My Classic Experience

Mike Cork with a Red River bass

Being media, I had a full access pass to everything at the classic. That said, during the week the Professional Anglers were here, I had more access than I could use. Starting with Media Day, an event that all the anglers are corralled in a single room for interviews, though the weigh-ins and closing with a press conference with the Chris Lane the 42nd Basssmaster Classic Champion. I was also fortunate enough to have a drink with Ray Scott and Earl Bentz, well that turned into a couple drinks and some fantastic information and history lessons.

At this point, I have two legal sized tablets full of interviews, conversations and quotes from the professional anglers, industry leaders, and spectators of our great sport. My phone has videos I need to transcribe, and we have more photo’s than a person can look at in a week’s time. Unfortunately for everyone that has been kind enough to visit Ultimate Bass and become a regular reader, the bass are spawning in our local water. That means I’ll be fishing…

Actually I’m going to work as often as I can and only fish the events. No fun fishing for me. I can’t wait to get some of these great stories published. I know everyone will love them. Some of the history lessons may be old news to some, a refresher course for others, and brand new information to a final few. Things to look forward to will be Ray Scott telling where he got the idea for Catch and Release, how he implemented the points penalty system that the anglers actually wanted, at first. Stories about the Kill Switch, why Earl Bentz calls Ray Scott a visionary of the industry, the list continues seemingly endlessly.

I have so many interviews with the Profession Anglers were fantastic, everything from strategy to equipment. David Walker talks about line diameter and why we shouldn’t be worried about the pound test rating. Aaron Martens, well he talks about anything and everything. Mike Iaconelli, well he loves to talk as well, and we should see future interviews from him.

B.A.S.S. puts on a fantastic show. The behind the scenes work that goes into this event is amazing. Everything from the Expo to the Weigh-in appeared flawless to the spectators. The staff in every position from the volunteer at the door checking badges to the communication managers were extremely helpful, and went above and beyond to help us anytime we had a question. Hats off to the B.A.S.S. staff as they provided outstandingly in all aspects.

I would also like to say thank you to the extremely large volunteer force provided by the men and women of the Shreveport Bossier city area. It takes manpower starting a week before the anglers get here to well past the last fish is weighed. While it is a seemingly self serving position, the camera boats, the observers and everyone else involved in ensuring the anglers were watched and viewed by all is a challenging job. There is little sleep involved, hours of hurry up and wait and those that supplied the use of their boats, well they’ve probably got some new scratches and wear and tear to deal with now. A hats off and thank you to all those that helped.

Get the Net it’s a Hawg
Mike Cork
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