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OCdockskipper

2019 Bassmaster Classic Field

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With the 52nd & last spot for the 2019 Bassmaster Classic now filled, B.A.S.S. just did a photo article about all of the entrants.  I did a quick count and found that:

  • 36 of the contestants (69%) will be fishing the MLF tour by the time the Classic kicks off;
  • 11 of the anglers (21%) will be from the 2019 Elite series, 4 of whom will be fishing the Elite series as rookies;
  • 5 anglers (10%) will be from the Nation & College series.

 

Statistically, there is a really good chance that the 2019 Classic champ will be someone not fishing any 2019 B.A.S.S. events (Elites or Opens).  Should that happen, that means that the 50th Classic in 2020 (which will probably be an extra large production) will have a defending champ who hasn't fished a B.A.S.S. Elite or Open since 2018.

 

If B.A.S.S. could write a script for the 2019 Classic, it would probably be Seth Feider winning the event, with guys like KVD & Edwin Evers getting passed the final day.  Feider is already a fan favorite, for him to grab a Classic from those who left the Elite ranks would really boost his appeal to B.A.S.S. diehards.  The next best scenario would be Jordan Lee winning a 3rd straight Classic, and then announcing from stage that he made a mistake and would love to come back to the Elite Series if B.A.S.S. would have him.  I think I watched too much pro wrestling in my younger days...

 

I wonder if the anglers are going to split into two camps (B.A.S.S. vs MLF) as far as sharing information & water.  If Mike Iaconelli is leading the last day and his boat breaks down heading to his best spot, will Chris Zaldain just wave as he drives by to camp on it & stop Ike from catching a winning limit?  Will anglers discard some of the unwritten rules if it affects another angler from a different camp?  I can see how possibly a "this is our house" mentality will emerge from the B.A.S.S. anglers, especially since they will be a minority.

 

The weigh-in, from crowd reactions to on-stage speeches, will be worth watching.

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Totally agree Skipper.  The MLF boys can expect their fish to be weighed on a different scale, and who can blame BASS.  Just kidding, but maybe not.  If any of the 2019 Elites beat Ott Defoe, which they will not, my money is on Steve Kennedy.  I wonder what the odds would be of a non-MLF guy winning?

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Don't think the anglers are as fired up over all this as we are...There might be an added competitive drive to the BASS guys that stayed, but overall I think they will all fish like they normally would.  Would surprise me if anything got ugly between the camps.  

 

The interesting thing will be the MLF guys switching gears from "catch all the dinks" mentality (trolling, don't get upset ;)) to best-5 format...Since I think they will have 2 BPT events before the Classic.  

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The Classic is and will always be the one that any angler wants to win. having said that the MLF guys are going to have to shift gears to try and catch the 5 biggest not the most in a set time gonna be fun to see what happens.my picks is Steve Kennedy also.Our club did a MLF style tourney and the majority didn't like it. different reasons were expressed but the majority said that going for small fish all day took the fun out of trying to get that big fish that you want.

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As far as the angler's are concerned, I wouldn't expect there to be any hard feelings.  The MLF expansion has made pro bass fishing much more profitable for all of them.  

 

Now as far as the BASS management is concerned, that's a different story.

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I am hoping Aaron Martens wins, it's his last chance to win a Classic. Remember the Classic is a winner takes all event and the money made by the winner the following year is from endorsements from B.A.S.S., that will not happen in 2019 if a MLF pro wins and the odds are that will happen.

Sharing info during a tournament will DQ the contestants, that ain't going to happen.

Sit back and enjoy the show!

Tom

 

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7 hours ago, WRB said:

Sharing info during a tournament will DQ the contestants, that ain't going to happen.

They can share with each other all they want, it's non-contestants (locals, guides, etc) they can't get info from.  Lots of anglers work together during practice or even the tournaments within the rules.  

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10 hours ago, WRB said:

...Remember the Classic is a winner takes all event...

It used to be, years & years ago that only old folks like you and I were around for. 😁

 

Now everyone gets paid, last year it was at least $10,000.  Make the cut for an additional $3000 with more pay bumps at the 15th & 10th spots.  Runnerup was a sweet $50,000, which is more than the Classic winners used to make the first 20 years or so.

 

The current winner take all mentality is due to the lack of Classic qualification points that are part of each Elite event.

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If the conditions stay consistent, there will be a lot of current! The water is surprisingly clear at the moment 

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1 hour ago, OCdockskipper said:

It used to be, years & years ago that only old folks like you and I were around for. 😁

 

Now everyone gets paid, last year it was at least $10,000.  Make the cut for an additional $3000 with more pay bumps at the 15th & 10th spots.  Runnerup was a sweet $50,000, which is more than the Classic winners used to make the first 20 years or so.

 

The current winner take all mentality is due to the lack of Classic qualification points that are part of each Elite event.

OK, the winner gets all the glory and 95% of the money via endorsements where the majority of the money comes from the following year, not purse money. Name a Classic contestant who is fishing to place 2nd.

Tom

 

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Personally, I am interested to see what happens on the sponsorship side.  I will have access to "some" inside info but not a lot, most all of those deals are held very close to the vest.  With the added tours and the sponsors wanting to be part of all of them if possible, logically means less sponsorships or lower dollar sponsorships to stretch the funds across multiple trails.  It might even manifest as the loss of lower level sponsorships to fund the bigger players.  

 

Sorry Tom, I hope Martens blows his motor every day of the tournament.  :mad8:  He went well out of his way to earn that type of attitude from me.  I used to be a fan.  

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6 hours ago, WRB said:

...Name a Classic contestant who is fishing to place 2nd...

The angler who barely makes the cut, is 60 lbs behind a runaway leader on the final day and needs $49,000 by weeks end or else he loses his house 😁

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12 minutes ago, OCdockskipper said:

The angler who barely makes the cut, is 60 lbs behind a runaway leader on the final day and needs $49,000 by weeks end or else he loses his house 😁

Thought for sure you would say Aaron Martens since he placed 2nd 4 times.

The cut I believe, but I am old you know, is on the 2 nd day at 25 anglers. If your hypothetical contestant was 6 lbs behind he may save his home, 60 lbs he blanked 2 days and missed the cut.

Tom

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5 hours ago, TOXIC said:

...I hope Martens blows his motor every day of the tournament.  :mad8:  He went well out of his way to earn that type of attitude from me.  I used to be a fan.  

Would you be willing to explain?  I ask because I have never met Aaron and while I see that he can be socially awkward, from afar he never seemed rude.  It sounds like your experiences with him are very different than my image of him.

 

Ironically, of the pro's that I have marshaled for, the ones that seem the most charismatic and personable came across the opposite when 1 on 1, while those that you thought might have the personality of a dead fish were enjoyable to be around (David Fritts being the notable exception, I envisioned him as a bit of a curmudgeon & he kind of was - not rude, just disinterested).  I think part of it may come down to the difficulty in being in a solo sport, where you spend so much time alone and there isn't much need to develop the ability to be socially adept and are then thrown into a situation where a stranger is on your boat with you for 8 hours.  I tried to be friendly yet not interfere with what they were doing, but I have to imagine that some marshals are a nightmare to have aboard.

1 minute ago, WRB said:

Thought for sure you would say Aaron Martens since he placed 2nd 4 times.

The cut, I believe but old, is on the 2 nd day at 25 anglers. If your hypothetical contestant was 6 lbs behind he may save his home, 60 lbs he blanked 2 days and missed the cut.

Tom

To come up with a joke answer to your question, I had to imagine a far fetched scenario.  Amart goes out the first 2 days, finds a secret location that only he knows about & catches a couple of 35 lb limits.  Meanwhile, the rest of the field is struggling to catch limits and are all in the 10 - 20 lb range for 2 days of fishing.  Our hero totals 12 lbs after 2 days, slides into 25th spot by 1 ounce and takes a look at the standings.  He knows he has no chance of catching up to Martens, so he sets his sights on 2nd place and offers Aaron a date with Stormy Daniels in exchange for letting him fish the secret spot.

 

It was funnier when I didn't have to explain it...😁

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Aaron's fishing skills are hard to define, he has the ability to locate bass everywhere he fishes. Aaron's people skills are not good at best, he has a very hard time talking and socially inept.

I haven't spoken to Aaron for a few years now, his wife was a good freind of my fishing partners son and he passed away a few ago, the local tackle shop closed, don't run into him anymore. Aaron was very shy as a result comming across as arrogant to strangers he didn't know. Aaron also has attention issues away fishing and gets distracted easily like checking in to the TD on time. He seems to have overcome talking to groups of people but not a good speaker. Cut him some slack, he has overcome a lot of problems.

Tom

 

 

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1 hour ago, OCdockskipper said:

Would you be willing to explain?  I ask because I have never met Aaron and while I see that he can be socially awkward, from afar he never seemed rude.  It sounds like your experiences with him are very different than my image of him.

 

Ironically, of the pro's that I have marshaled for, the ones that seem the most charismatic and personable came across the opposite when 1 on 1, while those that you thought might have the personality of a dead fish were enjoyable to be around (David Fritts being the notable exception, I envisioned him as a bit of a curmudgeon & he kind of was - not rude, just disinterested).  I think part of it may come down to the difficulty in being in a solo sport, where you spend so much time alone and there isn't much need to develop the ability to be socially adept and are then thrown into a situation where a stranger is on your boat with you for 8 hours.  I tried to be friendly yet not interfere with what they were doing, but I have to imagine that some marshals are a nightmare to have aboard.

To come up with a joke answer to your question, I had to imagine a far fetched scenario.  Amart goes out the first 2 days, finds a secret location that only he knows about & catches a couple of 35 lb limits.  Meanwhile, the rest of the field is struggling to catch limits and are all in the 10 - 20 lb range for 2 days of fishing.  Our hero totals 12 lbs after 2 days, slides into 25th spot by 1 ounce and takes a look at the standings.  He knows he has no chance of catching up to Martens, so he sets his sights on 2nd place and offers Aaron a date with Stormy Daniels in exchange for letting him fish the secret spot.

 

It was funnier when I didn't have to explain it...😁

We all need to sit back and enjoy a good joke and appologize for not acknowledging it the first time....thanks!

Tom 

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It's the Classic.

 

The B-I-G bass fishing event of the year no matter who is fishing in the tournament.

 

The field is set; the guys are getting ready; the vendors will put on a fantastic show; the TV ratings will be high; and the winner will go down in infamy.

 

Politics aside, this will be another successful Classic, no matter who fishes or wins.

 

And if the winner pulls out from BASS, which has happened in the past and goes to another tournament trail, so be it. He will still be a Classic winner even if he fades from memory.

 

And don't forget the guys in all tournaments are fishing for a living and not on the water to socialize. It is their careers and they want to win. Putting up with a marshal in itself is a pain; having a coangler who wants to BS all day is a deterrent. I don't blame the pros for not being sociable or nice when in a tournament. The pros have to concentrate on a lot of things to place high in the tournament and that is their job.

 

If you want to fish with a pro then go out and find one to be your guide for a day. You will learn a lot and have a good time when they are not working. :) 

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12 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

Would you be willing to explain?  I ask because I have never met Aaron and while I see that he can be socially awkward, from afar he never seemed rude.  It sounds like your experiences with him are very different than my image of him.

Not in a public setting.  I'm not fond of bashing any pro but I will say the incident in question involved him, his wife, his publicist/business partner, attorneys and him trying to get a friend of mine fired from his job as a Deputy Sheriff.  I say that to quantify that it wasn't just some minor incident like a bad day on the boat. It was ugly to say the least.  Not bragging but I have interacted with a lot of fishermen at that level (even have them stay at my house) and they all have a bad day.  It's tough to keep a smile on your face and good attitude 100% of the time.  That's not what this was at all.  

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Hopefully a Nation or College angler wins it......but whatever happens it's bound to be one very awkward tournament 

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6 hours ago, J.Vincent said:

Hopefully a Nation or College angler wins it......but whatever happens it's bound to be one very awkward tournament 

Would be amazing. Bryan Kerchal was the last one to do it in 1994. I agree its going to be awkward calling this event. The elephant in the room is going to be huge. Zona and the others are going to have to talk all the way around the facts. 

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