I'm plowing through the darkness up Highway 169, headed to a ramp on the north end of Mille Lacs.
My boat driver, Jason Schade and I are wanting to be waiting for Jason Christie when he gets to his first spot. So we are driving north. All the anglers are headed south to the official launch.
It's interesting view. Jason provides some commentary on the way.
"There's Skeet. I bet he's a mess right now. Trying to make the Classic."
"Clifford Pirch. I think he's in no problem. But he could get a few extra dollars by moving up."
The conversation goes like that. Going from one angler who is in the Classic but fighting for a few extra thousand. To those who are fighting to get to the Classic or stay in, while for others the only hope is to make it to the Classic Bracket event next week.
All those little twists make this an interesting event. The Toyota AOY title the main thing. But woven through the rest of the fabric of this event are about three dozen battles all with different types of winners and strategies to get there. It's going to be fun.