Classic ‘unreal’ despite tough practice, Crochet says

Barham says, ‘Could we do it? Yeah, we could.’

Pierre Part’s Cliff Crochet has been battling a tough Lay Lake for the past three days, trying to figure out how to put together Bassmaster Classic limits. And it hasn’t been an easy go.

“It’s been tough,” Crochet told today. “The entire lake is muddy and cold. I’ve seen snow for the third time in my life.”


The young pro was only able to put together six bites during the three practice days, with his heaviest fish going about 3 pounds.


“I came over here expecting to flip in the grass and throw a spinner bait around the grass,” Crochet said as he worked on his fishing gear in the official Bassmaster Classic boat yard. “The grass bite for me is totally off.”


A large percentage of competitors is reportedly heading into the Coosa River upstream of the main lake in search of warmer water, but Crochet said he’s not having any of that.


“I’ve been told you can break some stuff up there, and that scares me,” he explained.


So he’ll stick to the main lake during the final practice day on Wednesday and see what he can put together.


“I’ve got some places I need to look at,” Crochet said.


As to his first Classic experience, Crochet said it’s been fantastic.


“Everybody’s been real nice,” he said. “It’s just like a normal tournament. It’s weird to explain, but when you see them … when there’s a minute to talk to you, that’s cool, and they chat and laugh with you.”


He said he hasn’t felt any tension when around the likes of Kevin VanDam, Michael Iaconelli or fellow Louisiana pro Greg Hackney.


“I think everybody respects everybody because everybody knows what everybody went through to get here,” Crochet said.


He said it has been a bit surreal, however, to watch the “publicity machine” surrounding the big-name pros and realize he’s fishing the world-championship event with them.


“I go to bed with a smile on my face and wake up with a smile on my face,” Crochet said. “Every minute, it gets more unreal.”

Andy Crawford
About Andy Crawford 865 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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