The Calcutta

Traditionally, many bass tournament series have some sort of side-bet option that the anglers put up extra money for. A lot of times it’s the big fish pot, but at the 2019 GEICO Bassmater Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, a certain Calcutta has been put up by a small group of anglers including Mark Daniels Jr., Adrian Avena, Jacob Wheeler, Edwin Evers, Casey Ashley and Jesse Wiggins.

It goes a little something like this:

“So, I was at the grocery store the other night with Adrian and Mark, and Adrian found this giant teddy bear, that we’ve since we affectionately named ‘Ted,’” Wheeler explained. “After dropping $60 bucks, we decided to set up a bet. Whoever has the lowest weight after Day 1 at the Classic has to take Ted fishing with them on Saturday of the tournament.”

I think it would be the first time a giant teddy bear made an appearance on Classic waters, but we’ll see.

The side bet started out with three of them, but quickly grew into six experienced dudes putting pride on the line to perform in order to avoid having to haul the 5-foot teddy bear with them during the event.

When asked if he’s concerned about the risk of adding a stuffed passenger to his rig, Edwin Evers, a former Classic champion, said: “I ain’t scared.”

“You see, that scares me when Edwin talks that way,” Wheeler said. “He won’t make a bet like that if he’s not catching them. If Evers is in on this, watch out, he’s on the fish too. It’s been said a hundred times: Everyone here is here to win. And I’m here to not have to take a teddy bear with me.

“Putting a little bet on the side reminds me of my younger days as an aspiring pro angler,” he said. “It just ups the ante a little bit, and we’ll have some fun with it. Look out for ‘Ted’ on the water this week.”