Spring Has Arrived
Four-Time Bassmaster Classic Champion
This past February, the great city of New Orleans and its citizens were hosts for the much anticipated 2011 Bassmaster Classic. After a winter fishing the pond behind my Michigan home with my boys, I arrived in New Orleans excited, ready to scout the waters and to defend my title. The cold weather, thankfully, had moved on by and the tournament buzz was all around.
After scouting the fishery and talking to a number of anglers, I knew that fishing the Classic this year was going to be all about location. The Delta has one of the nation's most fantastic fisheries and is capable of yielding five-fish bag limits of record proportions. I was looking forward to an exciting tournament. After three days on the water, the Delta proved that it's a rich and healthy fishery. With a total of 69 pounds, 11 ounces, setting the record for the three-day, five-fish limit performance, I came away with my fourth Classic championship.
Since 2001 when I won my first Bassmaster Classic, the Delta and the people who call this place home have weathered more hard times than most of us will ever know. Between Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Gulf Oil Spill disaster last April, this area is known for its resiliency in the face of all the challenges put in its path.
As anglers with a passion for fishing, we have to show the same resiliency in the face of the challenges that are threatening our ability to sustainably fish in communities across the United States. As you know, there are many people who want to stop us from fishing. And each of us has an opportunity and a responsibility to do something about it if we want to pass our fishing heritage on to our children.
That's why I support KeepAmericaFishing™ and ask you to do the same. As a united community of 60 million anglers, we can work together to keep our nation's fisheries open, clean and abundant with fish and help ensure the legacy and passion of fishing endures for generations to come. Together, we can keep America fishing.