Newlyweds at the Classic

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. -- It may be a little chillier than most people’s idea of paradise, but that’s what the 2012 Bassmaster Classic is to Taylor and Matthew Fitzhugh of Jackson, Miss., who chose to honeymoon in Shreveport during the three-day fishing competition.

“There’s been really big crowds,” Taylor, 23, said, “it’s been really exciting.”

The couple warmed up inside near the launch site this morning after watching the anglers take off for Day Two. Each had a different take on Day 1’s results.

“I’m kind of surprised,” Taylor said about her favorite angler’s performance, who is Kevin VanDam. “I thought he’d do better but I think he’ll do better today and he’ll have a bigger bag.”

Matthew, 25, wants to see an underdog win this year. “I thought someone would jump way ahead of the pack,” he said.

On Friday the Fitzhughs watched the launch, went to the Bassmaster Classic Outdoor Expo presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods, then watched the weigh-in. It’s a schedule they plan to repeat each day of the tournament. They were given special tickets to the weigh-in as a congratulations from B.A.S.S. and said they loved the view from their seats.

But the view may have been even more sweet last weekend when the newlyweds were married at a church near their hometown. After the ceremony, the couple climbed into a bass boat provided by Pete Ponds, a longtime friend of Matthew’s father. As they drove away, they waved to friends and family from one of their favorite seats — aboard a boat.

Taylor and Matthew said they enjoy fishing together, and have throughout their six-year relationship. But Taylor said she wasn’t always so interested in fishing. Meeting Matthew changed that.

“I fished a little before but if he was going to go without me, I decided I had to start going too,” she said.

Matthew says he loves that he found a wife who wants to fish with him, especially because they both love the competitive aspect of the sport.

“I win most of the time,” Matthew said.

“Yeah, but I win sometimes,” Taylor countered.

After attending the 2009 Classic in Shreveport, the couple caught the Classic again in Birmingham in 2010. After they became engaged on Valentine’s Day 2011, they traveled to New Orleans to celebrate by attending their third Bassmaster Classic together.

It’s no doubt the Classic has played a large part in their relationship, and will for years to come.

“It’s just so much fun,” Taylor said.

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