Eve of the championship


James Overstreet

Carol Martens, mother of Aaron Martens was doing interviews and taking pictures, too.

I’m writing this the day before the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, and I’m feeling pretty good about things. There are no butterflies, no nervousness, just the usual excitement before a big tournament.

If I had to score my practice experience on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it about a 5. It was only average.

I had a few surprises out there. The lake was dirtier than I expected it be. I thought it would have cleared up a little more than it has, but the majority of the lake is muddy.

The bite has also been tougher than I expected, but we all know that someone is going to figure things out and win this tournament. It happens every time. This time, I hope it’s me!

If I had to guess, I’d say the winning weight is going to be in the 55-56-pound range. If you told me I could have 60 pounds at the end of competition, I’d feel confident that would win it, but things can change. Right now, though, I don’t see anybody averaging 20 pounds for three days.

And I don’t see the water warming up very much over the next couple of days – maybe a degree or two, but not more than that. It’s pretty cold, but about what I expected.

What I did not expect to see was a lot of dead shad. There are shad dying all over the lake, and with water temperatures around 50 degrees, that’s surprising. It usually doesn’t happen unless the water’s quite a bit colder.

If you’re tuned in to BASSTrakk on Friday and want an indicator for how my day is going, take a look at my weight around noon. If I only have 5 or 6 pounds, I’m in trouble. But if I have 13 or 14 pounds – or more – things are going really well and I’ll have a chance to cull up to a really good bag.

I’m optimistic about things and will be working really hard to keep the 2016 Classic trophy right here in Oklahoma, where it belongs!