Up close with nine in the Bassmaster field
BY KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 6:39 AM
Bassmaster Classic coverage: From the morning launch to the evening weigh-ins, get complete Classic coverage. And find more on the event, including a Google Maps video tour of Grand Lake and maps of Tulsa’s entertainment districts and restaurants.
Every one of the 53 anglers in the Bassmaster Classic is in it to win. We chose three favorites, three locals and three long-shot anglers to watch and asked each of them why they think they could be the one.
The Elite Series Pro and odds-on favorite is fishing his 23rd Classic and looking for a record-setting 5th Classic win.
"You've got to be focused and be after five fish that are going to help you win ... You can't be afraid to walk across that stage with nothing in your bag."
Bella Vista, Ark.
The Elite Series Pro is practically a local and is fishing his 9th Classic.
"Especially the weather conditions setting up the way they have, anyone on tour is going to tell you I'm one of the slowest most methodical fishermen on the tour and I'm going to be able to fish the way I most like to fish without any second thoughts about doing it that way."
Lake Quivira, Kan.
The Elite Series Pro and 2012 Angler of the Year is fishing his 12th Classic.
"I feel like the odds are as good for me as they ever have been. I know the lake and the way conditions are setting up it will fit my style of fishing."
The Elite Series Pro and perennial top performer on the circuit is fishing his 12th Classic.
"You can't know you're going to win, this is the Classic, but I'd say top five for sure ... I think I know enough about the lake and enough areas. My whole deal is I've got to slow down and not try to fish too many areas if I'm not getting bit right away where I'm at."
The FLW Tour Pro entered and won two BASS Opens this year, one of which qualified him for the Classic on what he calls his home lake.
"All I know is every time I cast out I feel like it's going to get bit and there is going to be a 4-pounder on it."
The Elite Series Pro has two second-place Classic finishes and is fishing his 18th Classic. Anglers think he has something up his sleeve on Grand and isn't talking.
"For the newspaper for what day? If it's tomorrow tell them I'm in about 51st place," he said. "Jason's (Christie) is the guy, I wish no bad luck on him but I think he'll have pretty good crowd around him."
Original Print Headline: A closer look at the field
Long shots to watch
Clifford "Albert" Collins
Collins is the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series Champion.
"I'll do well because I don't feel that I'm out of my league," he said. "I fish against guys all the time who are hard to beat ... I've got good confidence and good support."
The College Bass angler won the Classic berth in a final-day College Championship showdown against his twin brother. After cracking a joke about how "snot freezes inside your head at 23 degrees" he continued: "I'm a lot more spry than Edwin Evers so I'm a lot less likely to freeze up," he said with a grin. "My mom told me, 'I promise you it's tougher on those older guys than it is on you.' "
North Vernon, Ind.
Indiana BASS Nation angler is Northern Division champion and fishing his second Classic (1997).
"I come from a fishery that is fish starved ... I believe this is going to be a tougher tournament than a lot of people think it is. When everyone is catching them I'm in the middle of the pack, when it gets tough that's when I rise to the top."