The look that an angler has in his eyes on the brink of such a special tournament can only be categorized as magical. A kid in a candy store, maybe, but more like a businessman fixing to close a deal that will make him a millionaire. Only thing standing between them and the top prize is just about everything you can imagine. Mechanical issues and Mother Nature are two of the top threats, but others will make an appearance before the weekend is over.
Let's not forget about the bass, either; trust me, they are going to do their part in this show. They haven't seen water temperatures this warm since mid October, and all that means is that they are feeding in the shallows.
Getting back to the look, talking to the anglers made it evident the ones that feel good about their chances are in a good place mentally, while others contemplate boat runs and conditions they face. More like demons if you ask me. A demon can come in any form while fishing; it could be a breakdown mechanically or just thoughts that run through your head while fishing. I've had plenty of demons. Heck everyone reading this has had a demon pop up somehow or somewhere in life. It's a given.
What separates these anglers is the ability to shield the demons or flat out shake them. The 50 anglers who are in the Big Easy aren't here by accident: They shook demons to get here, and each of them deserve it without a doubt. BUT you still have to EARN IT from here in order to take that big the title home.
Here's a look at a few of the angler's and their take on the Delta. And remember these couple of guys had "the look."
Matt Herron from Alabama isn't making the long run that I feel half the field maybe making, but after listening to this guy's tone of voice and demeanor he may just be a force to be reckoned with. It appears that he has made a slight adjustment with the water warming up, and it just may prove to be the difference maker.
Bobby Lane, who has flipped and pitched his way to several tournament wins in Florida, has found his comfort zone south in the canes of Venice. It's no secret that he is getting the bites to win this thing, but, again, is it going to be getting the right bites when the day is over. Only time will tell.
Brent Chapman is another with the look of a champion in his eyes. Although he has never won a Classic, the vibe coming from him is a relaxed demon-free one, to say the least. Chapman is making a long run, but feels that the wad of fish he has located will hold for three days.
No matter what happens over the next three days, just the fact that these 50 anglers got here says a lot. But there is plenty of unfinished business in their minds.
Keep up with the action on the dedicated Bassmaster Classic Updates section, and hang on to your seats. It's likely to be a great ride.