Red River Bassmaster Classic Small Talk

There were many interesting things that happened behind the scenes at the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River. Small things that rarely make the press. I had the opportunity to interview all the professionals after the weigh-ins. If they weren’t being interviewed by someone, they were talking among their selves. Some of these conversations were the best as far as entertainment and learning.

For example, Aaron Martens gets hung on a stump with a crank bait. When he retrieves his bait, there is fishing line attached to it with a jig on the end. Because of brand and color, Aaron knows it’s Kevin Van Dam’s jig from prefishing. So Aaron autographs it and gives it back to him during the day one boat check.

I know the professionals of our sport come across as tough, mean, or cut throat sometimes. Those stories get printed as fast as the electronic world will let them. However, how many spectators know that Ike saved a dead fish penalty for another angler. One of the federation qualifiers had deep hooked a bass, and it’s bleeding badly. Iaconelli had seen the commotion and told the angler to pour hydrogen peroxide across the gills. This angler didn’t have any in the boat. We’ve all heard that this might work, but I have never tried it. Nor do I carry any in the boat. Ike, tossed a bottle to the angler to use, and the fish survived. Proof that this is not just a story; the professionals actually do this.

Some of the angles for the classic were extremely dialed in on what they were going to do. Other anglers had twenty rods rigged for the first day and were planning on junk fishing. Take Bobby Lane, the Champions brother, had a limit the first day of the classic in 9 minutes. David Walker told me on the first day, all of his weigh fish came on different baits.

Not only did the anglers have to compete with each other, there were local anglers on the water. Greg Hackney had traveled to pool four for his fish. Hackney was so dialed in on some bedding bass that he only needed two hours to catch them. On the last day of competition, a local anger was fishing his water with him. This angler was so far away from the Shreveport Bossier area that he didn’t know about the Bassmaster Classic, and much less cared. Hackney ended up giving the water to the angler that refused to share.

I have probably read it somewhere, but it never connected. Greg Vinson has never won a major bass event. His roads to the 2011 and 2012 Bassmaster Classics were built on good solid consistency.

One of our Ultimate Bass members, Dwight Croak, was selected to be the observer for Allan Glasgow. Dwight told me that Allan was so confident in a single jig that he threw it all day. Only switching maybe once an hour to throw a crank bait 6-7 times, and then switch back to the jig. I find it to be amazing that an angler could have that much confidence in the versatility of one bait. I realize a jig has many applications; however, if it’s not producing regularly I have got to try something different. It’s the Bassmaster Classic; I’m with the anglers that have 20 rods on deck ready to go.

If you were in the arena and seen Swindle weigh in on day two, you heard him talk about his day. However, if you weren’t you probably missed out as I don’t know that it will make the television versions. Gerald said, “I was in some very good looking water, perfect spawning grounds with ditches feeding it. There were no other anglers there to bother with, there was no wind to deal with, and there were no fish to catch”. He went on to say that if your fishing and there are no anglers around, that might mean something.

Just so everyone knows Aaron Martens officially came in second to Kevin Van Dam once again. Their final day three weight was tied. According to Martens, they also had the same weight for largest stringer of the tournament and the tie breakers was the biggest fish, of which KVD had a larger one. Aaron Martens is second again.

I’ve mentioned before that the press in general will jump at the chance to print a negative story. I found that every angler was extremely professional and courteous with the media, staff, and volunteers that were helping throughout the event. Kudo’s to the anglers.

Get the Net it’s a Hawg
Mike Cork
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