I owe my friends an apology

By now everyone knows that I did fairly well with my Classic head picks, and that I couldn't have done much worse with my Classic heart picks.

Before we talk about that, however, I need to apologize to my Ohio Federation Nation friends and fellow anglers. Jody Adkins, North Canton, qualified from the Ohio Federation Nation. It was his first Bassmaster Classic. Let's face it — that's an extraordinary achievement. No one wanted him to win more than me. Nevertheless, I left him off my list. I think what happened was that he was so obvious to me that I just didn't think when I wrote the blog. Let there be no doubt — I rooted, and always will root, for a fellow Buckeye.

I fished the Federation for years, and I was on the State Team. I support them all the time, all the way. It was a careless omission — on the blog, not in my heart. I apologize to Jody, his family and friends, and all the Ohio Federation Nation members. I'll do my best to see that something like that never happens again.

Now, back to my picks: VanDam won — nothing else needs to be said about the man — and Iaconelli finished sixth. Iaconelli is an excellent example of what I was talking about when I said these guys figure out a way to win. (We'll skip over the rest of my head picks.) He had 17 bites during three days of fishing. He landed 16 of those bites. He averaged over 2 1/2 pounds per fish. Think about that for a minute. The fact that he only had 17 bites during the entire Classic tells you he didn't develop a strong pattern. On some level he was struggling. The fact that he landed 16 of those 17 bites tells you he was careful in how he handled his fish; he didn't panic, or get sloppy, or give up. That's the mark of a winner, pure and simple.

As far as my heart picks are concerned there's not much I can say. None of them made the cut. That doesn't change the facts of why I picked them, or why they are sentimental picks. It is what it is. I'd pick them again, and root for them just as hard.

Enough about the Classic, it's time to start thinking about California. I have a few things left to do here in Columbus and then I'll finish my packing. Once all that's done it'll be time to start the four-day drive out there. I can't say I'm looking forward to the drive, but I can say I'm looking forward to the tournaments. I want to get started back fishing the Elites. I miss the competition, and I miss seeing my friends. I'll bring you up to speed on everything next week while I'm on the road.