Shreveport and Bossier City have been covered up with the nation’s top 51 bass anglers of the 2008 season all competing for the top crown of Bassmasters Classic Champion. Everywhere you look from…
Shreveport and Bossier City have been covered up with the nation’s top 51 bass anglers of the 2008 season all competing for the top crown of Bassmasters Classic Champion. Everywhere you look from the local Bass Pro Shop to Brookshire’s, from Clark’s Red River Marina to parts all over the river you will find professional anglers, fancy colored wrapped boats and vehicles, and faces of fierce concentration.
However, even though the pros are diligently trying to figure out a game plan for their three days of competition. Each and everyone will take the time to say hi and have a quick chat with their fans. I was fortunate enough to meet Kevin Van Dam at Clark’s Red River Marina Sunday morning while he was ordering breakfast; shortly after that in walked in Kim Bain-Moore and then a couple others.
Although I understand I have never competed at the level of money that they are it still amazes me at the dedication they have to the sport. When I go pre fish for a tournament I hit the water somewhere close to sun up and will find some fish and if I am satisfied that they are quality I will quit, have some lunch and head home planning on a good tournament. Not these folks. They use every minute they get, day break to dark, covering every inch of the tournament waters. They will find several patterns, count bites, determine which bites will produce the best weights. Then plan for adverse conditions and find where these said fish will go.
We watched a pro, work down a bank line meticulously pitching a bait to each and every stump. Now we weren’t close enough to prove it but from time to time it appeared that he would shake off a fish. He would then move his boat out away from the bank looking at his electronics? I can only imagine he was trying to determine what kind of contour the bank line had at the time of the bite. But who knows for sure, he could have been hung? And shaking his bait loose?
During these pre fishing days for the pros the weather has been a mix. We have had a warming trend with mostly cloudy days and the bite has been fairly good for most. Tuesday 17 Feb 09 is overcast with rain all day. Then Wednesday the last day of pre fish will also be overcast and warm (70 plus degrees). However, Thursday the local weather changes! Thursday it turns cold with night time temps reaching down towards the freezing mark which is something we haven’t seen here in over two weeks. Then competition days will be blue bird sky’s with highs only right at 60 degrees, not unusual for this time of year but definitely post front conditions. The pros know what they are doing and are the best of the best and dealing with adverse conditions. Even though the weather is not going to be ideal for huge bags of fish, I still think that the winning weight will be very impressive.
Just a quick note to anyone going to the classic with a boat to watch the competitors. The best place to launch is going to be Clark’s Red River Marina. I don’t imagine you are going to be able to park with in half a mile of the actual launch site of the classic tournament. Clark’s Red River Marina has a great facility with everything you need and parking for hundreds of boats and trailers, quick access to the river, and most of the oxbows that the pros will be using. Dennis and Julie Mitchell, owners of the marina, will be more than happy to point you in the right direction of the more popular oxbows!
Get the Net it’s a Hawg