The bass fishing community has descended upon Alabama for the biggest and best bass fishing event of the year. Considered the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing, the Bassmaster Classic has 56 contenders vying for the most coveted title in bass fishing...Bassmaster Classic Champion. This year's 3-day tournament is being held on what is arguably one of the best places to go bass fishing in the country. While all lakes go through cycles, Lake Guntersville has been solid for the past several years and I expect the weights we see come across the scales to validate that claim. In addition to the media, a few lucky fishing fanatics will have the opportunity to ride along with the Classic contenders serving as deputy marshals. This is a huge opportunity for any bass fisherman to observe and learn how the best bass fishermen in the world dissect water and figure out the best ways to catch big bass. I have a little history with this event and great relationships with many of the competitors. In fact some of them give their own specialized Signature Series Fishing Clinics to Ultimate Fishing Experience customers who want to learn advanced bass fishing techniques, but that's another story. Sorry, I couldn't resist the shameless plug.
Unlike any of the tournament trails, the Bassmaster Classic is a one off, all or none tournament. No points race. Go for the win or go home. After 2 days of fishing on one of the best bass lakes in the country, the field of 56 will be cut to the top 25 anglers based on cummulative weights. Those at the top of the leader board after Saturday's weigh-in, dubbed "The Super Six" will have the best shot at earning the title of Bassmaster Classic Champ! Trust me when I tell you that it's a lifelong dream for most bass fishing tournament anglers, and it is as coveted as a Super Bowl Ring or Olympic Gold. Here are my picks for the Super Six...
Kevin VanDam - There is no argument to be had here. KVD is the undisputed heavyweight champ of bass fishing. He has more Classic wins than any man on the planet, and he's hungry for another one.
Pick your Lane - Brothers Bobby and Chris Lane were born bass fishing in Florida's grass lakes. Competing on the Bassmaster Elite Series over the last several years has put them in some of the best bass fishing destinations in the country and forced them to diversify and fish outside their comfort zone. Fortunately for the Lane Brothers, Guntersville sits squarely in their comfort zone, in fact Chris Lane loves the lake so much, he moved there. While we could see both of the Lane Brothers in the cut on Sunday, I'm going to give the advantage to Chris Lane since Lake Guntersville is now his home lake, and after winning the Classic title in 2012 he's proven he can win the big one.
Aaron Martens - As reigning Angler of the Year, Aaron Martens has proven he is one of the best and most versatile anglers in the world and is also the number one qualifier from the Bassmaster Elite Series. A-Mart has a great history that includes a win on Guntersville and a string of 2nd place finishes in the Bassmaster Classic that is long overdue to be broken. It's time!
Brent Chapman - When preparation meets opportunity, amazing things happen. Brett has matured as an angler over the past few years, and even earned himself an Angler of the Year title in 2012. He seems to be as ready as he ever was to get the season started, and I would be surprised to see it start with a strong finish at the Classic.
Brandon Palinuk - I'm going to call this one on gut instinct, which is how Brandon Palinuk fishes. He is the shining and rapidly rising young star on the Bassmaster Elite Series and if not this week, a Bassmaster Classic title is in his future.
Who's your pick? Tough call for the last pick. I invite you to make your pick in the comment section below. Personally, I would love to see Morizo Shimizu do it because it would be an unbelievable story of perseverance and achievement for the Japanese Pro. Likewise, a Classic victory would instantly validate the career choices guys like Gregg Vinson and Cliff Crochet made, but I'm not convinced either will do it, based on lack of experience winning big events. When I think of closers with the experience and the fire burning inside to win, two names come to mind. Skeet Reese is a former Classic Champ who had a win on Guntersville during a season he absolutely dominated. He's hungry to get back to that. Last but not least, Edwin Evers. The Oklahoma Pro has a desire to win that drives him to be a consistent threat in every event he enters. Evers has never won a Classic. By Sunday night, we'll know if it's his time.