Sunday, April 14, 2024

Mastering The Classic: Surviving Media Day


Mastering The Classic: Surviving Media Day

by Bruce Callis Jr

The 2024 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Classic presented by Jockey Outdoors kicked off today with the official Media Day. This year, the event was held at the Bass Pro Shops in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The angler’s boats were lined up on one side of the parking lot and we met in the back room while the store was still open to the public.

It always starts with lunch for the anglers and the media, which is sponsored by Power Pole and then an introduction by Tommy Sanders. After the usual welcome, the next up was the presentation of the first Bassmaster Classic Progressive Celebrity Pro-Am Tournament. Ten teams fished this morning, catching a total of 4 fish and using a total inches for the fish.

Paired with the pros were, Hall of Famer Randy Moss, NASCAR Cup Series Driver Ross Chastain, Multi-motorsports competitor Travis Pastrana, Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Brian Robison, Southern Rock band Whiskey Myers front man Cody Cannon, Singer/songwriter Koe Wetzel, Social media influencer Hood Fishing Entertainment, and Barstool Outdoors talent/host Sydnie Wells.

The pros were the legend Rick Clunn, Scott Martin, Mickey Brantley, Matty Wong, Logan Parks, Jamie Hartman, Seth Feider, John Soukup, and Chris Zaldain. And there was a tie for second between Team Soukup/Cannon and Team Clunn/Moss with 59.5 inches. But the winners, with 64.75 inches was Team Zaldain/Hood.

And then the madhouse began as anglers headed to their boats to do some final rigging and the media converged upon them. It’s a madhouse, as they all have an agenda they want fulfilled with as many anglers as possible. You also have some that want to do special videos with the anglers, showcasing certain products or baits. It’s a short 2 hours of seeing who can get what done. And yes, I was part of that madhouse. I decided to change it up a little with some quick either or with each angler.

In my quick scientific survey of 17 of the 56 anglers, I found out that sometimes simple isn’t so easy. The questions very more about what the angler liked rather than what they were going to be doing. For instance, the first quest was “jig or Texas rig?” Two of the 17 picked Texas rig, but the majority picked a jig. And 5 of the 17 picked a worm over a creature bait.

Nine of the 17 picked a crankbait over a jerkbait. And 4 of the anglers preferred deep water over shallow water. But they I threw them a curve ball. I asked “steak or seafood?” This was actually a little fun as some had to debate, but in the end, 3 of the 17 chose seafood as the winner. Potatoes or Mac & Cheese? Three of the 17 picked Mac & Cheese. And as a final question, corn or green beans? And the winner, 10-7, is corn.

While it seems crazy, the anglers are grilled with what they are using, what they want to start with, the color, what action rod, the size line and speed reel they will be using. Sometimes you need to slow down and remember, that as important as fishing is, you need to have fun. A little laughter in the madhouse can keep you sane.

What did I learn from my questions? That they are ready to get started in the morning and try to find the bass that will enable them to become the next Bassmaster Classic Champion. The dream continues for them!

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