Carl Svebek was wacky-worming when wacky-worming was neither cool nor popular, and he has a bin full of Sweebo worms to show for it. Then he did the old Rip Van Fishkle on us and disappeared for a while, and now he’s headed to the Classic.
Svebek, who competed in B.A.S.S. events semi-regularly in the late nineties and early two thousands, and on the FLW Tour from 1999 through 2009, went "Ross n Rachel" for nearly a decade thereafter – in other words, he was "on a break." After 2005, he fished a lone B.A.S.S. Open in 2009, and then returned to them in 2016. Now, as a result of his win this past weekend on the Sabine River, assuming he fishes this year’s final Central Open we’ll see him at the big dance at Hartwell in March.
For B.A.S.S., this is a great story, and one they’ll rightfully play up. Frankly, if any of the top three had won it would’ve been great for them – runner up T-Roy Broussard is already a TV star, and 3rd place finisher Chad Morgenthaler, currently 91st in the AOY standings, is unlikely to make the Classic through the Elites, so it would’ve been a redemption story of sorts.
The other thing that Svebek’s win shows is the fine line between success in this sport and either competing locally or being a dude who sits in a recliner talking about what could have been. While I do think that many if not most of the top one hundred anglers in the world are spread out between the two major tours, I am not blind to the fact that there are quite a few non-participants who could compete if given the chance – of if they took the chance. But for a lack of sponsorship, a lack of willingness to take a risk or maybe one decision that went awry, those guys – like Svebek – might be right there with the cream of the crop. I’m not saying there are a lot of them, but to deny that they’re out there is ridiculous.