Get the most out of your on-the-water Classic experience

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. — If you plan to watch the competition from the water at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River, Feb. 24-26, the Red River Waterway Commission and the Classic competitors have these suggestions.

First, please avoid using the locks during competition. Instead, launch in the pool where you plan to do your viewing. The Classic competitors are on an extremely tight schedule, and when spectator boats use the locks to follow their favorite anglers, it means that competitors may not be able to lock through on a timely basis, costing them critical fishing time and impacting the overall quality of the competition.

There are several launching options in each pool (Pools 5, 4 and 3). Directions to all public ramps can be found at

Classic competitors will be launching from Red River South Marina in Pool 5 during competition. No private boats will be permitted to launch from Red River South Marina during the Classic. Spectators wishing to launch in Pool 5 can choose from River Bend Marina and four other public ramps.

There are two public ramps in Pool 4 (Coushatta and Red Oak Lake) that are very near areas likely to be popular with the competitors. Classic competitors may also be fishing in Pool 3, and there are several public launches in that area as well.

Second, please give Classic anglers room to fish. They realize they are sharing public water with you and that the river does not belong to them. All they ask is that you afford them the courtesy of space to fish and the opportunity to pursue their dream of a Classic championship. Generally, spectator etiquette is common sense, but because productive fishing areas may be confined and a large number of boats may be observing the action, individual anglers may request that spectators maintain a certain distance from their fishing areas.

If an angler holds both hands above his head (the “touchdown” signal), he is asking spectators to give him more room to fish and to move their boats away from the direction he is heading. Spectators should also be prepared to give competitors plenty of space to exit fishing areas. It is the responsibility of competitors to be safe and courteous on the water at all times. Since they are under strict time constraints, they will often hurry from one fishing area to the next or back to check-in at the end of the competition day. By being aware of these situations, observers will be better prepared to help ensure the safety of all concerned.

On behalf of the Red River Waterway Commission and the Bassmaster Classic competitors, thank you for your consideration. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable Classic.