That's what Kevin Short says about the leaders in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Northern Open race to the 2011 Bassmaster Classic — and he is one of the leaders.
"It's amazing how tight the points are. I think Ryan (Michigan's Ryan Said) has a pretty good lead on everybody, but I have to say even he's not safe. I say nobody's safe," Short said heading into the season finale next week on the Chesapeake Bay, from which the Northern's two Classic qualifiers will emerge.
As the Northern's No. 5, Short will be taking a second shot at the 2011 Classic after failing to qualify through the 2010 Bassmaster Elite Series.
He has, by his reckoning, two chances. His 502 points from the Northern's first two events puts him only 10 points behind the No. 2 angler, Wisconsin's Travis Manson. But even the 83 points he lacks on leader Said does not scare Short.
"The way the points are, you could have a mediocre event and you could be gone, you could be wiped completely out," he said. "A couple of guys in the 6th through 10th spots could finish in the top two or three, and … that's your two Classic qualifiers."
Short likes his chances on the Chesapeake.
"I'm actually pretty excited about going up there," Short said. "It's more along the lines of the way I like to fish, (compared to) the smallmouth fishing we've had to do."
Short said he has competed on the bay only one other time, at the April 2009 Northern Open, where he finished 17th. Conditions included cold water, sparse grass and a big field of anglers. An end-of-season tournament reverses all that, he pointed out.
Hosted by Cecil County, Md., the Sept. 16-18 Northern Open will take place out of Anchor Boats Marina in North East.
Federation Nation anglers go for it
Just about any angler would give up their Labor Day barbecue to go bass fishing. That goes double for those competing in this week's BASS Federation Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional out of locations in Delaware and Maryland.
After their Monday and Tuesday practice on the Nanticoke River, the anglers will compete Wednesday-Friday, Sept. 8-10, for the right to advance to the BASS Federation Nation Championship, coming up Oct. 27-29 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La. The championship will narrow the field further to six, the only Federation Nation anglers to compete in the 2011 Bassmaster Classic in February.
Junior Bassmaster anglers will also compete on the Nanticoke, joining the adults Sept. 10. Junior qualifiers will be vying to advance to their championship on a date and at a location to be announced soon.
Last year's Mid-Atlantic Divisional winner was Jeff Freeman of Max Meadows, Va., who also led his state to victory over five other state teams. This year the Virginia team will defend its title against the teams of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Delaware and Maryland, each composed of 13 to 14 anglers.
This week's divisional competitors will take off out of Phillips Landing in Laurel, Del. Daily weigh-ins will be at the Gander Mountain store, 2410 N. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury, MD 21801.
After this week's event, only one more Federation Nation Championship-qualifying event will remain: the Sept. 22-24 Eastern Divisional on Candlewood Lake out of Danbury, Conn.
BASS mags win awards
All three of the magazines published by BASS Publications in Celebration, Fla., won top prizes in the 2010 Florida Magazine Association competition.
Flagship publication Bassmaster won a Charlie (a gold) in the "Upfront Column" category for the editorials written by Editor James Hall and designed by Bassmaster head designer Laurie Tisdale. Bassmaster also won a bronze award for Jonathan H. Milo's illustration, "Bass Basics: Catch Bass on Small Crankbaits."
BASS Times garnered a Charlie for excellence for senior writer Robert Montgomery's piece, "New Threats to Angler Rights." Writers Steve Price and David Jones won for their "2010 Classic Preview" work. BASS Conservation director Chris Horton's BASS Times column won a bronze award.
Trade publication Fishing Tackle Retailer won a Charlie in the "Best Department" category for the monthly presentation of "What's Hot, Where," compiled by Ken Freel. The magazine's head designer, Holly Julien, won a Charlie for "Best Single, Original Color Photo."
Julien shared silver honors with writers Darl Black, Louie Stout and Mike Pehanich in the Writing Excellence competition. They won for "You Should Be Selling," a product review feature. Another silver was taken by Editor Ronell Smith for his "You're Kidding…Right" editorial.
Fishing Tackle Retailer also won two bronze awards. One was for an illustration by Mile, and the other was for a cover design by Julien.
Scores of publications based in Florida were entered in the awards program, including Islands, Healthy Living, Florida Wildlife, Golfweek and Bonnier publications, such as Sport Fishing.
How to find a BASS club
Hooking up with a BASS Federation Nation club just got easier.
A new feature at Bassmaster.com is a searchable map that pinpoints clubs by showing a BASS shield logo.
Charlie Hartley's confidence game
"At the Elite Series level this game is all mental." — Bassmaster Elite Series pro Charlie Hartley in his Sept. 1 Bassmaster blog, in which he discusses the benefits of confidence — and the detriments of lack thereof.