Bassmasters Classic Bound 2013
by: Jeff Jones 2/20/2013
Almost a year ago, when BASS announced the date and location of the 2013 Bassmasters Classic, I made a phone call within an hour of hearing the information. My Dad lives in the Tulsa area and it has been a few years since we’ve visited in person. I called to tell him to set aside a room for me!
Competing in the Bassmasters Classic is a dream for most, and I am a dreamer, too. I told Dad I would either be attending or competing, but I would be there. Either way there is the bonus of having a long overdue visit.
Last year I still had a chance to compete in the 2013 Classic through the BASS Nation Clubs. The BASS Nation members enjoy a unique opportunity for local and regional tournament anglers to play on the Pro level by competing in their State to earn a place on their State Team. The State Team competes at regional BASS Divisional events and the top finishing angler from each State will represent that State at a BASS Nation National Championship. From there, the highest placing angler from each Division earns the dream of competing with the Pros at the next Bassmasters Classic. Early last year I could still see a clear path for me to make it to the 2013 Bassmasters Classic!
I had already qualified as a Colorado State Team Member and would be attending the BASS Nation Western Divisional Tournament to be held at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, WY. From there, the next National Championship was announced to be held in Alabama, where I had family near to the lake, and then the Classic in Tulsa where Dad lives. If I could make it past the Divisional I had the opportunity to attend a National Championship and a Bassmasters Classic in locations near family, which could cut my expenses drastically should I be able to preview the lakes.
I fell short by about four pounds.
At the Western Divisional, going into the last day, I was in second for Colorado but about seven pounds down. I needed a big bag to have a chance of catching up, and by the end of the day I had my largest sack of the three day event. While idling to the dock to weigh-in, one of the other state contenders said he talked to the Colorado leader at noon and he did not have a single fish! That’s the kind of opportunity I needed to catch up!
By the time the weigh-in started I already knew, our state leader had finally got on some fish and landed four in the last couple of hours of the day to become the Colorado State Champion. My dream was on hold for another year.
But it is still alive. Last year I qualified for the 2013 Colorado State Team again, and will be part of the Western Divisional event held at Clear Lake, CA in April. In September of 2012 my wife and I decided to take a new opportunity and move to California, so maybe it is meant to be this time! I will still be on the Colorado Team for one last time, but, like so many others out there who dreams big, I got another chance!
The great thing is that this is an opportunity that is available to any angler who wishes to reach for the brass split-ring. Bass clubs all across the nation, even in other countries, qualify members, form State Teams, and compete in BASS Nation events and every year members of this grass-roots organization represent their local club and state at the Bassmasters Classic. Visit www.bassmaster.com or web search your area for a local BASS affiliated bass club, join, learn, compete and have fun, too.
Watch here for updates on the event, and visit the Bassmaster website for live weigh-ins, articles, standings, and even fantasy fishing leagues.
Blog content © Jeff Jones
Flyrodn, CO 2/20/2013 1:17:11 PM
Thanks for keeping us updated. Wish you were fishing it.
Coyute, CO 2/21/2013 9:20:37 AM
Hopefully the guy who represents Colorado, actually lives in Colorado and not that liberal infested enclave known as California! :P
Jeff Jones (Bassnfly), CA 2/23/2013 3:33:37 AM
I know, right!
Colorado guy not in the Classic this year, maybe CO/CA combo next year, though! Western Division represented by Andy Bravence from AZ this year. He had a tough first day, but maybe he can get 'em today!