Brent Chapman ready to defend his Bassmasters Classic title
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2013
2/17/13 at 5:58 AM
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Running errands a couple weeks ago, family members talked about events to come and Brent Chapman's 7-year-old daughter, Makayla, asked the question, "What's the Super Bowl?"
Her father, who happens to be 2012 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, had the answer that would make the most sense to a youngster who has lived a fishing family's life from day one. "It's the Bassmaster Classic of football."
"It made perfect sense to her," Chapman said. "People call the Classic the Super Bowl of bass fishing, but we are an outdoors family."
Chapman, of Lake Quivira, Kan., is approaching the 2013 Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa and Grand Lake as a potential exclamation point on a stellar 2012 season. The man was on a roll in 2012, will it continue into 2013? "I see it, the Classic, as kind of a finale, a pinnacle for 2012, as good as it was, I could hopefully end on the best note of all," he said.
With an early victory in the Central Open at Lewisville Lake in Texas last year, Chapman had his Bassmaster Classic berth in-hand. It changed the way he fished - and put him on a roll. "It made a huge difference," he said. "It's like a team when they get a good lead in a football game they relax and maybe do some crazy plays and you see some big things happen. It's really the same kind of thing in fishing."
Chapman fished like he had nothing to lose and everything to gain - and it worked for him. "I felt like I was fishing more relaxed and I was a lot more confident," he said. He won a second tournament on the 2012 Elite Series and with six top-10 finishes overall on the eight-tournament series it showed that his new mode on the water suited him well.
Winning the Angler of The Year title has been a life-changing, career-changing event, Chapman said. "Next to the Classic, it's the title every angler wants," he said.
He summed the difference between the titles succinctly. "To win the Classic you have to be the best for three days, to win angler of the year you have to be the best over eight tournaments," he said.
With fifth-place finishes in the 2010 and 2011 Classics, Chapman is to be taken seriously as a competitor at any Classic venue
Hometown: Lake Quivira, Kan.
Family: Wife, Bobbi, son Nason, 9, daughter Makayla, 7
Pro angler since: 1994
Notables: Reigning (2012) Bassmaster Angler of the Year
Original Print Headline: One special season
Kelly Bostian 918-581-8357
Brent Chapman speaks during media day at the Bassmaster Classic in Shreveport in February 2012. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World file