When "Game Face" Cliff Pace was riding in the boat for his victory lap after he won the Bassmaster Classic, his cell phone was ringing off the hook.
With his big win, fame came calling. And when it did, Pace missed 354 calls, and his voicemail box quit taking messages.
The new notoriety has been overwhelming, for sure, but Pace is staying level-headed about it.
"I'm still me," he said today during the B.A.S.S. Twitter Chat, held in celebration of his victory, "and I'm going to stay me. I'm looking forward to showing the world who 'me' is."
Below is a transcript of the chat, lightly edited for spelling and clarity. You can also check out Twitter chat transcripts from other pros, including Mike Iaconelli, Kevin VanDam, Aaron Martens, Boyd Duckett, Jonathon VanDam, Todd Faircloth, Brent Chapman, Randy Howell, Ish Monroe, Brandon Palaniuk, Jeremy Starks and Alton Jones.
Keep up with Twitter chats, tournament news and bass fishing advice by following B.A.S.S. on Twitter at @BASS_Nation.
Thank you, @CliffPaceFishin for joining us right after your big Classic win! Fans, we're ready for your questions!
Thanks for joining in on the Twitter chat! I'm excited to be talking about my Classic experience and answer any of your questions!
If you are looking for an apprentice or just someone to hang out with, please let me know! CONGRATS!
What's your five go to baits on a really tough day
What was your go to lure?
How did you feel after ending day 3 with only 4 fish?
After coming off the water, I felt like I missed something. I struggled the entire day and was disappointed.
Congratulations! You seemed really calm when you won, what were you actually thinking?
I was thinking nothing. I was truly in a trance, in shock from winning the Classic.
if you could change one thing you did while on the water those three days what would it be?
Catch 5 bass on the last day!
Cliff, what's your favorite creature bait and color
My favorite is a @bayououtdoorsV&M slump hog. It's a new bait, and I like it in green pumpkin.
What were you keying on to help you catch those better quality fish?
I was keying on my patience in areas that I knew had those fish in them, channel swings located off the main lake.
What is ur fave #bossfishingjig color?
I like a dark green pumpkin.
Congrats on your classic win, Cliff! What were you keying in on throughout the tournament?
Channel swings located off the main lake.
Going into practice, how did you feel about your chances in the Classic?
I felt really good. I knew it was going to be a tougher tournament, but I knew the potential was there. I knew I was going to have to slow down and figure it out, and that fits my style well.
What was the key to your success at the classic? What bait? #BassmasterClassic
Persistence was the key. Doing what I knew I needed to do and staying focus was very important to get a quality bite.
What were your thoughts on the last day after not catching a limit which was rare for you, since you had whacked them previously?
My goal was to leave the water knowing that I had it, and instead I knew I had left the door open to not win it.
What were the steps you took in deciding your starting pattern on Grand?
Analyzing the water conditions the area had been having. It was warm then got really cold. That gave me a good idea about how the fish were going to be setting up.I marked places in December and started running different types of water in practice.
When you heard Palaniuk’s weight were you sure you’d won?
No, but I felt pretty good about it.
How did you make the fish on grand lake react to your baits since the water temp was so cold? Was this the coldest you ever fished
Not the coldest water temp I had ever fished, but definitely the coldest air temp. My trick was fishing incredibly slow.
What made the final day much more challenging than the previous 2 days? Did your pattern change? What adjustments did you make?
My pattern did change. The wind was not blowing into the area I was fishing anymore.I had been sticking with a jerkbait, but the third day I couldn't make them bite. So, I had to switch baits.
Did you ever get that panic feeling on Sunday?
Not really. I knew that that was the one thing that could prevent me from winning the tournament.
Congrats! Thanks for entertaining, showing us a higher level of Bassin & provoking us to think & open our minds.
Thanks, I really appreciate it!
What was your best producing bait of the tournament??
Thank you! Congratulations!
First, thanks for interview Thurs. Really enjoyed the chat. 2nd, can I ask what you said to Palaniuk on stage?
I told him he was a great fisherman & he has a long, solid career in this sport, and I congratulated him for putting himself in position to win.
How long we're you pausing the jerk and did it change thur the day and tourney?
Normally about 7 to 12 seconds, and I stuck with that throughout the entire event.
Congrats on your win! Do you & your wife have anything planned for your winnings? A vacation or new car, maybe?
A vacation, maybe! If we get time, I'm going to leave it up to her!
Did you do any modification to your jerks?
No, it was typically just two jerks followed by a long pause.
Did the changing weather cause you to adjust your pattern? If so, How?
It did on Day 3, made the jerkbait ineffective in the area I was fishing, had to resort back to the football head jig.
What's the #1 tip you'd give for learning how to fish jerkbaits effectively
Experiment with them! Get a @Lowrancefishinggraph & learn how to vary your line size & retrieve to put your bait close to the fish.
Cliff, ever fish Lake Erie and if yes what's you're go to lure/bait for summertime bass?
Yes, a substantial amount. My go-to technique and bait would be to drop shot a @Jackall_IncCross-Tail Shad.
Did you eliminate any section of the lake before even going there?
I did very quickly after practice. I knew my chances would be better in cleaner water in the lower half of the lake.
How did you get started fishing professionally?
I got to where I am now by competing in the Bassmaster Opens. I think it's the greatest step you can make because it makes you travel; that's important to fish the Elite Series. Just fishing around home doesn't teach you what you need to know to compete.
When did you start tournament fishing and how long did it take for your first tournament win?
The first tournament I fished I was 12 and my first win was on the local level and I was 13 or 14.
How mentally tough is it to fish with a small navy following you?
It presents challenges, but when you hear the cheers when you catch a fish it makes it all worth it.
Was it hard to get sponsors to begin with?
Yes, it was. Our industry is wonderful but somewhat small. My advice to anyone looking for sponsors is go out there and worry about the fishing first and take the sponsorship as it comes.
What has been the toughest body of water for you to fish?
I would have to say Old Hickory. I fished 3 events there and never made a check. There's something about me and that lake that don't mix.
Where a good place to go fishing if I come visit Mississippi?
@jtflynlowI like the coastal region, all the small tributaries & Pearl River, plus it's a fun place to visit because of the casinos!
How much pressure were you feeling on the final day around noon, knowing you just need couple more bites to end it?
It wasn't a matter of pressure, but of making the right decision. I felt the need to make a change.
What technique have you really dialed in on since being on the Elite Series?
I dial into a new one every week because we fish a diverse schedule. I work on ones I need help with during offseason.
How did you feel about basstrakk during the competition, as an angler?
I like it! It lets the fans interact with us on a more personal level; I'm all for it!
Congrats @CliffPaceFishin! You earned this one man!
Do you make a game plan and stick to it or feel it and do it?
I always start with a game plan but I've learned through my career when to get rid of it and do something else. The trick is knowing when to do that.
What day of practice did u know u had something figured out?
The 2nd day. I got some key bites, not many, but it told me where the quality fish where. Grand is a pattern lake.
1st bait caster?
Do you enjoy traveling so much? What's its ups and downs?
Traveling is great! You get to experience things that you would never get to do without it. The bad part is missing my friends and family and things that go on at home. My friends in Mississippi threw me a party on the night I won the Classic and I wasn't even there for it!
Oh no!! I hope they threw another one when you got back too!!
Does your wife get to travel with you much?
My wife travels with me periodically. And I feel certain they'll throw me another party!
Fave lure/way to catch bass?
My favorite lure and technique are what I caught my last fish on.
Fave angler in elites besides yourself?
Gary Klein. He's a dear friend of mine and someone who's helped me a lot in this sport.
Fastest you have driven your Yamahammer?
I run an FX 20 with a 250 Yamaha SHO and I can run it about 78.5 mph.
What type of trailer were u running on that jig
A 4-inch V&M twin tail, green pumpkin, and I used orange dye on the tips to add visibility
How did you break down prefishing to locate/dial them in?
I started off by fishing various types of structure from main lake points to secondary points to channel swings. It's important to me in practice to try all that and see what produces best. You can take that pattern and reduce the size of the lake tremendously.
What is a tip for somebody who is just starting to use top water (Buzz Baits and frog) and doesn't have success
You've got to learn when the fish get the bait before you set the hook. You can't react too fast.I try to focus on something else, so I don't watch it too much. Sometimes you're better off not paying close attention
Congrats on your win! Are you enjoying your new nickname - game face Cliff Pace?
I like it! I hope it sticks. It truly does describe me when I'm in my boat, but not necessarily all the time.
Has there ever been a point for you where fishing competitively isn't enjoyable? If so why?
Yes, all the bad tournaments I've had!
Yo good luck this season and I ll cheer for you at LaX WI! Go packers!
Can't wait to see you there!
Would it be worth putting braid with a leader on a spinning reel, or just use fluorocarbon with some backing?
Thanks man you rock! Congrats also
How does it feel to be famous now?
It feels the same as it always has. I'm still me, but it will be nice to explain to people who "me" is.
With the spawn just around the corner, what is your favorite bed bait to throw?
Congrats on the win. What was it like after you brought in that better bag on day #2?
It was a huge sense of satisfaction.The Elite Series and #bassmasterclassic are my places of employment, so it always feels good to do well there.
What's been your most cherished or memorable memory since winning the #bassmasterclassic?
All of it! It's been a special gift to me. When I saw the weight come across the scales, I could finally take a breath.
How do you feel about the last stop of the Elite series this year at Lake St.Clair #canyouSmallie?
I think it's gonna be great. It's a fantastic body of water from what I've heard and I'm really looking forward to it
On behalf of @vtbasserWhat’s your favorite color (in general not baits). Also, are you a cat or dog person?
My favorite color is green. I started off running green Skeeters, and this year my boat wrap includes green.
The first time I fished with it I won the #bassmasterclassic. And, I'm a dog person!
Awesome Cliff thank you good luck this year!
Having qualified for the '14 Classic already, will you change your approach at all this year?
I sincerely doubt it. I'm still going to fish the way I always have in my career & take it one tournament day at a time.
Thx for chat. We'll see u in Orange TX in two weeks. Good luck in '13!
Thanks so much!
What was your favorite thing about the fishing in La Crosse, WI? Looking forward to coming back?
I am! I like the fact that it's such a great fishery. Everyone in La Crosse should feel lucky they live so close!
Thanks man. Good luck to you. I do feel lucky to live so close! I'll be watching for you to do well here again this year.
What has been your biggest surprise so far as Classic champ that you did not expect?
The number of phone calls! When I got done with my victory lap, I had 354 missed calls!
Thanks @CliffPaceFishin for spending time w/ your fans right after your victory. We look forward to watching you on tour this year
Thank y'all for providing me with a platform and place to showcase my talents and a way to interact with the fans!
Thanks for reaching out to us fans this means a lot ;-)
I missed it! Lunch with the wife, more important but, congrats Champ! An incredible title to have earned.