The big dance in fishing starts this week. The Bassmaster Classic is the pinnacle of competitive angling, and one whirlwind of a week. This time I don’t get to take my dancing shoes. I will be at the Classic Sport Show, working in my sponsors’ booths.
The event is being held in Shreveport, Louisiana, an area is full of bass fishermen. The Sport Show will be packed to say the least. The most up-to-date tackle will be on display! The newest in rods and reels, line, outboards and boats are ready to be viewed. The best thing about the Bassmaster Classic and Classic Sport Show is that entrance is free! You just don’t get that every day!
Not being in the game can be a good thing, as it provides me the incentive to work harder on the water. And as I write this blog, I know exactly which day of the 2011 Elite Series kept me from fishing in the Classic. It was Day 2 at the Harris Chain, the first event of the season! It is a helpless feeling when you know you are behind the eight-ball in the first event!
If you are planning on attending the Classic show, please come by the Skeeter, Yamaha, Strike King and Lew’s booths and say hello. My sponsor Line Rite (Organizational Rod and Tackle Tabs) has outfitted me will autograph cards that will get you a 10 percent discount on gear from the Line Rite website.
I am preparing for the next season every day. I just got my 2012 Skeeter FX20 home. The Northstar Batteries are on charge. The gas tanks are full. I will be breaking in the Yamaha SHO 250 in the morning and will follow the manual on the break-in procedure. I hope to get a minimum of three hours on the engine in the morning.
Incidentally, it’s a must to follow manufacturer recommendations like these when running a new outboard. I depend on this Yamaha for everything during the season. If I follow the correct procedure, my worries can be directly placed on catching the next bass. There will not be an additional concern. This rig is my office. It must be maintained and cared for during the season, and its first few minutes of life are the most important! My hope is that the temperatures will be a bit warmer. A long run in the cold will not be fun!
My boat will have to be wrapped according to tournament rules. I just about have everything in place. A boat wrap does two things. It will give my sponsors exposure for the tournament season, as well as protect my “office” from wear and tear. At the end of the season, I will take the wrap off of my boat and the rig’s surface will look the same as it does today. This was an unexpected benefit.
Besides the practical benefits of boat wraps, they make for a cool sight when all the boats gather on the morning of the first blast-off. Every color under the rainbow can be seen on the 100 competitor boats.
Scooter is mending very well from his operation. He is placing weight on the foot from where he lost his toenail. It has been harder on me than him. As most of you know, I love dogs. He is still giving me the unconditional love animals will give. I stepped on his toe and caused the injury, but he is still helping me write my blog at this very moment!
My tackle is coming along very well. I have about another hour left on the actual baits I will need for the two Florida events. When I return home from the Classic, I will string all of my Lew’s rods and reels will Seaguar line. It will require me to fill at least 20 rigs with InvisX fluorocarbon, Kanzen braid, and Senshi monofilament. Spinning gear and baitcasting equipment will be loaded and ready for battle. Then, I will turn my efforts to the Tacklewarehouse.com wrapped Ford F-250. Oil and filters will be changed. Tires will be rotated. And a very thorough cleaning will be done! After all, this will be my home for the next six months.
Note that I include my truck as a part of my tackle! It is a very valuable part of the game.
It is a busy time here at my home. Add all of my kid’s activities and we are at a dead-run like most families. I’m looking forward to the season. I hope to make it a good one!
Mark Menendez is a professional angler from Paducah, Kentucky. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or at Markmenendez.com.