Blaylock finds first Classic worth the wait

Stetson Blaylock has been a professional angler for 11 years. He has attended several Bassmaster Classics to work the expo for various sponsors. But he never wanted to attend a single day of the weigh-ins until he qualified to walk across the stage himself, like he has done this week.

"I'm experiencing it for the first time while standing on that stage," said the 32-year-old father of two from Benton, Ark. "It's something you need to see standing there on that stage. Take a deep breath and take it all in. I can tell you I have a whole new respect for the Bassmaster Classic now that I've been on that stage. I see those fans that are out there to see you and those fish. To me, that's what it's all about."

Blaylock acquitted himself well in his first Classic. He was 11th on Day 1, moved up to 5th on Day 2 and unofficially has moved up to 3rd today. He briefly held the lead early this morning.