It’s almost time for the 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Knoxville is a great town. The whole bass fishing world is getting ready to come together for three magical days. However, I’m looking at it with mixed emotions. Some of those emotions are good, some of them are not so good.
On the one hand I’m really down about my performance last year. I was in pretty good shape until the last two tournaments. I lost my focus just a touch, bombed and didn’t qualify. That’s certainly not what I wanted. The Bassmaster Classic is the bass tournament. It’s the pinnacle. No one wants to sit on the sidelines while the other guys fish.
On the other hand, though, not fishing provides me with a lot of other opportunities. Maybe the one I like the best is the chance to meet and talk with other anglers in our fishing community at the Bassmaster Classic Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Many of them have unique ideas about baits, different tactics that work for them and new ideas.
The great thing about fishing is that no one knows it all. No matter how much you fish, or at what level, there’s always something that someone else can tell you about that you’ve never heard of or thought about. And, those same anglers might be able to clue you in on hot new regional trends that are around, those that even the pros haven’t heard about.
That type of information is important to all of us but, it’s especially important to me because of my company, Missile Baits, and my relationship with SPRO. We’re always interested in learning about how our products are being used and what anglers are doing with them. It’s one of the ways we keep on top of things. With over a dozen designs from Missile and a dozen more from SPRO, I have a lot of baits that I have personally designed to talk about with other anglers.
Another thing that happens is that we get feedback on our lures. It’s great to get positive information but also important to get not so positive information. If a bait could be made better for whatever reason, we want to hear about it. That’s the way we get better at our core mission — helping anglers at all levels catch more bass.
The Expo also gives us the opportunity to introduce new products to the fishing community. This year we’ll be introducing our newest Ned rig plastic from Missile Baits, the Ned Bomb. It’s a 3 1/4-inch bait that pairs perfectly with conventional Ned rig heads. I’m not going to say any more about it at this point, but I will say that the anglers who have tested it under real bass fishing conditions were really impressed, including Mr. Ned himself.
The Ned Bomb will be available and for sale at the DICK’S Sporting Goods display.
If you’re at the Classic and want to talk, look me up. I’ll be at the Missile Baits booth some of the time, but I’ll spend most of my time with my sponsors including Mercury Outboards, T-H Marine and more. Regardless of where I am, I’ll be more than happy to talk about fishing, baits and techniques, or darn near anything else that’s on your mind.
I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty chaffed about not fishing this year’s Classic, but I can say that I’ll be able to make the best of it at the Expo. Sometimes it’s a matter of seeing the glass half full as opposed to seeing it half empty.