Fantasy Fishing, YouTube and second place

It was approximately two years ago when I was doing “research” at work  (watching fishing videos) that I first stumbled across Hellabass. As you hopefully know if you play Rapala Fantasy Fishing, we have a few regular writers who contribute their picks in article form about a week before each Bassmaster Elite Series event. We had a writer, and suddenly I’m watching this guy I’ve never heard of before post a 30 minute YouTube video about what his picks were. He even has guests such as Ronnie Moore on to do just that. I was impressed — this guy clearly had a passion for the “game” of Fantasy Fishing, and it’s wonderful to find new voices like that. 

A few months later, and he’s writing one of the Fantasy Fishing columns. His name is actually Rich Lindgren, although every time I see him I just sort of want to call him Hellabass. Despite the use of “hella” he is not from California as best I can tell, but from right here where the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional is taking place, Minnesota. And it turns out, he’s a pretty good angler.

How good? First day, he brought in 16-14 and yesterday he followed it up with 16-2 to land him in second place going into the final day. Pat Schlapper sits in front of him by 2 pounds, and Pat has already stated he’s not confident in what he has for today. But don’t count him out — Pat said a similar thing to me yesterday, and five minutes later he hauled in a 4-pounder that kept him in first place.

Rich? He seems like he can put another 16 pounds on the scales later today. He caught eight of his 10 bass on this tube, and he’s got a pocketful of them already rigged up in his pocket.

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Catching up with the leader

We caught up with the leader, Pat Schlapper, and got to see him make a great cull. He’s not happy with his current weight, but he just boated the first one of the size he needs. He has 14 pounds today, which almost guarantees him another day on Vermilion. But he wants to win this one, for sure. He was very intense and not very talkative until he caught that 4-pounder.

A sunrise and a catch

I was typing a blog where I lamented all I have is a beautiful sunrise to share, but Troy Diede just came through with his first bass. He started the day in eighth place. We found him on a large sandy flat in the eastern side of the lake, littered with boulders called Echo Point. My boat driver tells me there are not a lot of points like it on the lake.

We will stick with him a while. This is a wild, large lake and finding anglers isn’t as easy as checking BASSTrakk.

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Pre-takeoff Day 1

It's almost takeoff time for Day 1 of the TNT Fireworks B.A.S.S. Nation Northern Regional at Lake Vermillion.

Update by Bryan Larson

Sharing a catch

Randy Cloeter of Nebraska shares a catch while prefishing.