The biggest and baddest fishing show for the fans of bass fishing The 2016 Bassmaster Classic. If you love fishing it will be more your wildest wile to save up this year and go to the Classic Expo in 2017. It happens around the same time each year, February or March at the latest. Just don’t spend all your Christmas or holiday money at the end of the year. Save some space on your credit card, get a giant Mason jar now and start throwing your left over money in it.
The Bassmaster Classic is one long weekend that starts on Thursday for the pros anglers. For the fans the Expo opens up on Friday and goes thru Sunday every single year. You will need a hotel room to hold each days haul. If you drive a truck or a jeep there is no place to hide it all weekend. A hotel stay for the weekend can be an easy and cheap or expensive deal depending on when you book your room and what kind of room or hotel you like the best. Some hotels have weekend deals and some hotels will give you a discount when you mention you are in town for the Classic.
Your biggest expense may be travel depending on whether you fly or drive there. An eight hour road trip can run about one-hundred dollars going one way; you can figure that for the return trip. The biggest expense otherwise will be shopping at the Expo. If you fish and have bass angler pros you love and favor, love the Bass Pro Shop and Cabela’s , boats, boating engines, lures, rods, bait, t-shirts, hoodies, coats, all the hats you can handle, and every little fishing detail I cannot even remember or have room to name here you need to bring a lot of money for shopping. It is easy to spend $200-300 a day shopping and that is probably guestimating it low. If you work all day Friday and then make the drive the bulk of your time at the Expo will be Saturday and Sunday. You may have time to go on Friday’s weigh-in and check things out.
There is eating food at the Expo, you know the usual convention center kind of food. It is nourishment but it is not big flashy food because who cares about eating when you are at the Bassmaster Classic. If you are like me you are going to go from booth to booth, talk and look at every single item, and talk and go until you are about to drop. If you are lucky and your stomach is loud enough it will snap you out of your fishing shopping and talking fishing glazed over stupor to get you to stop for a minute and go eat. You need to eat and drink plenty of fluids. The event is held in the winter and in a heated atmosphere. It can be dry and you are talking a lot.
- Jason Christie three-pound lead day one 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic
It is winter outside but do not bring a winter coat. There is no place to put it when you don’t want to wear it anymore, which is immediately after you enter the door. You don’t want to carry it because one hand will be busy looking at fishing stuff and the other will be carrying your bag(s) of stuff, and shaking Bassmaster pro hands. You really need three hands for all of that. A coat does not work so just leave it in your room. You are walking and pausing so it is easy to stay warm. If you are one to be cold; long sleeves or a hoodie will do the trick but it is warm in there will all of those people talking doing and being fishing.
- Bassmaster Classic Jason Christie breakin’ bass for the lead day two
People are friendly to each other, fishing people are nice and into the outdoors so leave your guns and knives at home or in the hotel room. People are talking fishing, telling fishing stories, talking about new fishing stuff/gear, and talking about the pros on the water in the tournament who are fishing. If there is one thing that fishing folk like to do when they are not on the water fishing it is talk to other people about fishing.
Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk in all day. There is no time for stopping and adjusting shoes or taking them off and sitting down for feet that hurt. Sure you may take a break now and then but there is a lot to see, presentations, boat rides, autographs and the weigh-in in the afternoon, but there is no time to tend to feet that came in flip flops and got stepped on or high heels.
- Okla-home Edwin Evers is the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Champion
Don’t get me wrong if you do not like crowds of people or to walk all day long, you will still have fun and there is plenty of room and shows and sights for you to see and to be at the Classic in your leisurely way. No one is going to walk over the top of you or overwhelm you.
The weigh-in is free. That is so way cool. It is the coolest thing about the Bassmaster Classic. Expect a big show and expect a long show the first couple of days when the one-hundred or so pros, the entire field of anglers is still fishing and haven’t been whittled down yet. I don’t remember if there was eating or drinking at this venue because I never wanted to leave the show or miss a single thing. There are restrooms and I remember someone selling cotton candy or popcorn up and down the aisles. This place was cool temperature-wise when you first walk in and get seated, until all of the people got in there and they started turning on all of the hot lights from the show then it is plenty warm.
- Edwin Evers 29-pounds the biggest bag 2016 Bassmaster Classic
The show is the greatest show on earth. It is like being at the circus for the first time when you are a kid. The announcers, the pros, the set-up, the stage, throwing t-shirts in the audience, demonstrations to keep the audience entertained, and the pros driving in on their boats and their songs playing. It is one spectacular event. I highly recommend going all you can and taking your family. At least go one time in your life time. Heck I recommend it even if you just like a little fishing to go and check it out.