Ray Scott was brought up on stage to kick off the 39th Bassmaster Classic held right here in Shreveport-Bossier on the Red River to crown Skeet Reese as the 2009 Classic Champion. Of course I’m getting ahead of myself…
Ray Scott was brought up on stage to kick off the 39th Bassmaster Classic held right here in Shreveport-Bossier on the Red River to crown Skeet Reese as the 2009 Classic Champion. Of course I’m getting ahead of myself, Ray nor did anyone else watching knew for sure who had won.
Ray Scott started off talking about how the Classic came to be and did a bit of reminiscing about the very first classic. He spoke of all the secrecy they put into it, how only he and the pilot knew where they were going. They loaded all the anglers a hand full of reporters in the plan and headed off, “not even the wives knew where we were going” The idea was,,,,, dreadful! It was stupid here we all were in Las Vegas and there weren’t any fans. Unlike today where Shreveport Bossier knew we were coming the the place is packed with anglers, fans, wives and wormy kids.
He went on to remind us all to care for those wormy kids because they are our future, they are going to be the ones standing up on this stage in the years to come. Then took us on another history lesson in his closing remarks and took the time to introduce Carl Dice the first ever B.A.S.S. event winner. Carl was there showing his age but had a smile and enthusiasm that rivaled the smiles and excitement of all the kids in the stands that day.
Keith Alan came back on stage and picked up from Ray Scott and covered some history and records. He stated that records were made to be broken like the fact that the last time the Classic was held in Louisiana down in New Orleans B.A.S.S. reported 82,600 spectators in attendance over the 3 days. Where as here in Shreveport Bossier we had over 95,000 recorded spectators just in the first two days and with yesterdays numbers we pushed that well over 100,000. The final fan count was over 135,000.
The number of bass caught Friday was 223, the number caught Saturday was also 223 without a single dead fish penalty. All were brought to the stage alive and all were released back to the Red River alive in pools 3, 4 and 5.
The last note of history Keith Alan covered was that even if the all time record of 56.2 pounds of fish wasn’t broken here on the Red this is the first time a female angler qualified for the Classic. Kim Bain made history when she won the WBT Champion title ensuring her a spot here in 2009.
Throughout the rest of the classic as 20 pounds stringers were brought to the scale we had hopes of busting the 56.2 pound mark. However it wasn’t meant to be. Skeet took 1st with 54.12 and that’s ok, anytime the Red River can come in less than 2 pounds of the Lake Okeechobee record we have to be proud of our home waters. Louisiana truly showed though our polite spectator boats, record breaking attendance and fantastic fishery that we are without a doubt the Sportsman’s Paradise!
See you on the water.
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