Today, John Diaco is getting started on the 1,700-mile journey from his home in Rochester, N.H., bound for the Red River. The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation’s Eastern Division qualifier is not looking forward to the long drive, but he is ready to represent his fellow club members in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 24-26.
“I definitely want to win,” said Diaco, a member of the Lakes Region bass club. “I’ve been working on this for 20 years. I’ve been fishing with the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation that long, and there’s a lot of great fishermen in the Federation. This has been a long road.”
His family and friends want him to win, too. “My 11-year-old daughter keeps saying ‘when Dad wins the Classic,’” said Diaco, laughing. His wife, several friends, and the New Hampshire B.A.S.S. Federation Nation president and conservation director will be in attendance to support him.
Diaco practiced on the Red River in December. “I fished pools 4 and 5 pretty good and found some hard-bottom areas the fish might use to spawn. I also looked at areas where the Classic has been won. I feel pretty good about it.
“The Red River is a lot different fishing than in New Hampshire,” said Diaco. “But it is similar to the Ouachita River,” referring to where the 2011 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship was held in November 2011. There, he caught 29 pounds, 11 ounces over three days and took third place overall.
“I think crankbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs will be good at the Classic,” he said. “But you never know until you get there, so I’m bringing everything!”