Yamamoto Pros Preview Grand Lake - BASSMASTER Classic

Today at the Media Day event, we tapped on the shoulders of the six Yamamoto Pros fishing this year's BASSMASTER Classic and asked them a few questions concerning the big event. Here's what they had to say.

Brandon Card
Q: Which GYCB lures do you expect to play a role in this Classic?
Brandon: I’ve had a lot of success this past week with the Yamamoto light-wire spinnerbaits. The bright white painted blades are perfect for the stained water, you don’t have to fish them fast and they stay close to the surface which is great for my shallow approach, and the light wire produces a nice vibration.

Q: What will be the determining factor in this tournament (e.g., muddy/clear water, weather stability, crowds)?
Brandon: Probably the sketchy weather conditions and the water clarity. There are a few well-known spots where the water is clearing, but the locals are going to be able to pinpoint off they wall areas they know will be clearing up while the rest of the field isn’t really in the know.

Q: Name another pro who is likely to finish in the top 10? Top 5?
Brandon: I’d keep an eye out on Bill Lowen. He’s had a great practice and he loves to fish shallow, muddy water which is what most of the field is going to be forced to do.

Q: What is your arena entrance music and why did you choose it?
Brandon: My song is “Eye On It” by Toby Mac. I’m a Christian and he’s pretty much my favorite Christian artist right now. The words are meaningful and can be applied to this situation.

Boyd Duckett
Q. Which GYCB lures do you expect to play a role in this Classic?
Boyd: For me it's the Flappin' Hog and the D-Shad

Q. How will you contend with spectator traffic during the tournament?
Boyd: With the many Classics and other major events that I have been in, I have learned the you must manage your spectators. Constant communication with them is the key. Nobody’s there to hurt you!

Q. Name another pro who is likely to finish in the top 10? Top 5?
Boyd: Brett Hite is definitely a Yamamoto pro who is capable of winning a Classic. He has all the tools.

Q. What is your arena entrance music and why did you choose it?
Boyd: Sweet Home Alabama. I’ve kept it since I won my Classic while it was playing.

Brent Ehrler
Q: Have you fished Grand Lake in the past and, if so, how does that inform your strategy this week?
Brent: I've fished one tournament at Grand Lake. It was an FLW a few years ago in May. It didn't help at all for right now. The lake was high and muddy. We caught them flipping bushes. Now it's normal pool, very cold and very muddy. Not a good combination for this tournament.

Q: What will be the determining factor in this tournament (e.g., muddy/clear water, weather stability, crowds)?
Brent: Not sure the exact strategy yet. My guess is the clearer water will be a big deal. Unfortunately, there isn't very much of it. Because if that, it will be crowded and hard to compete.

Q: Name another pro who is likely to finish in the top 10? Top 5?
Brent: I have a feeling the locals will play a huge roll on this. Jason Christi, Edwin Evers, Jason Elam, and maybe even a James Watson.

Q: What will you have for your pre-tournament meal on Thursday night?
Brent: Ha! This is a good one. Honestly, I'll probably be doing tackle prep late so it will be something take out that my family picks up for me. Might be subway or maybe a delivered pizza.

Brett Hite
Q: Which GYCB lures do you expect to play a role in this Classic?
Brett: I’m utilizing a Green Pumpkin PsychoDad as a jig trailer as well as the 5.5” Kut Tail worm in black and blue on a shakey head.
Q: Have you fished Grand in the past and if so, how has that informed your strategy this week?

Brett: This is my first Classic on Grand but what I like is that it’s fishing completely different than the last Classic here, so that evens the playing field for everyone. Guys can’t rely on catching them on the same spots they did last time.

Q: How do you plan to content with spectator traffic during the tournament?
Brett: I try to fish the Classic like I would any event, but I believe this weekend we’re not going to have to content with the same time of traffic, simply because guys will all be fishing the banks, and they won’t be staying in one spot for very long – they’ll all be moving. It’s harder to deal with when you’re fishing off-shore and spectators can sometimes mess up your off-shore structure areas.

Q: What’s your dream location for a future Classic:
Brett: I’d like to fish Guntersville, or any grassy lake, really. Aquatic vegetation plays into my hand.

Randy Howell
Q: What is your dream location for a future Classic?
Randy: I'd love to see the Classic on Guntersville again.

Q. How will you contend with spectator traffic during the tournament?
Randy: Fans out on the lake are great as long as they stay back off the fishermen and watch from a distance. I think it adds a lot of excitement to the tournament that fans are able to watch "live".

Q. What will be the determining factor in this tournament (e.g., muddy/clear water, weather stability, crowds)?
Randy: Water clarity and weather will both be deciding factors.

Q. What is your arena entrance music and why did you choose it?
Randy: I have a Christian rap artist friend of mine (DPB) who wrote a song for me: The Fishing Song.

Bernie Schultz
Q. Have you fished Grand Lake in the past and, if so, how does that inform your strategy this week?
Bernie: I've competed on Grand Lake numerous times, and I've done well most of the time. Going into this event, I feel good. Even though I'm from Florida, this lake suits my style. Should be fun!

Q. What will be the determining factor in this tournament (e.g., muddy/clear water, weather stability, crowds)?
Bernie: All the above. There's considerable stain in areas that are normally clear, and that may shrink the lake. The added pressure in key areas will make it tough. Add spectator boats and it could get busy too quick.

Q. Name another pro who is likely to finish in the top 10? Top 5?
Bernie: I expect Ott Defoe to do well. He's good on aging reservoirs, and when fish are in transition.

Q. What is your dream location for a future Classic?
Bernie: The Thousand Islands in New York. That would obviously require a major change in scheduling, and it will likely never happen, but I can dream about it anyway.