Classic Ramblings

Now that the first woman to ever fish a Bassmaster Classic has fished her way out of contention, will the media move on to the real business at hand — crowning a Classic champion ...

 Have you seen Ike's chin whiskers, affectionately called a "turkey beard," by other contenders?

 You only have a few more days to admire those long, straw-like hairs dangling from his chin. Ike plans to snip them off after the Classic. But wait, there's more.

 "I'm going to preserve it, encase it like people do butterflies they collect, and sell it on eBay," he said.

 And he was serious.

 "I'm thinking it might fetch 10 bucks. On the high side. But what the heck? It'll be fun."

 ... Even the most experienced Classic pros make mistakes. During practice, Rick Clunn was running his jet-drive aluminum boat full speed over skinny water. The rig is designed to run over less than a foot of water, but Clunn got shallower than that. He wound up stuck on a sidebar and had to be rescued by an airboat.

 "I tend to over-estimate how shallow those jet-drive engines can run when I'm out there fishing," joked Clunn. "If a dog peed on the carpet, I'd think I could drive my boat over it."

 They said it, not me:

 "This is the toughest tournament I have ever fished physically, which tells me that any woman in the field would be at a disadvantage. I had to use a push pole all day because the water is so shallow." — Jami Fralick, during first day press conference

"I choked," — Kevin VanDam, the moment he walked into the press room after weighing in 4-4 the first day.

"The freakier, the better." — Boyd Duckett, when asked if changing weather conditions would bother him.

"I will win this thing. I'm in a trance, and don't feel any pressure about being in the Classic. I'm as confident as I've ever been." — Dean Rojas, during media day, and repeating it again after the first day of competition.

"First place is a half a mill. Second place? Nobody cares." — Kevin VanDam, about going for broke on the second day of competition.