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About this blog

Join me as I document my experiences in learning and improving through this great sport of ours. I'll document my success and failures as well as some cool experiences along the way. 

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Back last year, I received an email from B.A.S.S advertising the opportunity to Marshal for the upcoming years tournaments, including the Bassmaster Classic. With Hartwell being my home lake, I thought - wow... what an experience that would be. Thinking that I wouldn't have a shot at it, I decided to sign up anyway. On that morning, as soon as registration opened, I entered only to find out that I was immediately put onto a waiting list. So at that point, I figured that there was no chance, but I had given it a good try. However, a couple of months I received an email from B.A.S.S that informed me that I had been selected. While I have been a Marshal for MLF before, I was really excited that I would be participating in the Classic! 

The learning experience that you get from this kind of exposure is priceless. You can pay for guides, but nothing beats riding with the pros. For the Classic, Marshals were able to ride along for the official practice day and the first 2 days of the classic. We were paired with a different angler on each day, so we were able to experience 3 different anglers, which is great for learning. Some anglers may not talk much, especially in a tournament like the classic, but surprisingly, one of my anglers wanted to talk more than I did! However, what is better than talking is the front row seat that you have. You get to see what they use, how they use it. You get to see how they approach an area or technique and compare it to how you would approached it. 

A Few Takeaways

I came away from this awesome experience with a lot of learning, but there are a few things that stand out. 

  1. Lure placement is absolutely key! Being able to put your lure under a dock, or just beside a stump or blowdown is the difference in catching or not. These guys can cover water fast because their lure placement is near perfect.  They move quickly through areas because their target selection is very specific.  While they would do it occasionally, there was very little casting at nothing. 
  2. Learn your electronics.  I was fortunate enough to be with a couple of guys that used Garmin LiveScope. While I understand the technology and what can be done with it, this was the first time I've actually seen someone locate and catch that many fish. I'm sold... 
  3. Even the Pros make bad choices or have bad days. One of my anglers made the decision to make a long run on day 1 of the Classic.  After a couple of hours or so, he realized that the 30 minutes we had run didn't pay off. We ran all the way back down the lake and finally found some fish, but that decision cost him. Some anglers didn't even catch a limit. It happens to the best of them.  They learn from it and move on.

While there are many other things I learned about lures, techniques and equipment, these were some high level take aways.  If you get the chance to participate as a Marshal for B.A.S.S or MLF, I promise it will be worth it.  The knowledge and insight you will gain in one weekend will be more than you would have expected. It will make you a better angler!

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to me. 

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