A few thoughts about the 2010 Bassmaster Classic

I just returned from Lay Lake, site of the 2010 Classic. Since I didn’t qualify this year, I watched it from sidelines, which is a humbling, yet inspirational experience, and here’s why I say that:

The Classic has been to Birmingham multiple times. And it’s no secret, the fishing industry, like a lot of things right now, is dealing with some tough times. So I had some reservations when I left for this Classic that because Birmingham is a repeat venue and the economy is lagging, crowds would be moderate at best.

When I arrived at the Convention Center, I was blown away by the lines of people waiting to get in the exhibition hall, even before it officially opened. All three days the exhibition hall was packed with eager folks who had fishing on their minds. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new faces that have discovered bass fishing in the last year or so.

At weigh-in on Saturday and Sunday, the coliseum was jam packed with rabid bass fishing fans; once again Alabama represented.

In short, the sheer energy, interest and enthusiasm I saw at the Classic did my heart good. Believe me when I tell you there are still A LOT of people who enjoy and want to be a part of bass fishing.  I am happy to report there is still quite a bit of life in this business.

As for the fishing itself, hey, there’s no denying it, Kevin VanDam is THE best. Period. And he proved it more at this Classic than any of his other Classic titles.

Why? Because KVD basically handed out the playbook to everyone before the tournament started. There were no secret locations or outdated, hard to find lures in this win. He fished one of the most well-known areas on Lay Lake. He used a Strike King Red Eye Shad, a lure that’s readily available to anyone. And he did it all in front of hundreds of spectators every day.

This would be the equivalent of a quarterback telling the defense, BEFORE the game even starts, when he is going to pass the ball and exactly who he is going to pass it to. And still no one can stop him.

Everyone in that field knew that a lipless rattler was going to be a primary player. Everyone in that field knew that the back of Beeswax Creek is a hotspot on Lay Lake. Before that tournament began, everything was out on the table; no one can claim that he had even an inking of advantage over anyone else going into that tournament.

Kevin whipped everyone’s tail, simple as that. Which, in and of itself is pretty inspirational…

Dream Big,

Marty