Breakfasts of champions

TULSA, Okla. — On the morning of the biggest competition of your life, what do you eat and drink to get you going?

Or don’t you eat at all?

That was a question put to several competitors on the eve of the 2013 Bassmaster Classic presented by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.

Some said they’ll eat food wrapped as much in tradition and superstition as in Cellophane. Others plan to be practical about what goes into their stomachs. Still others don’t give food a second thought.

Four-time Classic winner Kevin VanDam has his “lucky cookies.” This time around, his nephew, Jonathon VanDam, is in the game too — and the cookies are being shared, said VanDam the younger. But he’s starting his own food traditions.

“I’ve got a loaf of banana bread that one of my buddies made for me,” he said. “Banana bread with chocolate chips baked inside. I’ve got some of those famous lucky cookies, but I’ll be eating the banana bread just because it’s really good.”

He’ll wash it down with plain water.

“Then I’ll spend my time getting focused,” he said.

Jared Lintner said he’ll drink coffee before he sets out for the trip to Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, boat in tow. But that’s it.

“I’m one of those people who are so geared up in the morning, I can’t eat right away,” he said. “But seeing as we have an hour and a half drive, I might eat a little sandwich of some kind. My wife will probably make something for me. Nothing big. I’ll eat more later.”

Bobby Lane is looking forward to a traditional breakfast — traditional for him, that is. His custom began as a kid in Florida, when he often fished with his late grandfather, who provided the breakfast:

“Coffee that would make your hair stand straight up, and Oreo cookies. That’s all we had until lunch,” Lane said, “and that’s what I look forward to at every Bassmaster Classic.”

At this Classic, his sixth consecutive appearance, his parents will procure the cookies. That’s become part of the tradition, too.

“Every Classic I’ve been in, my parents bring down to the dock a pack of Oreo cookies,” Lane said. “I’ll have to stop and get gas in the morning, so I’ll pick up the coffee.”

He said he’ll munch on a few cookies as he zips down the lake, but mostly for luck. He’s not really thinking about food.

“You’re so amped up for a Classic, you just want to get out there and fish well,” he said.

David Walker’s wife was busy Thursday afternoon lining up a source for the one food the Tennessee qualifier craves: blueberry muffins.

“I just like blueberry muffins. They’re always good, hot or cold,” he said. He said he’ll wash them down with Red Bull.

Coffee will give Marty Robinson his morning boost. Beyond that, he’ll stay true to his South Carolina roots.

“It’s so cold, I’ll go for grits,” said Robinson, who is in his second consecutive Classic. “Grits kind of stick to you. Add a little butter, and you’re good to go.”

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