Charles Sim came all the way from Canada to be only the second person from his country to compete in the Bassmaster Classic.
But today, he and the rest of the B.A.S.S. Nation anglers are taking in the Expo rather than fishing on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.
“This has been a dream,” said Sim, who finished the highest of all the Nation anglers, just out of the cut in 31st place.
“Thanks to all the Canadians who made the trip down,” he said on stage on Day 2. “I’m at a loss for words. I hope to get back on this stage one day.”
Sim had a big Day 2, bringing in 12 pounds, 14 ounces. However, it wasn’t enough to make up for a lackluster Day 1 when he caught only 4-6.
“This lake is changing every day,” he said. “Those fish are moving up. This lake’s going to be on fire tomorrow.”
He’s right. Edwin Evers has been on a roll today, reportedly catching 23 pounds already.
But that doesn’t help any of our B.A.S.S. Nation anglers.
The next-closest Nation representative to Sim was John Proctor of South Carolina, who ended in 42nd place with 10-8.
Greg Vance of Iowa finished in 45th with 9-2. Fabian Rodriguez of the Delaware B.A.S.S. Nation ended right behind him in 46th place with 9-0.
Albert Collins of Texas, who competed in the 2013 Classic on Grand Lake, finished in 51st place with 6-12. And Levi McNeill of Utah, who came in fishless on Day 1, made up for it on Day 2 with one bass weighing 2-9. He finished 54th.
Regardless of their final places, the six Nation anglers had a good time.
“It was an awesome experience,” said McNeill. “It’s something I’ll remember forever.”
“I had a great event,” said Rodriguez. “I can’t thank everyone enough. And I can’t wait to see everyone on the Bassmaster Elite Series trail this year.”