Get ready for big bass, Classic style

It’s time to get down to serious business.

As you read this, I’m on Lake Guntersville trying to stuff my livewell with big bass with hopes of making a run at my fifth Bassmaster Classic title.

Practice is over, we’ve completed Media Day and we’ve put the many festivities of Classic Week behind us. As always, Classic Week is more than a fishing tournament, but this one has been one of the best ever. You can feel the electricity in the air among the sponsors, media and definitely the anglers.

After our last official practice day on Wednesday, we moved our boats to Region Field, home of the Birmingham Barons, the Chicago White Sox’ AA minor league affiliate. It was an awesome venue, as we lined our boats around the mezzanine above the field and conducted interviews with nearly 200 media people from around the world.

Prior to that, the Classic contenders were treated to a sneak preview of the BJCC Arena where we will be weighing in. We were shown the staging and some of the production efforts that fans will be treated to on large screens in the arena during the event.

I also got to stroll through the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods and could sense the excitement and buzz from manufacturers and sponsors over the new bass fishing gear to be unveiled there beginning today.

I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating: Birmingham is a phenomenal venue to host a Classic for fans that want to come here and feel a part of the action. Although Lake Guntersville is a good hour and half drive from Birmingham, the Expo and weigh-in are adjacent to major motels and provide ideal facilities for fishing fans. The show that B.A.S.S. plans to put on during the weigh-in will give fans the feel of being on the water.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be here but those who aren’t will get a good feel of the action through the massive amounts of coverage provided by B.A.S.S. on and other media outlets. With GoPro as one of the presenting sponsors this year, fans will witness up-to-the-minute action and footage not long after it happens. You will get an unprecedented look at what we go through at the Classic.

And believe me, there will be action. When you combine the outstanding big bass population that Guntersville offers with the way the weather forecast is setting up, this will be one of the greatest classics ever.

The quality, quantity and health of the fish in this lake are phenomenal. There’s no doubt my record for heaviest Classic catch will be shattered and you’re going to see huge weights come in.

Indeed, the lake is awakening from a harsh winter, but as we start to figure things out and lock into the ever-changing fishing conditions, there will beguys enjoying some late heroics Saturday and Sunday.

There is definitely the potential for 30- to 40-pound stringers. The lake has so many big fish right now that any angler can get on the right little pattern, have his timing right and make magic happen pretty quickly.

Remember, it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam's column appears weekly on You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.