Day 6: Scalish Classic daily diary

The CITGO BASSMASTER Tour Rookie of the Year will forget about bass fishing for a day or two, after finishing 46th in his first Classic. Scalish and his wife, Rachel, are anxious to arrive home and celebrate the third birthday of their daughter, Rosie.

 "Classic week was one of the greatest weeks of my life," said Scalish. "It ranks only behind my marriage to Rachel and the births of my children. It was everything I expected, and more."

 Next week, however, it will be back to the business of fishing.

 "I'm already scheduling media and sponsor-related activities," said Scalish. "I've scheduled photo shoots, fishing trips with radio and newspaper folks and negotiations with some sponsors.

 "In two weeks my mind will be back on bass fishing tournaments. I'll head to Lake Murray in South Carolina to practice for the Bassmaster Open."

 Scalish will not have any trouble remembering his inaugural Classic. A wealth of newspaper clippings about his Classic adventure, including a major feature in USA Today, will find their way into his scrapbook.

 His brother-in-law Johnny Nigro, a videographer from New York City, followed Scalish as he prepared for the Classic and throughout Classic week, filming the experience. Nigro interviewed Scalish's friends and caught him in action on the water and as he appeared at sponsor exhibits at the Classic Outdoor Show.

 "Johnny shot more than 30 hours of tape," said Scalish, amused at the project. "It will probably take him a year, or two, to edit all of the tape."

 There were not that many surprises at the Classic, said Scalish.

 "The fishing was as difficult as I expected it to be," he said. "And I knew this field would be tough. I worked hard and did my best.

 "I was overwhelmed at how my major sponsors, Triton and PRADCO, really stepped up to the plate to help me excel in the Classic. Their support throughout the week was outstanding."

 What was a revelation, said Scalish, "was much I enjoyed the experience. The Classic week events were great and the competition was exceptional. It gave me the motivation to get back here next year."

 Additional information

 By sanctioning over 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its B.A.S.S. Federation, B.A.S.S. is the world's largest fishing organization. The CITGO BASSMASTER Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass fishing tournament circuit. It continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism, and sportsmanship after more than three decades. B.A.S.S. is a wholly owned subsidiary of ESPN.

 Sponsor information

 Sponsors of the 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic include: CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Chevrolet Trucks, Mercury Marine, Yamaha Outboards, Triton Boats, Skeeter Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Kumho Tires, Long John Silver's, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, Bass Pro Shops, Armstrong Industrial Hand Tools, and B.A.S.S. Platinum Visa/First USA.

 Associate Sponsors include Bass Cat Boats and G3 Boats.

 The 2002 CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic will be presented locally by the State of Alabama, City of Birmingham, Jefferson County and Shelby County.

 For more information contact: the CITGO BASSMASTERS Classic Media Center at (205) 458-8339.