because he has a secret weapon: Battery-powered socks.
Classic competitors come together as official tournament duties begin in earnest.
Here’s what’s great about the Bassmaster Classic and bass fishing in general: nobody really knows what’s going on until they know.
The official Bassmaster Classic angler briefing begins with a word from B.A.S.S. Tournament Director Trip Weldon.
The 2013 Bassmaster Classic field has officially convened in Tulsa, Okla.
Ott DeFoe hits Bass Pro Shops for some last-minute shopping.