Q: What are you most excited about going into this Classic?
Brandon Lester: It’s close to home, so I’ll have a ton of family and friends here. I want to do well for them, even more than for myself.
Matt Arey: It’s my first Classic! It’s my childhood dream come true.
Q: What’s your biggest concern going into this Classic?
Lester: We’re in the center of the bass fishing universe, local fishing pressure and boat traffic will impact the outcome of this tournament.
Arey: I hate to say it – but local fishing pressure.
Q: B.A.S.S. is calling this “The Year of the Fan.” We’re all fans at heart. What’s your favorite Classic memory prior to becoming a competitor in this great event.
Lester: Ironically, the last Classic they had at Guntersville. It was 2014, witnessing that first-hand as a fan lit the fire in me, and the next year, I qualified to compete in it.
Arey: The 2004 Classic on Lake Wylie. I was about 22 years old, and my buddy and I followed the competitors on the water.
Q: What’s most likely to be playing on your Tundra’s speakers on your way to the ramp Friday morning, on Day 1 of competition?
Lester: Probably Blackberry Smoke or Cross Canadian Ragweed.
Arey: LANCO’s song “Rival.”
Q: What percentage of the bass you weigh-in this week will be caught on lures featuring treble hooks?
Q: What might you buy first if you win the $300,000 first place prize?
Lester: I’d love to buy land to hunt on, and build our forever home on it too.
Arey: I’d invest it in my retirement funds.